Artful Thinking / Middle School Program

Examining Identity through Young Adult Literature

Program Description:

Middle School students are at a critical juncture in their development. They are in the throes of discovery as they build a sense of themselves and begin to form the foundation for the adults they will become. Middle School students are constantly questioning who they are, who their friends are, their place in the world, and whether their passions, ideas, and choices are valued by others.

Many young adult fiction books center around these very questions making them both exciting reads for middle school students and excellent tools for educators. The Guild’s Middle School Program teaches educators to use young adult fiction as a springboard for memorable lessons, meaningful reflection, and critical literary examination.

This method gives students the opportunity to work from their personal gifts and relate to the curriculum in new ways. Our approach uses visual art and both written and spoken reflection to draw out personal responses to the literature to connect the stories to their lives and circumstances.

Program Format:

  • The program starts with a half day introductory workshop with classroom teachers outlining the goals, processes, and expectations of the program.

  • Guild staff with meet with teachers to discuss individual plans for addressing classroom dynamics, classroom curriculum, recommended books and creative processes

  • 8 sessions of team teaching per teacher in the classroom with Guild staff

  • Program concludes with a half day “wrap-up” meeting with teachers where participating teachers introduce this technique to other staff members.