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This critical ethnographic project draws upon literature on imagination, critical literacy, and theatre to explore a sixth-grade class’s participation in a critical literacy and creative drama program. Through examples from the storytelling practices of the Neighborhood Bridges program, I outline how students and teachers (including a teaching artist) imagined, co-created, and revised storylines in their classroom; this collaboration provides an alternative to the common narrative of the constrained urban public school classroom. The resulting imaginative acts of resistance: 1) encourage and empower urban elementary students to enact relevant, collaborative community in their classrooms; 2) engage meaningful—not just functional—literacies; 3) ask students to question and to push boundaries while acknowledging inherent tensions and contradictions in this process; and 4) build community collaborations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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