Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

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

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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

Posted in Fun Projects, Holidays, Short Stories, Teaching, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Stories with Dreams

One way to encourage students to think deeper is to have them make connections across texts.  Building thematic units using unusual pairings based around a shared idea is one way to encourage that thinking.  It also allows opportunities to compare … Continue reading

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Stories about Science Gone Wrong

As with any theme, it can unify stories that might otherwise not be grouped together.  By pairing less obvious stories, teachers can guide students in examining deeper meaning and comparing texts beyond superficial traits.  This can be a good basis … Continue reading

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