Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

How to Waste Students’ Time with Binders and Notebooks

Binders, notebooks, interactive notebooks, portfolios and other tools can provide a method to showcase student learning, collect reference materials and teach organization. Or they can be a time-consuming process that fails to do more than provide a sporadic grade. Here’s … Continue reading

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Activities to Teach “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka.

It’s a cultural reference.  It relates to a sudden and unexpected change– something teenagers can usually relate to.  It’s an odd and dystopic story.  Any one of these things make “The Metamorphosis” a good choice.  Even if the language is … Continue reading

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Useful End of the Year Activities

The end of the year can bring special challenges.  Students are wearing down, distracted by summer, or pulled away by testing or other special events.  Seniors may get out early, which can disrupt any class with a senior.  It may … Continue reading

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Skip the Book Report! Analyze and Create Instead!

After finishing a novel reading, whether whole group or individual, it’s great to have an activity to wrap up.  While book reports and other retelling projects, are a common choice, especially when dealing with multiple or student selected books, they … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, Fun Projects, Secondary Education, Secondary Writing, Teaching, Teaching Ideas | 1 Comment

Skip the Book Report: Try these Creative Projects Instead

Book Reports area  common sight, still, in many classrooms, including secondary classes.  They’re easy to implement, for both whole-class reading, but also for the increase in small-group or individual book choice selections. In fact, book reports (and their close cousin, … Continue reading

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5 Activities for Studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech

Most secondary students are familiar with the speech, or at least the main idea, by the time they are in a secondary ELA classroom.  And that’s actually an advantage.  That means that additional study can scaffold on what they already … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Survive the Days Before Thanksgiving Break (And Still Engage in Learning)

Maybe you’ve managed to keep the momentum of learning and engagement up to this point.  You may have even survived Halloween— perhaps with some timely creepy stories.  But now, it’s November.  And there are breaks around the corner, tempting students … Continue reading

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Activities for Teaching “The Monkey’s Paw.”

This short story about wishes-gone-wrong is a fun creepy story for Halloween.  It can also work well as a study of wishes at any time of the year! Here are some activities for engaging and examining the story: Write a … Continue reading

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Activities for Teaching The Raven

What a fun poem of darkness and madness.  Maybe those should go together, but I do find this tale of a midnight dreary has high engagement, in spite of the length and language.  There are a lot of activities to … Continue reading

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Activities for Teaching “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (Now part of a Secondary ELA Seasonal Blog Hop!)

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a ghostly story that commonly shows up in classrooms around Halloween.  There are a lot of ways to work with the text in the classroom.  It’s possible to stretch this story over a week … Continue reading

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