It’s not the most popular activity in my classroom, but I believe teaching close reading is a vital skill for my students to feel comfortable and confident in their ability to closely read, understand, and analyze a text. If you’re looking to bring your students to the next level in reading comprehension and analysis, read on for tips and tricks. What is close reading? First, it’s important to know that close reading is not a summary of the main points and it’s not a personal response. It’s actually more in-depth than that. When you close read, you should be focused on analysis and interpretation. Students should pick apart the work. This is the time to uncover layers, make inferences, and look for specific textual evidence. It’s more than a reader response. It is understanding what the author is doing. Why were these words chosen? Why described in this way? Why is this interesting (or not)? Notice that, while it is important that students acknowledge the need for tapping into prio...
With the end of the school year approaching, it’s time to begin planning that last unit or final activity. Here is a list of 5 different high school English and middle school ELA units to consider teaching at the end of the school year. Synthesis Writing Students are very passionate about high-interest topics, and one of the best ways to harness that energy is to teach a synthesis writing unit. These synthesis argument essays cover topics that students are interested in and help walk students through the synthesis process. The Research Paper Assigning a final research paper is one of the quintessential final units for a secondary ELA classroom. This research paper teaching unit includes everything you could need to teach the research process and assign a research paper to students. research paper teaching unit   Future College and Career Research Paper Before sending students out for the summer, one great way to wrap up the year is to assign either a future college or a future career...
When it comes to teaching middle school and high school English, here are ten lessons to teach in 2022. Thesis Statment Writing   One of the most essential skills a student can learn in a high school English classroom is how to write a well-developed thesis statement. Once students master thesis statement writing, their essays improve tremendously. This thesis statement lesson includes an instructional presentation (that includes good and bad examples) and student materials to make teaching thesis statement writing easy. Thesis Statement Writing Unit Logical Fallacies   Teaching students about logical fallacies is a crucial element in my argumentation unit. By teaching students about logical fallacies, we are teaching students how to better read and analyze information and also how to write stronger arguments. This logical fallacies lesson plan includes a logical fallacies instructional slide and student materials. Logical Fallacies Teaching Unit Colons and Semicolons Teaching stude...
It's a new year, a new semester, and a new opportunity to connect with other secondary English teachers! I joined other middle and high school teachers in a GIVEAWAY for ELA! Enter any or all of the three opportunities below to win incredible prizes. All three contests close at the end of the day on Sunday, January 17th , so don't wait to enter! Prize #1: These gift cards were brought to you by the following middle or high school ELA teachers. Be sure to browse their stores as you prep for second semester! a Rafflecopter giveaway Prize #2:  To see the full list of the items included in the prize pack, click here . Enter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway Prize #3:  To see the full list of the items included in the prize pack, click here . Enter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway Good Luck, and Happy New Year! ...
Close reading is an integral and essential component of the common core standards. Close reading asks students to not only read a text for basic comprehension and understanding, but to really read the text, dig deeply into the text, and make connections with the text. This can be a difficult and daunting task for a generation that grew up bubbling a scantron and moving on to the next task. 1. Don't rush them. When my students closely read a text, I make sure to not rush them. We as educators have to keep in mind that this is their first exposure to the text. We can't take for granted that they will understand every word, metaphor, and rhetorical device in the text. Close reading is a process that takes time, patience, and multiple readings. There is no such thing as reading a sentence, a paragraph, or a composition too many times. To begin the close reading process, I like to teach my students how to annotate text. My Annotation Bookmarks will help keep students...
Today’s students have the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. Everything about anything they could ever possibly what to know is just a click, swipe, or tap away; and yet, it seems as if so many students are disconnected from worldly issues. When we have students who are #smh at non-issues (like who is dating whom and who is wearing what) and declaring #fml when they encounter the smallest, ever-so-minute first-world issues, we as educators are faced with a monumental task: helping our students become more aware of the world around them. To do this, I look to outside reading sources. After reading articles about some of the very real hardships that others around the world deal with on a daily basis, I notice that my students complain a little less about not having the newest something or other. With the implementation of common core, many secondary teachers are including more nonfiction text into their curriculum. Finding authentic, engaging nonfiction text that actuall...