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Continuing Education

Curriculum Camp: Developing a Curricular Imagination for Grades 6-8

Date: 9:00am PDT August 18, 2014 Location: Ockley Green/Chief Joseph School 6031 N Montana Ave, Portland, OR

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Ockley Green/Chief Joseph School 6031 N Montana Ave, Portland, OR

The summer curriculum camp hones teachers’ capacities to create curriculum from the ground up. During this one-week course, teachers build a grade-level unit to use in the upcoming year. Participants will leave this workshop with a completed curriculum unit focused on the teaching of writing.  

This Oregon Writing Project (OWP) course begins with morning demonstration lessons on teaching the writing process, including narrative and essay craft lessons and revision strategies embedded in a historical/literary unit. These lessons are followed by guided development of curriculum, embedding these strategies in novel study, history, or science units presented across content areas.

Working in small groups, teachers have time to research historical background information for their units, find the just-right poem or short story or speech to enhance student understanding. Decisions about topics or pieces of literature are made by teachers who form work groups to fit their needs—either by grade level, content area, school team, small school, or another suitable configuration.

  • The Oregon Writing Project (OWP), is a collaboration program between Lewis & Clark and metropolitan or rural area schools and districts, and offers programs designed to improve the writing of Oregon’s K-12 students and teachers. 

Past participants are saying…

“The curriculum camp always changes my classroom practice. I feel like every year I get better at teaching intentional units that empower and stretch writers. I love that OWP encourages me to imbue all of the curriculum with issues of social justice.”

“The things from this camp have inspired me to reframe old units and approaches — through guided and focused activities, the camp has encouraged me to be more innovative and targeted in my approach.”

“The camp activities have helped me think about making curriculum more relevant and exciting for students. I have also had time to think a great deal about lesson planning and connecting skill building to knowledge building. Of course, we build using Common Core Standards, but the heart of the units beat with justice.”

Course Details & Registration

Dates: Monday-Friday, August 18-22, 2014

Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Instructors: Katharine Johnson, M.A.T., Chrysanthius Lathan, M.Ed.

Continuing education credit: CELA 823, 2 semester hours, $700

For more information and to register, contact Pam Hooten at 503-768-6132 or

About the Instructors

Katharine Johnson teaches middle school at Irvington K-8 in Portland, Oregon. She has taught in grades 1-8 and served as writing coach for several years. Katharine is also co-director of the Oregon Writing Project and active in Rethinking Schools. Katharine received the Ed Elliott Human Rights Award on April 20 from the Oregon Education Association. The Ed Elliott Human Rights Award recognizes contributions and leadership that advocates for social justice to promote quality of access, representation, and opportunity for all. 

Chrysanthius Lathan is a native Portlander. She attended Portland Public Schools, Portland Community College, and Portland State University. As a teacher and a parent of children in Portland Public Schools, she believes in “teaching children with the same expectation that my own will be taught.” Her teaching strengths are in relationship building and writing based on the inquiry of social justice issues that are relevant to the population of students she teaches.  She lives and works in North Portland, along with her family of three daughters, a son, and her husband Joshua.

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