Multigenre TeachingMultigenre, MultipleIntelligences, andTranscendentalism                                                ...
Capturing Meaningful Connections                          dental unit, I put members of the class in coopera-through Comic...
F IGURE 1.C OMICS THAT   WERE MOST OFTEN SELECTED BY STUDENTS(Top panels) from Something Under the Bed is Drooling (99). (...
We also made a chart acknowledging the various                        For example, while two students in the class weretit...
and discussion, students thought more about the                  the works that they’d read. Their journals were notcurric...
of their reading. Many students found the books I’d        in class was given a slip of paper with an intelligencesuggeste...
TABLE 4.P ROJECT S UGGESTIONS   FOR   T RANSCENDENTAL U NIT A SSESSMENTLinguistic                      Write a portfolio o...
through other traditional classroom activities and         them the opportunity because I truly wanted toevaluations. Simi...
methods that accurately reflect what knowledge         Emerson and Thoreau most likely would have ap-        students have...
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  1. 1. Multigenre TeachingMultigenre, MultipleIntelligences, andTranscendentalism COLLEEN A. RUGGIERI hate math!” I exclaimed to my friends during my junior year of high school. To someI of them, it seemed logical, as I was a self-proclaimed lover of English class. After all, we surmised, most people can’t love and excel in both subjects. Unfortunately, as the weeks passed, math class became more and more torturous to me. How could I havegone from absolutely loving the subject to dreading it so much that I got headaches beforeclass? I couldn’t do the problems assigned by the teacher, my grade was slipping, and myego was definitely bruised. In the end, I chose to drop the math class to save my sanity. Tothis day I regret it, wondering just how many of life’s terial,” but also of presenting literature in only oneequations may have been solved by the knowledge form or from one perspective?gained in that one course. In response to this rhetorical thinking, I de- “You know, you probably could have done cided to transform my eleventh grade Americanthose problems if they’d been explained dif- literature classroom, beginning with the unit onferently,” a colleague commented to me, nearly Transcendentalism. Like most teachers, I had sup-twenty years later. “One of the mistakes in the plemented the core curriculum containing Self-United States is that people believe that problems Reliance, Nature, Walden, and Civil Disobediencecan be solved only one way. That’s not how the with other genres, allowing my students to discussJapanese or other cultures teach subjects, and the literature, work cooperatively, and write a va-that’s probably why [fewer] people are scared off riety of responses and papers. However, the unitwhen it comes to advanced coursework in other ultimately ended in the dreaded exam, which wascountries.” Taking these comments to heart, a light the consummate stumbling block during each classwent on in my mind. There is truth to the idea that discussion. “Is this going to be on the test?” seemedsome American classroom practices can actually to be the primary focus of nearly every student.stifle learning and alienate students. How many Therefore, in revamping my unit, I set out totimes have I heard my students saying, “I don’t get achieve two goals. First, I sought a wider variety ofthis stuff,” whether in my high school English class, supplemental materials and literary connectionsor in someone else’s? How many students, who’d than what I’d previously been using. Second, Ionce loved language arts classes in elementary and hoped to provide alternative assessment opportu-middle school and who’d appreciated the value of nities that would be meaningful and rewardingEnglish class, have come to hate it once they’ve hit while delivering authentic results. These goals ledhigh school? Furthermore, how many high school me on a journey that ultimately became fulfillingteachers and college professors are not only stuck for my students, as well as enlightening and en-in the rut of lecturing in order to “cover all the ma- riching to me as an educator.60 novem b er 2 0 0 2 Copyright © 2002 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Capturing Meaningful Connections dental unit, I put members of the class in coopera-through Comics tive groups of four. I gave each group one or two comic books and fifteen to twenty minutes of classWhen seeking new texts to incorporate into the unit, time to read and enjoy the comics, asking them toI thought about what might inspire or interest me if find connections to the concepts we’d discussed re-I were reading casually or for pleasure. The first idea garding Transcendentalism. Following the allottedthat came to mind was the Calvin and Hobbes comic reading time, each group shared at least two comicsstrip. It seemed as if every time I read this comic, I that had strong literary connections to the ideas ofexperienced an epiphany as well as a chuckle. As Emerson and Thoreau. When sharing the strips, weKathy Kirk notes in her book, Writing to Standards, discussed specific lines from the texts we’d studiedwhat is especially appealing about using comics is that could be connected to the comics. Multiplethe fact that they provide a fun way to study voice groups selected two specific comics, and we foundand that they often make serious statements about that many lines from the Transcendental textspolitics and culture (14). In order to share the same could readily be connected and compared to theseexperience with my students, I headed for the near- particular strips. (See Figure 1.) As a homeworkest bargain table at my favorite bookseller. Comic assignment, I asked students to locate other exam-creator Bill Watterson has published several collec- ples of comics that would provide literary links totions, including Something Under the Bed Is Drool- what we’d studied and to bring them to class alonging, There’s Treasure Everywhere, The Calvin and with a paragraph of explanation. Within two days,Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, The Indispensable nearly all of the class had finished the assignment.World of Calvin and Hobbes, and The Essential Peanuts, B.C., Family Circus, and Crock wereCalvin and Hobbes. In their many adventures, char- among the many comics collected by students. Inacters Calvin and Hobbes often deliver messages the paragraphs accompanying the comics, studentsregarding individualism and the environment. Be- analyzed political statements and commentaries incause of this, Watterson’s books lend themselves to terms of their connections with Transcendentalinteresting discussion and analysis, so I purchased a thinking. By reading the comic books, my studentsfew copies of each title at greatly discounted rates to were able to use this different genre to interpretuse in my classroom. social commentaries, make connections with works they’d studied in class, and develop their own views on the subjects of individualism, nature, and pas- By reading the comic books, my sive resistance. Making Meaning through Music students were able to use this In considering another genre that might provide a different genre to interpret social positive vehicle for learning, I opted for a mode that motivates most everyone I know—music. To commentaries, make connections introduce the class to the next assignment, I brought in my favorite Frank Sinatra song and dis- with works they’d studied in class, cussed the Transcendental ideas contained within the lyrics of “My Way.” I asked my students to con- sider their own music collections and to bring aand develop their own views on the song to class—along with the lyrics and a brief paragraph of explanation of the connection be- subjects of individualism, nature, tween their choice and the ideas we discussed. The response was terrific, and in order to share and passive resistance. the excitement, I played portions of each song be- tween classes and for the first two to three min- utes each period that I had American literature. After my students and I had read and dis- As the songs were played, the students who broughtcussed the four major selections in the Transcen- them to class shared their rationales with others. English Journal 61
  3. 3. F IGURE 1.C OMICS THAT WERE MOST OFTEN SELECTED BY STUDENTS(Top panels) from Something Under the Bed is Drooling (99). (Bottom panel) from There’s Treasure Everywhere (9).CALVIN AND HOBBES © 1988 Watterson. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.62 novem b er 2 0 0 2
  4. 4. We also made a chart acknowledging the various For example, while two students in the class weretitles and artists, as well as the musical genres rep- Garth Brooks fans, they each chose different songsresented in the selections. (See Table 1.) When re- for the assignment. One student commented fur-viewing the chart, my students were quick to ther about the song selections in a freewrite at thenotice that certain categories, particularly the rock/ end of the period:pop music section, had the most entries. They alsonoted that they were surprised at how many songs All of these songs are amazing. I never wouldwere listed in the country music category, and that have listened to country music before now, because I thought it was a bunch of cry me awe did not have any listings for alternative music, river, I lost my girl and truck music. Now I seejazz, or heavy metal. Several of the students who that the genre is a lot different from what Iwere fans of the alternative genre stated that when thought it was. It’s amazing that the messagesthey listened to the music they had a difficult time of individuality and nature are so universal inchoosing songs from this genre because the lyrics the music. It makes me realize that what we’reseemed “angry” and didn’t appear to be optimistic. reading in class really does have connectionsHowever, one student pointed out to the class that, with what we see in real life. It also helps methough these songs might not meet that one par- to learn more about the people in our class. I never would have guessed that some peopleticular criterion, many alternative musicians are would have picked the songs they did, and Ivery original and innovative in their approaches to guess that proves that we don’t always reallymusic and songwriting, thus making the actual know each other.creation of the music at least partially Transcen-dental in nature. His response sparked further This student’s remark struck a chord with everyonediscussion, as class members saw the call for indi- in the classroom when it was shared the next day.vidualism at work in their own choices of songs. Indeed, by adding the musical element to class studyTABLE 1.E XAMPLES OF S TUDENT- SELECTED S ONG T ITLES AND A RTISTS T HAT R EFLECT T RANSCENDENTAL T HINKING .Oldies/Classics Pop/Rock R&B/Rap New Age/Classical CountryOtis Redding: Madonna: “Rain” and R. Kelly: “I Believe Enya: “Sail Away” Dixie Chicks: “Wide“Sitting on the Dock “Respect Yourself ” I Can Fly” Cranberries: Open Spaces”of the Bay” Mariah Carey: “Hero” Tupac Shakur: “Copy Cat” Lee Ann Womack: “ILouis Armstrong: Dave Matthews Band: “Keep Ya Head Tim Janis: Hope You Dance”“What a Wonderful “Cry Freedom” Up” “Water’s Edge” Billy Gilman: “Hero”World” Destiny’s Child: U2: “Beautiful Day” Vivaldi: “Four Garth Brooks:Billy Joel: “Just the “Survivor” Seasons” “The River” and “WeWay You Are” Van Halen: “Dreams” Desiree; “You Yanni: “Rain Shall Be Free”Frank Sinatra: Creed: “Higher” Gotta Be” Must Fall” Norman Blake: “You“My Way” Dido: “My Life” Jennifer Lopez: Are My Sunshine” Handel: “WaterGrateful Dead: Jewel: “Hands” “I’m Real” Music Suite, Martina McBride:“Liberty” Janet Jackson: No.2 for orchestra “Independence Day” Backstreet Boys:Bob Marley: “Get “Shining Star” “Clouds” in D major” Trisha Yearwood:Up, Stand Up” India Arie: “Video” Modest Mussorgsky: “Real Live Woman” Bon Jovi: “My Life”Beatles: “Here Jermaine Jackson: “Night on Bald Tim McGraw: “Place Vanessa Williams:Comes the Sun” “Rise to the Mountain, A, for in the Sun” “Colors of the Wind”Bob Dylan: “Blowin’ Occasion” orchestra” Michael Jackson: Jo Dee Messina:in the Wind” En Vogue: “Free “Burn” “Earth Song”Joni Mitchell: “Big Your Mind” Rascal Flatts: “Prayin’ Whitney Houston:Yellow Taxi” for Daylight” “One MomentThree Dog Night: in Time”“Joy to the World” Sting: “Fields of Gold” English Journal 63
  5. 5. and discussion, students thought more about the the works that they’d read. Their journals were notcurriculum, as well as its relevance in their world. due for two weeks, which allowed for more reading time outside of class. I required each student to readMaking Meaning with Free Reading selections from three genres, though no one was re- quired to finish more than one entire work withinOnce we finished the comic and music activities, I the timeframe of the actual assignment. In helpingblocked out time for a free reading unit in order to to guide students’ choices, I provided them with aexpose students to even more genres. I gave students list of titles for their consideration. (See Table 2.)the class period each day to read, and their home- However, they were free to find other works, pro-work assignments consisted of journal responses to vided that they showed me their materials in advanceTABLE 2.S ELECTED M ULTIGENRE R EADINGS FOR AN A MERICAN L ITERATURE T RANSCENDENTALISM U NIT.Art/Photography Poetry Nonfiction YA Lit. & Picture BooksCunningham, Anderson, L. and Marty Asher, Dillard, Annie. Pilgrim Anderson, Laurie Halse.Antonia. Essential eds. Sisters of the Earth: at Tinker Creek. New Speak. New York: Puffin,Impressionists. Bath, Women’s Prose and Poetry York: HarperCollins, 1999.England: Parragon, About Nature. New York: 1998. Avi. Blue Heron. New York:2000. Vintage, 1991. Erlich, Gretel. A Match Simon & Schuster, 1992.Goldsworthy, Andy. Bosselaar, Laure-Anne, ed. to the Heart: One Carter, Forrest. The Educa-Andy Goldsworthy: A Urban Nature: Poems about Woman’s Story of Being tion of Little Tree.Collaboration with Wildlife in the City. Minneapo- Struck by Lightning. Albuquerque: University ofNature. New York: lis: Milkweed Editions, 2000. New York: Penguin, New Mexico Press, 2000.Harry Abrams, 1990. Farrell, Kate. Art and Nature: 1995. Fleischman, Paul. Seedfolks.Hassrick, Peter, ed. An Illustrated Anthology of Na- Henley, Don, and Dave New York: HarperCollins,The Georgia O’Keeffe ture Poetry, Vol. 1. New York: Marsh, eds. Heaven Is 1997.Museum. New York: Little, Brown & Company, Under Our Feet. NewHarry Abrams, 1997. 1992. York: Berkley Publish- Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. ing Group, 1992. New York: Scholastic, 1998.House, John. Monet: Ferra, Lorraine. A CrowNature into Art. New Doesn’t Need a Shadow: A Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Hickam, Homer. OctoberHaven: Yale Univer- Guide to Writing Poetry from Air. New York: Random Sky. New York: Randomsity Press, 1986. Nature. Salt Lake City: Gibbs House, 1997. House, 1999.Jennings, Kate F. Smith, 1994. Leggett, Jeremy. Global Hobbs, Will. River Thunder.Ansel Adams. New Hines, Anna G. Pieces. New Warming and the End New York: Random House,York: Barnes and York: HarperCollins, 1998. of the Oil Era. New 1999.Noble, 1997. Kilcher, Jewel. A Night York: Taylor & Francis O’Dell, Scott. Island of theLeopold, Aldo. A Without Armor. New York: Group, 2001. Blue Dolphins. New York:Sand County HarperCollins, 1999. Lopez, Barry. Arctic Random House, 1987.Almanac. New York: Quetchenbach, Bernard. Back Dreams: Imagination Rawls, Wilson. Where theOxford, 2001. from the Far Field: American and Desire in a North- Red Fern Grows. New York:Line, Les, ed. The Nature Poetry in the ern Landscape. New Dell, 1996.National Audubon Late Twentieth Century. York: Vintage, 2001. Rylant, Cynthia. The Wonder-Society, A Century Charlottesville: University Press Muir, John. Nature ful Happens. New York:of Conservation: of Virginia, 2000. Writings: The Story of Simon & Schuster, 2000.Speaking for Nature. Spence, Gerry L. Gerry My Boyhood and Youth, Seuss, Dr., Jack Prelutsky &Southport: Hugh Spence’s Wyoming: The My First Summer in the Lane Smith. Hooray forLauter Levin Associ- Landscape. New York: Sierra, The Mountains Diffendoofer Day! New York:ates, 1999. St. Martin’s Press, 2000. of California, Stickeen, Knopf, 1998.Wolfe, Art. Africa. Essays. Ed. William Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Cronan. New York: Taylor, Mildred. The Land.Seattle: Wildlands New York: Bantam, 1998. Library of America, New York: Dial Books, 2001.Press, 2001. Williams, Jill. Nature Sonnets. 1997. Voigt, Cynthia. A Solitary Arlington: Gival Press, Blue. New York: Macmillan, LLC, 2001. 1993.64 novem b er 2 0 0 2
  6. 6. of their reading. Many students found the books I’d in class was given a slip of paper with an intelligencesuggested at the school or public library, and some scenario and asked to find individuals in the roomeven went to the bookstore to purchase their own who demonstrated that intelligence (35). After dis-copies. While my students were reading in class, I cussing the eight intelligences theorized by Gardnermade the promise to read along with them. This was and recently discussed in terms of classroom impli-difficult for me at first, as I was conditioned to feel- cations by Thomas Armstrong (see Table 3), studentsing guilty for taking the time to read when I felt like reviewed their inventories and were excited to real-I should be teaching. Students loved having the op- ize their intellectual strengths. Once students dis-portunity to read selections they’d found on their covered their strongest areas of intelligence, weown, and during the free reading unit I was even ex- discussed a form of assessment that would be used toposed to a great book, Paul Fleischman’s Seedfolks, determine the knowledge they had gained during theafter a student suggested it to me. This book is a col- Transcendental unit. I provided a general list oflection of vignettes that depict a diverse group of project ideas to show students what could be consid-neighbors living in inner city Cleveland, who come ered acceptable (see Table 4), and students were thentogether with the formation of a community garden. allowed to choose or modify one of the projects onIt provides terrific connections to Transcendental- the list. In order to evaluate each project, studentsism, and it can be read in about an hour. The book and I collaborated in creating individual rubrics.became a class favorite, and it has stayed in my reper- The rubrics were based upon understandingtoire of supplemental readings. When reading the and analysis of the curriculum and supplementaryjournal responses, it was refreshing to note that stu- readings completed in the unit; the thoroughnessdents responded in ways that indicated they had and originality of projects; and self, peer, and teachermade further connections with the curriculum while evaluations. After the projects were submitted, weengaging in other readings. Also, my classes as a spent three days in a museum style exhibition.whole reacted with great energy when given an as- There were performances from some stu-signment that had an element of freedom. By the dents, and there were a variety of exhibitions con-end of their reading, students wrote in their journals taining art, photography, nature studies, and stories.that they enjoyed the assignment and felt that they Students did quality work by tapping into their in-had a much stronger appreciation of the application telligence and provided interesting insights throughof the themes of Transcendental literature. the content and presentation of their work. One par- ticular student, who was typically somewhat quiet inMaking Meaning through class, chose to demonstrate her knowledge throughMultiple Intelligences a comic book that she created based on her readings. (See Figure 2.) Her artistic talent and intellect wereAs a culmination of the Transcendental unit, I intro- revealed to the class, which may not have happenedduced Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelli-gences, based on my reading of Frames of Mind andMultiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice during TABLE 3. E IGHT WAYS OF L EARNING (A RMSTRONG 22).graduate school. My students and I discussed Gard-ner’s belief that knowledge is what a person uses “to Type of How someoneresolve genuine problems or difficulties that he or she Intelligence with this type thinks:encounters and, when appropriate, to create an ef-fective product,” along with the fact that traditional Linguistic in wordsknowledge is often measured in very limited ways Logical-Mathematical by reasoning(Frames 61). To further introduce the theory, each of Spatial in images and picturesmy students participated in a variety of MI activities, Bodily-Kinesthetic through somatic sensationsincluding taking a few intelligence inventories. A clear Musical via rhythms and melodiesand easy to use inventory appears on J. Ivanco’s Web Interpersonal by bouncing ideas off other peoplesite at Intrapersonal in relation to their needs,Another inventory developed by Walter McKenzie feelings, goals( was also Naturalist through nature and naturalvery helpful to my students. In addition, we used formsThomas Armstrong’s “intelligent hunt”; each person English Journal 65
  7. 7. TABLE 4.P ROJECT S UGGESTIONS FOR T RANSCENDENTAL U NIT A SSESSMENTLinguistic Write a portfolio of short stories or poetry that contain Transcendental ideas and themes; develop and deliver a speech.Logical-Mathematical Design a series of Transcendental puzzles; perform a series of nature experiments in which you document the results; design a Web page.Spatial Create a photo/art exhibit; make a video/documentary; make a scrapbook.Bodily-Kinesthetic Stage a performance (dance, act).Musical Create songs; perform for the class; compile a “Name that Transcendental Tune” list of thirty songs that were not discussed during class.Interpersonal Do an environmental survey of at least 100 of your peers, documenting the results.Intrapersonal Spend an hour outdoors for at least a week and design a nature journal based on the ideas gained from your classroom readings.Naturalist Create a nature guide for the local park, using passages from the readings for inspiration; create a garden.F IGURE 2.S AMPLE I RONIC C OMICS FROM A U NIT P ROJECT D EMONSTRATING H OW C ONTEMPORARY S OCIETYO FTEN V IEWS T HOREAU ’ S I DEAS .66 novem b er 2 0 0 2
  8. 8. through other traditional classroom activities and them the opportunity because I truly wanted toevaluations. Similar situations occurred as the class measure the results of the projects against the re-admired each other’s projects, generating a new sults of a pencil and paper test. As an incentive for mysense of camaraderie and excitement. research, I offered the test as a “free zone” option— meaning that it would not count toward their over- all average. With a little persuasion, every studentEvaluating the Results was convinced to take the exam, and the results again were interesting.Upon completion of the projects, students and I dis-cussed their evaluations. One surprising finding wasthat students were often harder on themselves whendetermining the overall quality of their work. Forexample, one student completed a photographic Once students discovered theiressay, in which she took nature shots that inter-preted scenes from Walden. While the photos were strongest areas of intelligence, weall connected in an outstanding fashion to the liter-ature she had studied, she was quick to note that thequality of prints did not match her own standards of discussed a form of assessment that“excellence.” She also stated that she had procrasti-nated and found herself frustrated when she ran out would be used to determine theof the time to complete the project according to herstandards. She told me that she felt the project de- knowledge they had gained duringserved a B, offering her complete candor regardingher performance. This was especially interesting, asthis particular young woman would often complain the Transcendental unit.about her test grades if she received anything lessthan an A, most often placing blame on “a bad test”or “boring material.” In addition to this finding, it was also inter- Though the students who typically had theesting to note that many students who had regularly best averages in the class saw only an average of astruggled with the rigors of the literature in the 2 percent increase in scores, the marginal studentscourse responded with much greater effort during who had experienced the greatest levels of disin-this unit than they had in the past. In fact, there was terest and difficulty in previous units experienceda 99 percent homework completion rate for the substantial improvement. One student, who hadclass during this unit, which was an improvement of practically given up during a previous unit, anx-15 percent from previous averages. Furthermore, iously awaited each new component of the assign-when the projects were evaluated, overall stu- ment. His average improved by 12 percent, whiledent performance rose an average of 5 percent per several students who had previously earned C av-student—the equivalent of a letter grade for many erages saw their grades improve by an entire letter.individuals. Perhaps the greatest revelation regard- Most importantly, students took ownership of theiring achievement was my own, however, as I realized assessment and showed the desire to further theirthat the lecturing, skill-drill-and-kill style of teach- learning. In her book Rainbows of Intelligence, Sueing had not weaseled its way into my lessons as I cov- Teele comments on the American classroom:ered the curriculum. Students did not fall asleep in Many current classrooms are directed only to theclass, nor did they complain while they were doing linguistic and logical-mathematical students,their assignments. The supplemental materials which leaves students who process informationmade a significant difference in interest and per- with the other intelligences to struggle . . .formance, and the project assessment motivated my Through understanding multiple intelligences and identifying dominant intelligences, educa-students beyond comparison. tors can develop increasingly effective teaching As a final element of the unit, I offered stu- strategies to match learning with instruction.dents the opportunity to take a written exam on They can also develop multiple assessment mea-what they’d learned through their work. I gave sures that match those intelligences and teaching English Journal 67
  9. 9. methods that accurately reflect what knowledge Emerson and Thoreau most likely would have ap- students have acquired. (85) plauded. How wonderful for English teachers to have the tools to open the doors of life and learning,In his more recent publication, Intelligence Re- and to help their students to have a few more of theframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, answers to life’s equations.Howard Gardner celebrates the acknowledgementof several intelligences stating, “. . . the monopoly of Works Citedthose who believe in a single general intelligence hascome to an end” (203). As we English educators Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2000.spend our days in the classroom, we want all of ourstudents to come to love language as much as we do, Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books, 1983.even if they don’t have a natural aptitude for the sub- ———. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for theject. We also want all of our students to be able to 21st Century. New York: Basic Books, 1999.understand the material covered in class, as well as ———. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. Newto see its relevance in the real world. Through in- York: Basic Books, 1993.cluding a wide range of genres, activities, and as- Ivanco, J. “What Are My Learning Strengths?” 1 Marchsessments that incorporate the principles of the 2002. of multiple intelligences, I have found that Kirk, Kathy. Writing to Standards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Cor-this is possible. In the future, I hope to begin my win Press, 2001.American literature course by introducing students McKenzie, Walter. “Multiple Intelligences Survey.” 1 Marchto all of the intelligences they bring to my classroom 2002. we even open a book. Though I chose to Teele, Sue. Rainbows of Intelligence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2000.modify the tenets of Gardner’s theory and incorpo- Watterson, Bill. The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversaryrate a rubric during project evaluations, I have found Book. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1995.that this provides a workable medium between the ———. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. Kansas City, MO:standardized testing that is being used to determine Andrews and McMeel, 1988.levels of accountability and the creation of products ———. The Indispensable World of Calvin and Hobbes.that allowed my students to have an increased sense Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1992.of self-worth, while authentically demonstrating their ———. Something Under the Bed Is Drooling. Kansas City,mastery of a subject. In addition, during this unit I MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1993.was often able to observe individual learning in ac- ———. There’s Treasure Everywhere. Kansas City, MO: An-tion, something that I considered merely an unob- drews and McMeel, 1996.tainable luxury in past units. In the end, students inmy classroom transcended the boundaries of learn- COLLEEN A. RUGGIERI teaches English at Boardman Highing, truly reaching heights that even the likes of School, Youngstown, Ohio. EJ 6 0 Years Ago Truth and Creativity“The pupil who is most likely to succeed in writing creatively is the one who searches through his own life for material.He has not been told to study and emulate the great masters; on the contrary, he has been encouraged to believe thathe himself has something to say if he will but find it.” Robert W. Rounds. “Creative Writing and Living Language.” EJ 31.6 (1942): 454–62.68 novem b er 2 0 0 2