Engaging Literacy for the Big Kids

4-Part Series

August 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2022



August 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2022

School Teacher


9:30 - 11:30 am Central Time

Empty Classroom

Sessions Occurs on Zoom





Recorded Access Until November 30, 2022

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When it comes to meaningful literacy instruction for the Big Kids, engagement is the key! For years, Dr. Katie McKnight has worked with teachers around the country to learn and develop the most effective models of literacy instruction for students in grades 4-12. During this 4-part series, Dr. McKnight will share tools and strategies that teachers can implement in their classrooms to draw students into learning and to allow them to become stronger readers, writers, and communicators.


Katie McKnight

Dr. Katie McKnight

Dr. Katherine McKnight is a dynamic presenter, dedicated teacher, and award-winning author. Dr. McKnight began her career in education over 30 years ago as a middle school and high school English and social studies teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.  In addition to speaking at professional development conferences, she is a regular consultant in schools and classrooms in the United States and Internationally.

Dr. McKnight’s 15-year distinguished university career culminated in her assignment to Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University.   She is the founder of Engaging Learners, an educational company built around her successful Literacy and Learning Center model. Her work in educational leadership, literacy and student skill development has resulted in unprecedented academic achievement in many struggling schools.


Dr. McKnight has received several awards for her publications and teaching at the university level. She has authored 20 books that support educational strategies to engage all learners. Her titles include the best-selling The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers, winner of the 2013 Teachers’ Choice Award and Literacy & Learning Centers for the Big Kids, grades 4-12.  Most recently, she founded Morning Meeting webinars during the COVID 19 pandemic as a weekly forum to bring together educators to engage in professional learning.

Session Details


Session 1

Kids Love to Argue: Teaching Evidence Based Writing in the Disciplines/Content Areas

Teenagers love to argue. Effective argumentation is an intellectual process using evidence to support a claim. Put these two facts together in the right way, and you have a recipe for excellent evidence-based writing! In this two-hour professional learning opportunity, Dr. Katie McKnight, will equip you to teach your students (with classroom ready activities), how to go beyond the basics of good argumentation and help you apply these skills across the disciplines.


Session 3

Hands On Grammar and Vocabulary

Draw your students into the power of language and help them make the connection between abstract grammatical concepts, academic vocabulary and concrete writing experiences. Dr. Katie McKnight, renowned author, speaker, and adolescent literacy specialist, shares lessons that actively involve students to internalize language concepts far more readily than traditional worksheets. In this session, receive over 20 ready-to-use grammar and vocabulary lessons that you can immediately add to your teaching repertoire. This session is based on Dr. McKnight’s Hands on Grammar (2nd edition).


Session 2

Help!  My Students Don't Understand What They're Reading! Strategies to Promote Comprehension in the Disciplines

So often, our teenage students can decode text but as soon as we ask them to dig more deeply, we find that they are unable to do so.  Understanding the author's message, the main idea, or theme is oftentimes challenging.  Our students can "read (meaning decode)" but are unable to COMPREHEND the text.  Join Dr. Katie McKnight, for this 2-hour professional learning opportunity to learn classroom-ready strategies that all content area/discipline area teachers can use to build student comprehension.

Students During Break

Session 4

Literacy & Learning Centers™


Elementary schools have long used learning centers (also known as “rotations”) but middle and high school teachers have unique challenges. In response, Dr. McKnight worked with 100s of teachers with classrooms like yours to develop collaborative learning centers designed specifically for grade 4-12 learners. In this professional learning experience, participants will briefly explore the foundational research that prompted the creation of the LLC model for big kids. The majority of the session will focus on the structure, implementation, classroom management to get your students engaged while they develop literacy skills and deep dive into content subjects.  Additional resources and learning activities will be shared with participants! This session is based on Dr. McKnight’s two books: Literacy & Learning Centers for the Big Kids: Building Literacy Skills and Content Knowledge for Grades 4-12 (2nd ed) and Literacy & Learning Centers: Content Area and Disciplinary Literacy Tools for Grades 4-12 (Volume 1)