Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Best of the Best: Real World Writing with the Company Project

Students are all types.  Some are into reading, others like to analyze and use that to get through literature.  Some are college bound and understand the concept of being “well-rounded.”  Then there are the others.  They may be college-bound, but … Continue reading

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6 Strategies to Survive Teaching Poetry

I’m not a big poetry fan.  Just like I’m not a big fan of fantasy novels, professional basketball games or anything coconut.  But as an English teacher, it’s kind of expected to include teaching poetry somewhere in the curriculum.  I … 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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“You Knew Teaching Had Low Pay”

Sometimes, a teacher might mention their low pay.  One of the most common responses is, “Well, you knew what you were getting into when you became a teacher.” Wait.  Let’s look at this. When I was 18, I knew that … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Secondary Writing, Teaching, Teaching Ideas, Uncategorized | 1 Comment