Whether you are teaching middle school ELA or high school English in a virtual or hybrid setting, there are many uncertainties this school year. One thing for sure is that having teaching resources readily available in Google digital and PDF print versions have saved me some sanity. Here is a look at my top money-saving print and digital secondary ELA teaching resources. These middle school ELA and high school English teaching bundles include both the Google digital and traditional print formats for seamless teaching. Essay Writing Teaching Unit I created this essay writing teaching resource for high school students who are still working on mastering how to write an essay. Even though I created it for high school students, it also works well for middle school ELA students who are beginning to learn how to write essays. In this unit, students learn how to write essays with a step-by-step and paragraph-by-paragraph approach. This teaching unit consists of three mini-lessons: how to writ...
One of the most effective ways to teach students how to become stronger writers is to break down the writing process, only focus on one specific area at a time, and provide students with consistent practice. In this blog post, I will share tips on teaching writing and some of my favorite teaching resources for teaching students how to write essays. Teaching Writing Tip #1: Break Down the Essay One of the most helpful strategies for teaching students how to write essays is to break down the essay paragraph-by-paragraph. In doing so, the act of writing an essay will be less daunting for students. In my Mastering the Essay teaching resource, I break down the essay writing process for students paragraph-by-paragraph. With direct instruction and small group activities, students learn about how to write an effective thesis statement, introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion. This essay writing teaching resource is ideal for middle school and high school students. It includes an editable...
One of my favorite units to teach is my short story unit. Teaching students about the elements of fiction and literary devices is so much fun. Helping students closely read the stories and analyze the stories on a deeper level is also extremely rewarding. When I teach short stories, I typically focus on just one short story a week. We read the short story, go back and reread it, and really spend some time with it. Here is a look at how I teach short stories in my secondary ELA classroom. Getting Started with Teaching Short Stories The first thing to do when starting a short story unit is to teach students about essential elements of fiction including plot, characterization, conflict, setting, etc. Once students have a fundamental understating of fiction elements, I like to engage my students in an elements of fiction escape room activity to review these elements. Since I teach high school and most of these elements are a review, I usually quickly review the elements of fiction and the...
A great way to get students writing in middle school or high school English class is by assigning a memoir project. When thinking about writing a memoir, people get nervous, especially students, as they will have to let down their walls and share a portion of their lives. Also, it is hard to remember fragments of memories because it will be a challenge to recall significant moments in their lives. Though it is important to remind students that they do not have to share memories that will be uncomfortable to write, they can choose mundane memories like a walk to school. By writing about these small moments, students will learn how to remember and become comfortable writing the critical ones. But before writing, teachers will need to explain the importance of senses and interviewing skills since students will need to interview various people to help them recall a memory. For example, Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, interviewed her mother to recount their lives while s...
One of the most significant factors of a successful classroom novel study is engagement. If students are engaged in the text, they are more likely to enjoy reading, comprehend the story, and look at the story's content through a critical lens. I try my best to engage students in our whole-class novels by introducing the novel in a way that creates excitement and curiosity. I want my students to want to read. Here is a look at three different ways to introduce a classroom novel. Preview the Novel Give the students some time in class with the novel to preview the novel. When I have my students preview the novel, I usually give them about 10 minutes in class to look over and read the front and back covers, read the first few paragraphs, look up information about the author. Usually, to give my students some more structure for this activity, I will ask them several questions. Students are free to work in small groups answering these questions and discussing the book. What do you think ...
Teaching middle school and high school students editing skills will allow them to fine-tune their work effectively. That helps shape them to be strategic and adaptive writers as they will figure out different ways to write a sentence. I have students work on their editing skills by including a peer editing day with every major writing assignment. When I plan a peer editing day , I use a peer editing station approach to help guide students through the process. However, merely including peer editing in the classroom is not enough. There are other teaching writing strategies, such as explicitly focusing on practicing editing, to help students hone their skills. By practicing editing, students will start small by doing it with a partner, solo, or class, and then they will do their write-up. But, before starting any exercise, your class should create a template of punctuation marks. For instance, have students fold a piece of paper vertical and write periods, commas, etc., on the left side...