Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

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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Personal Writing Topics for Back to School

Personal writing is a good way to get to know students a little better (and safer for certain students than many ice breaker activities.)  Another bonus to using personal writing at the start of a year or semester is using … Continue reading

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How to Differentiate With Literary Essay Writing

There they sit.  Some twenty to thirty students, just finished with a piece of literature and ready to receive instructions for writing a literary essay.  While, in theory, they should all be writing at or around grade-level, in fact, students … Continue reading

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5 Back to School Activities– with an ELA Twist

I enjoy getting to know my students.  But I also feel pressure to make sure all activities are learning something.  My time is limited– and in the alternative classroom, there was little or no homework: assigning it was pointless because … Continue reading

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5 Strategies for Teaching Summer School

Aside from the fact that summer school inevitably fell during the 20 most beautiful days in July, I rather enjoy teaching summer school.  I’ve always been big on second chances.  Plus, I tried to make it as fun for me … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Make Students HATE Poetry (and 5 Things They’ll Like)

Follow this sure fire method to make sure your students come to hate studying poetry in class, or better, reading it at all! Continue reading

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Winter Reading for the Secondary Classroom

Even secondary students can enjoy themed assignments.  Not the snow-flake or pumpkin adorned worksheets of primary grades, but themed content done age-appropriately.  It’s much easier to read and imagine winter stories when there is snow on the ground, in my … Continue reading

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5 Activites for Teaching A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a story that tends to fit nicely in the two or three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Depending on the class and the time available, the activities included may vary. But I always … Continue reading

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5 Creepy Short Stories for Halloween

Short stories area  great way to work in different themes or study of different literary devices.  And the holidays can provide some nice tie-ins, even at the secondary level. Here are some of my favorites that fit well around Halloween– … Continue reading

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