Want to hear the story about the most embarrassing moment of my life?  My students sure did.  I tell that story, much to the delight of my fifth graders, to teach a way to approach plot in narrative writing. Stories are powerful instructional tools, and as humans, our brains are wired to respond to them. Storytelling, which can teach us about ourselves, about possibilities, and about culture, is such a powerful learning tool that it is even being used to teach robots.

Though cultural literacy is tricky to teach to middle schoolers, cyber resources—perfect for...

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