Ellen McAllister | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Ellen McAllister head shot

Name: Ellen McAllister
Title: Changing the Narrative to Change the Climate: An English Teacher’s Guide to Incorporating Environmental Literature in High Schools
English; AYA Integrated Language Arts Education
Minor: Environmental Studies
Advisors: Chris Suarez; Ryan Ozar (second reader)

Many high school English students read the same books: The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, and Fahrenheit 451; however, this does not always have to be the case. While these books are great classic works of literature, they are not as enjoyable to high school students as to English scholars. This makes reading feel like a chore for many high schoolers. High schoolers must have the opportunity to read various books on numerous topics, including environmental literature. This project examines four environmental texts of different genres: Saving the Planet & Stuff, a novel by Gail Gauthier; Global, a graphic novel written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin; A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis, a nonfiction book by Vanessa Nakate; and Everywhere Blue, a novel in verse written by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz. The first part talks about the importance of incorporating environmental literature into high school English classrooms, focusing on ninth and tenth grades specifically. The second part of the project is comprised of detailed lesson plans for each of the four books including links to interactive websites, daily bell ringer activities, various writing activities, and final projects in the same style of the book. All of the lesson plans are based on the ninth and tenth-grade English language arts state standards for Ohio. The goal of the project is for teachers to be able to have easy access to lessons from books that are timely, relatable, and enjoyable for students to read.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on April 24, 2024.