Place-Based Language Arts Curriculum

Children reading outside

As part of a larger grant, Promoting PLACE in Rural Schools, we adapted the previously existing, award-winning CLEAR language arts curriculum for gifted students (Poetry and Fairy Tales and Fiction and Nonfiction) to emphasize students’ connection to place. Specifically, we added literature and exercises that would resonate with rural students’ experiences and help them find more success in the language arts. After achieving positive results with that version of the curriculum in the Promoting PLACE study, we further adapted the curriculum to highlight poetry, fiction, and folklore from the Appalachian region in the hopes that it would inspire Appalachian students and help them feel “seen” as important members of their cultural community.

The units are designed for use with talented students in third- and fourth-grades, but they are suitable for all intermediate elementary grades and can be adapted for use in whole classroom settings. The lessons are carefully aligned with the Common Core State Standards as well as the Virginia Standards of Learning and include opportunities for writing, collaborative learning, and creative projects. Thanks to the generosity of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, all four of the language arts units, Folklore, Poetry, Research, and Fiction, are now available FREE to teachers.

To access the units in the Virginia Tech Library Repository, click on the buttons below. Scroll down to see all the components. If you don’t see them right away, you can enter “folklore,” “poetry,” “fiction,” or “research” into the search bar. Click the gearhead to sort by “title asc.” You can choose “view more” at the bottom to make sure you see all the lessons in each unit.