• Hello,

    My name is Andrew Winkel, and I am one of two seventh-grade English/language arts teachers at Bradley Central Middle School in Bradley, Illinois.

    I have taught middle-school language arts at Bradley Central for 21 years.

    It's not difficult to be successful in my class if you can remember one guiding principle: 


    Another trait that is essential to be successful is GRIT. Reading and writing require thinking, and it's always easier to not read or not write than to perform either task, so being able to control your impulsivity, to demonstrate grittiness, is an absolutely essential trait. 

    In class, we focus on reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and even some presentations; we read fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We also cover a ton of territory. A sample of my notes from the 2020-21 school year includes the following:


    • Bradbury, Ray. “There Will Come Soft Rains” (short story)
    • Kipling, Rudyard. “Rikki-tikki-tavi” (short story)
    • Paterson, Katherine. “The Last Dog” (short story)
    • Peck, Richard. A Long Way from Chicago (novel)
    • Philbrick, Rodman. Freak the Mighty (novel)
    • Shetterly, Will. “Brian and the Aliens” (short story)


    • Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth (nonfiction book)
    • Grabianowski, Ed. “How the Uncanny Valley Works” (nonfiction article)
    • Guizzo, Eric. “Me, Myself, and My Android Twin” (nonfiction article)


    • Gourley, Catherine. “Lov’d Alone: The Story of Edgar A. Poe” (play)
    • Serling, Rod. The Monsters are Due on Maple Street (script)


    • Angelou, Maya. “The Human Family” (poem)
    • Baker, Harry. “59” (poem)
    • Baker, Harry. “Paper People” (poem)
    • Baker, Harry. “The Sunshine Kid” (poem)
    • Blake, William. “The Tyger” (poem)
    • Brooks, Gwendolyn. “We Real Cool” (poem)
    • Clifton, Lucille. “won’t you celebrate with me” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “Budapest” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “Forgetfulness” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “Some Days” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “The Country” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “The Dead” (poem)
    • Collins, Billy. “To My Favorite Seventeen-year-old High School Girl” (poem)
    • Frost, Robert. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (poem)
    • Marshall, Kioni. “Scraps” (poem)
    • Noyes, Alfred. “The Highwayman” (poem)
    • Poe, Edgar Alan. “Annabel Lee” (poem)
    • Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. “Casey at the Bat” (poem)
    • Whitman, Walt. “O Captain! My Captain!” (poem)
    • Williams, William Carlos. “The Locust Tree in Flower” (poem)
    • Williams, William Carlos. “This is just to Say” (poem)
    • Williams, William Carolos. “Between Walls” (poem)

    And the above was from a year when the schedule was shortened because of COVID, so it's fair to expect more from a full schedule. I do change things up each year, so while the above serves as an example of what we might read in class, it's not necessarily a road map of what we will encounter. And the above doesn't include grammar or vocabulary activities.