Writer’s block is real. It can be the brick wall that stands between success and failure. And it can be the force that prevents students from completing writing assignments.
Student choice is a cornerstone of student engagement. When students can take charge of their learning and can pursue topics of interest, they will be more engaged and more inclined to do the work, and their work will become more meaningful. We’ve all heard this time and again, but the practicality of doing this in today’s secondary public school classroom can be quite a challenge because of standardized testing. Depending on where you teach and how you’re evaluated for your teaching position, testing may be the most important evaluative component, or not matter at all.
There are lots of creative ways to facilitate reflection at the end of the school year. Integrating novelty into any lesson makes it more interesting, and the same concept applies to reflection questions.
Being able to decipher the tone of a piece of writing is crucial to being able to decipher the thematic message of a text. This is absolutely true for analyzing poetry.
One-pagers are all the rage these days. When students process their learning in this fun visual style, the results are powerful.
Love it or hate it, poetry is unavoidable in the secondary ELA classroom. I, for one, am a HUGE lover of poetry but fully acknowledge that it can be annoyingly cryptic at times. Reading poetry reminds us that not all texts are meant to be beat "with a hose to find out what [they] really mean" like in the Billy Collins poem "Introduction to Poetry."
I am a HUGE fan of Doug Savage's Savage Chickens "comics." Savage Chickens is a single-frame comic drawn on a sticky note that illustrates the life of chickens whose experiences reveal the "savage" truths of the human existence.
You’ll be kicked out of college! You’ll never be able to have a well-defended argument! It's just dishonest! Each of my writing units begins with sharp warnings about plagiarism.
The difficult aspect of selecting a film study is finding one that is age-appropriate, content-appropriate, and still high quality in its thematic content and plot line.
In this lesson, the students first read a series news article written about Jack the Ripper from The London Times, late 1800s, and they identified the tone of the articles.
Valentine's Day is a polarizing holiday-- people either love it or hate it. But no matter how you feel about the holiday, Valentine's Day provides an opportunity for students to focus on the most powerful emotion behind literature and art: LOVE.
As we kickoff 2018, the media is already reporting upon key issues that will define the new year. These issues include women's rights, sexual harassment, DACA, the tax code, healthcare, unions, prescription drug abuse, cryptocurrency, and many others.
Running an effective writing workshop can be a challenge on its own, but there are some supplies that can keep the writing process organized and effective for you and your students. Here, I've compiled a list of my essential writing workshop supplies to get you through the rest of the year!
The Christmas holiday season is the most popular retail season of the year. Companies hire ad agencies to compete against all of the sales of the season in order to attract attention to their products and services.
It's the "most wonderful time of the year" once again! Every year, the holiday season inspires new movie ideas, and some of these movies go on to become some of the most beloved films of all time with some of the most well-known movie speeches in film history.
One of the things I feel that I don't take enough time to do is show my appreciation for all of my students and recognize their efforts throughout the year. I find that I spend far more time focusing only on my struggling students rather than recognizing each student's individual journey, success, and growth.
For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to go back to the roots of our celebrated "Turkey Day" to address the fact that the original Thanksgiving had nothing to do with pilgrims or turkeys at all.
In screenwriting (writing for movies and TV), the logline is key to brainstorming story ideas and also selling them or "pitching" them to buyers. Crafting loglines can help the writer to flesh out new plot ideas before writing the entire script. It's much easier to revise the logline rather than an entire hundred page script!
Screenplay writing is a type of writing that we don't really address in secondary English Language Arts. The closest students get to this type of writing is through reading drama. But why is this the case in the 21st century classroom?
Halloween is a season during the school year when we can really engage our students. Secondary students love gothic, horror, and mystery, and Halloween gives us a reason to integrate these literary genres into our curriculums. Halloween provides us an opportunity to target necessary skills with high-interest material.