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Finally, mentor texts written by teenagers, to help your students craft convincing arguments.
In this new collection of 100 essays curated by The New York Times, students will find mentor texts written by their peers—13-to-18-year-olds—on a wide range of topics, including social media, race, video games, lockdown drills, immigration, tackle football, and the #MeToo movement. All of the essays were either winners or runners-up from The New York Times Learning Network 2014–2019 Student Editorial contests, in which students could take on any issue they liked and, in 450 words or fewer, persuade readers—including educators from around the country as well as Times judges—to adopt their point of view. The essays have been selected for their voice, style, and use of evidence, as well as to present snapshot of issues across a dozen categories that are of particular interest to adolescents.
Student Voice is also available as a package with Raising Student Voice: 35 Ways to Help Students Write Better Argument Essays, from The New York Times Learning Network, a teacher's companion guide packed with practical advice from teachers, Times editors, and even student winners about how to use these essays in writing instruction.
About the Author
Katherine Schulten has worked in education for over 25 years as a teacher, school-newspaper adviser, literacy consultant, curriculum writer and editor. From 2006-2018, she was editor-in-chief of The New York Times Learning Network, and is still a contributing editor there, currently overseeing the site's writing curriculum.
It is no secret that The New York Times Learning Network, and Katherine Schulten in particular, have long been a friend of the classroom teacher. This newest offering is no exception—providing everything a teacher needs for robust, authentic instruction in argumentative writing. The powerful essays provide vision and inspiration for student writers, while the instructional guide gives teachers step-by-step guidance for amplifying student voice and taking student writing to new heights. Simply put, this work is a gift.
— Rebekah O’Dell, author of Beyond Literary Analysis and Writing with Mentors, and co-founder of MovingWriters.org
However hard I try to devise engaging writing topics, my ideas routinely fall flat. Why? Because they are mine. Katherine Schulten suggests a more effective approach—asking students to write about issues they care about—for example, why we should all eat more bugs. If you are suffering from the five-paragraph essay blues, these student essays offer fledgling writers models of what's possible in persuasive writing. They demonstrate how risk-taking pays off. — Carol Jago, high school English teacher, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, & author of The Book in Question: Why and How Reading is in Crisis
I think it's safe to say that many—if not most—of us teachers are always trying to figure out better ways to assist our students in becoming better writers. Katherine Schulten's two books are the best resources that have come along in years to help us do just that! They're filled with exceptional instructional strategies and marvelous examples and mentor texts. What's not to love? — Larry Ferlazzo, high school teacher, author, and Ed Week teacher advice columnist
The essays in Student Voice loudly proclaim what young writers are capable of: insightful opinions, thoughtful argument, compelling evidence, and—most importantly—lively writing. They will inspire young writers everywhere. And for teachers who hope for writing like this in their own classrooms, Raising Student Voice provides them with a teaching companion to help them along.
— Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director, National Writing Project
Mentor texts from students are essential, and yet it is really hard to find good ones. The essays in Student Voice are marvelous, especially in regard to their voices, accessibility, range, and diversity. And the 35 points made in the teacher’s companion, Raising Student Voice, are wonderful; I love the voices of teachers, students, and argumentation experts.
— Matthew Johnson, author of Flash Feedback: Responding to Student Writing Better and Faster—Without Burning Out
I love this book. It practices what it preaches by being crisp, well written, and to-the-point. I want a copy now to hand out to my whole department. — Alexis Wiggins, author of The Best Class You Never Taught and English Department Chair at The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, TX