Encouraging Inclusivity: Using Multimedia to Push Comfort Zones and Create Risk Taking Opportunities

Some Teaching Moments at NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English)’s 2018 Convention – Houston, November 15-18


This year, NCTE’s convention will be meeting in Houston Texas and “Raising Student Voices” with be its main theme as teachers, educators, and academics discuss how to help students find, raise, and use their voices as they interact and impact the world around them.


My colleague, Talia Hurwich and I are lucky enough to be participating on three panels this year and we hope if you’re in the area you’ll come join us. Over the next few blogs, I’ll share what we’re going to talk about but briefly, here’s where we’ll be:

  • Panel #1: Using Illustrated Texts to Showcase Struggles and Create Safe Spaces. Friday, November 16th 9:30-10:45 AM, Room 330-B.

  • Panel #2 The Representation Book Shelf: Building a More Diverse Comics Classroom. Friday, November 16th 12:30-1:45 PM, Room 380 - B

  • Panel #3: Encouraging Inclusivity: Using Multimedia to Push Comfort Zones and Create Risk Taking Opportunities. Saturday, November 17th, 8:00-9:15 AM, Room 370 - C

  • Here’s an overview of the third panel, Encouraging Inclusivity: Using Multimedia to Push Comfort Zones and Create Risk Taking Opportunities. If you can’t make it, feel free to contact me with questions/comments/requests for handouts.

Lessons involve risk-taking. Based on past experiences, students are more or less willing to do so. Incorporating multimodal resources provides opportunities for all kinds of students to take risks and more comfortably engage. We detail multimodal and kinesthetic activities to inspire, motivate, and create 'safer' environments.


In this panel educators Meryl Jaffe, Talia Hurwich, and Adam Kullberg will be joined by authors Tillie Walden (Spinning) and Duncan Tonatiuh (Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight) as we discuss how we as teachers and facilitators can be more inclusive, creating a more diverse syllabus in terms of content and pedagogy (i.e., teaching materials). We then address how to help students push their comfort zones to take risks, encouraging broader, deeper thinking. We’ll discuss how to do this through the use of multimedia texts and resources and through physical exploration using tableau vivant , creating advertisements and slogans promoting passions, and various writing exercises. We also will present a wide selection of graphic novels to help.


If you can’t join us, please contact me I’ll gladly share the work.

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