Marypat

Ready to write unit plans? This step-by-step post will help you plan efficient, meaningful units that you'll be able to use year after year! Free planning guide.

Successful Unit and Lesson Planning

Teaching with a unit plan makes your weekly lesson planning a snap.  It also helps you organize and plan your year.  Here are some quick steps to unit planning that will really work! If you’ve already created a year long plan, you’ll use that to pick the unit you want to create.  If your yearlong plan […] Read more…

dystopia novels that students will love

13 Dystopian Novels Your Students Will Love

Dystopian literature remains popular with middle school students, and they can’t seem to get enough of this genre. Books like The Hunger Games or The Giver have been popular since they first hit shelves. But putting aside the most popular books in the genre, what other options do we keep in our library? There’s a lot […] Read more…

cover image for point of view

How to teach point of view

Teaching point of view is fun! There are so many creative ways to teach students how to recognize the three types. Follow these tips for your point of view lessons. What is point of view? There are three types of point of view: first person, second person, and third person perspective. Essentially, point of view […] Read more…

How do book clubs work? Here are tips for creating successful literature circle lessons and activities for your middle school students.

Easy Ways to use Literature Circles in Middle School

Ready to write literature circle lesson plans? This post will guide you through everything you need to know to get started! Whether you call them literature circles or book clubs, this type of reading instruction is a powerful and engaging way to improve reading. Let’s jump in! What are Literature Circles? A literature circle (or […] Read more…

How to use graphic novels to teach reading skills

Making better readers with graphic novels

Reading skills are crucial in middle school. We really have such a short time to get students reading, comprehending, and on level. One way to do that is through graphic novels. Graphic novels have been growing in popularity for a long time, but many teachers tend to shy away from bringing them into the classroom. […] Read more…

How to run successful book talks

How to use Book Talks to Encourage Reading

Books talks are a great way to invigorate reading in your classroom.  Students enjoy talking about the books they’re reading, and this can create a reading “buzz” in your class. Here are the steps to creating successful book talks with your students: What are book talks? Before you launch into them, what are they? Book […] Read more…

How to teach blackout poetry

What is blackout poetry and how to teach it

What is blackout poetry? How can you use it? To start with, it’s poetry that your students will love creating. This guide will show you exactly how to teach blackout poetry — and why you should at it to your poetry writing unit — or as an activity for any time of year. You know […] Read more…

manage missing student assignments with these tips

How to manage late work without going crazy

Late assignments, missing work, partially completed tasks. We all struggle with how to deal with these issues. And, especially at the end of a grading period. Work that you may have assessed weeks ago now appears on your desk. Or, you are chasing after a student to get that last item turned in. And it […] Read more…

Writing hooks and leads examples

Making better writers: write a hook for an essay

Do your students need examples of a hook for an essay? If you’ve ever read a student paper that starts “In this essay, I will…” you know your students need help with hooks. If your students struggle with writing an intro, here are simple strategies and hooks that will make this easier for them. What’s […] Read more…