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.
Writing goes all ways: forwards, backwards, sideways, over there, and over here. In fact, the only piece of the writing process that occurs at a set point in time is publishing.
Do you ever see something like this when grading literary analysis essays?
“Frankenstein’s monster says, ‘If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!’” This shows that the monster wants to cause fear.”
TeachWriting.org has announced a new writing project for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the collaborators at TeachWriting are creating DAILY WRITING PROMPTS via their Facebook Page.
Using photography is an excellent way to inspire writing. Photos can be used to prompt personal narratives, persuasive essays, creative pieces, op-eds, thematic analysis, and more!
Creative writing is the art of constructing original ideas by synthesizing literary elements and techniques to communicate an overarching theme about life. Oftentimes in our English classes, we spend more time on the deconstruction process, analyzing works of art by taking them apart.
A Facebook friend of mine recently posted the following question: “Where can I go online to create an eye-catching poster for my upcoming show?” 99% of the people who responded said Canva.
This fall, a group of English teachers is coming together to share tips, strategies, and lessons for teaching English on the secondary level through Facebook LIVE! This series will take place from August 1-15, and a different English teacher will broadcast every single day.
I will be broadcasting on August 2nd at 9:00pm EST, and I am so excited to share strategies for crafting commentary for literary analysis essays. This is the one essay skill that is a challenge for both students and teachers. Hopefully, we can come together to share ideas for how to target this writing skill from the very beginning of the school year!
Be sure to follow the Bespoke ELA Facebook Page so that you will be alerted when I go LIVE.
Here is the lineup of topics and presenters for the ELA LIVE Series. Click on each presenter to go directly to that person's Facebook page for their FB LIVE broadcast! We hope to see you in the comments.
Blendspace.com (now known as TES Teach) is an online tool through the education curriculum company TES.com. It is a tool that is used for collecting and bundling information for a multitude of uses.
The beginning of the school year is an important time to assess the writing skill levels of new students in our English classes. One way to do this is to assign a diagnostic essay in order to "diagnose" each student's writing level.
LiveBinders.com is a website that enables the user to create virtual three-ring binders of digital files including, but not limited to, YouTube videos, Google docs, DropBox files, images, websites, text files, and much more!
The term “struggling” writer really applies to every single human being. We have all struggled with writing at some point and will continue to struggle moving forward. The difference between successful writers and unsuccessful writers (“success” being defined as students who turn in completed essays that convey meaning effectively versus those who do not) lies in being able to work through frustration.
Oftentimes when people grimace at the thought of “English class,” it’s because of their haunting memories of failed writing assignments.
I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time working in meaningful reflection at the end of the school year. And meaningful reflection during the school year is nearly impossible. As soon as I finish one unit, we are immediately onto the next and then the next and then the next.
Essay shaping sheets are essentially templates for writing that guide students through the writing process. A shaping sheet can be as small as a sentence template or as large as an entire paragraph or even essay. But are these tools helpful, or do they ultimately hinder student development? Well, the million-dollar answer to this question is… it depends.