For students, MLA format can feel like another rigid set of rules for writing with reasons unknown. For teachers, it can be tear-your-hair-out frustrating to plan engaging and hands-on activities that teach proper formatting, works cited pages, and parenthetical citations. As a teacher, I know how challenging teaching MLA (and even APA) can be, and I want you to know I’m here to help! In another post , I address the challenges of teaching both MLA and APA; but here, I want to provide some insight specifically into teaching MLA formatting for the secondary English/ Language Arts classroom. I’d also like to highlight several product pairings that are absolutely perfect and ready to roll out with little prep. I hope you find that they free up some of your precious and finite time, busy teacher! What’s involved with teaching MLA format? The main components of MLA include using direct quotes and paraphrases, documenting sources, and specific formatting guidelines including headers, headings...
It’s likely you’ve heard of bell ringers or have even incorporated some form of them into your own classroom routine. It’s also likely you completed them as a student when you were in school. Whether you’re new to them or a bell-ringer pro, I hope you can take even a small nugget here back to your own classroom! What are Bell Ringers? Typically, bell ringers (or bell work) are short, bite-sized activities students complete independently (and quietly) in the first 5-10 minutes of class. They usually involve some small task to get them going and reoriented to your class. Why Bell Ringers? Bell ringers are great for engaging students with the day’s topics and objectives while also allowing them time to settle. For teachers, this is a great way to start class off right. Students sit down and complete the bell ringer while you use this time to take attendance, make sure your remote learners are “present,” set up your lessons, and any of the other 20-some tasks you need to accomplish. Bell-R...
Have you ever heard a student say, “Why do we have to learn parts of speech? We already learned this in elementary school!” and then you look at their writing and see that it’s clear they don’t remember much of what they learned? I imagine you could actually apply to this many other skills taught in elementary school. As secondary-level teachers, we expect our students to come to us possessing and having mastered a set number of skills, such as recognizing and correctly using parts of speech. Here’s the thing, though. Yes, they learned it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reviewed and even retaught at the secondary level. Tips For Teaching Parts of Speech Here are a couple of tips I’ve picked up along the way to help you figure out how to incorporate parts of speech instruction, activities, and assessments into your lesson plans. Read here on why I think it’s so important to teach and review parts of speech at the secondary level. Teaching the Parts of Speech Tip #1: Chunk it Out...
Teaching poetry this month? Whether you are looking for more ways to gear up for National Poetry Month or projects to make poetry fun , I’ve got you covered. Here is a look at five of my favorite teaching lessons and activities for teaching poetry! Sticky Note Poetry Analysis This sticky note poetry analysis teaching resource includes everything you need to teach your next poetry unit. This poetry teaching unit includes an instructional teaching presentation for direct instruction, suggested poems to teach, and plenty of hands-on and engaging poetry analysis organizers. Poetry Analysis Task Cards Incorporate these poetry analysis task cards in your next poetry teaching unit. These task cards can be used with any poem of your choosing, and there are 40 unique task cards. These poetry task cards also make the perfect addition to a poetry station activity in the classroom. Poetry Analysis Mini Flip Book Your students will love creating this poetry analysis mini flip book . As your stu...
While I am a huge advocate of assigning writing to students at the beginning of the school year , middle school ELA and high school English teachers can assign narrative writing at any point in the year. Teaching students about narrative writing and assigning a narrative writing project helps students work on their creativity, while also focusing on important literary elements. I explain to my students that just like the short stories that we read and analyze in class, they also need to create a setting that enhances the lot. Just like the short stories we read and analyze in class, they also need to fully develop the protagonist and antagonist. Once students see this connection, they become stronger readers and writers. To help with this concept, my narrative writing teaching unit helps walk students step-by-step throughout the process. Here are 10 narrative writing prompts to consider using in your classroom. Personal Narrative Prompts When I choose one of these personal narrative ...
Teaching students how to write argumentative papers can be a challenging task. From teaching students how to include and refute the counterclaim to ensure students find the most relevant evidence to support their claims, teachers have their work cut out for them. When I teach students how to write argument essays , I like to introduce challenging concepts to my students using ideas and topics they are familiar with. By doing this, I help them understand more complex ideas in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Teaching Argument Essay Writing Step 1: Develop the Claim One of the first steps in helping students write an argument essay is developing the claim. Students need to understand that a claim is a debatable statement that they can back up and support using evidence and reasoning. Once students have a good idea about their essay's claim, they can start writing their essay. To teach students what a claim is, I'll write a series of statements on the board, and we will have a...