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.
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."
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!
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.
Book club is now considered to be one of the “best practices” in English Language Arts. Book clubs differ from traditional literary circles in that they are less teacher-directed. The students take on the responsibility of selecting their roles, making their assignments, keeping track of their reading, and much more.