Writing

Use prewriting activities to improve writing instruction.

11 Pre writing Strategies (and how to use them)

There are many prewriting strategies you can use to help your students get ready to write. Here is a list of 11 and how to use them. Teaching writing can be a daunting task, but by breaking the writing process up, you’re students will be more successful. The best place to start writing instruction is […] Read more…

fun ways to practice descriptive writing

Five Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing

As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!”  Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge.  Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try. 1. Do they understand what you mean by descriptive writing? (and can they find it?) Here is where a mentor text will help.  […] Read more…

Engage middle school students in narrative writing by using short videos. Click through to learn how to effectively use commercial, pixar shorts, and TV shows to get your students thinking about narrative elements.

Teach Narrative Writing with Videos

Video and narrative writing go hand in hand. As you prepare your students to begin writing narratives, you’ll want to teach them the elements of the genre.  But before they even put pen to paper, you can use videos to teach narrative writing.  Why? We are surrounded by stories.   Commercials, TV shows, movies, video games, […] Read more…

Teaching sonnets provides students with literary analysis and critical thinking skills!

Tips for Teaching a Sonnet to your Students

The granddaddy of poems:  the sonnet.  Of all the poetry forms we can teach, it’s the most intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be! Teaching the sonnet is challenging, but a great way for students to practice critical thinking skills. Let’s dive in! What’s to love about sonnets? Sonnets provide the “whole enchilada” for poetry […] Read more…

How to teach weather poems

How to write weather poems

Why will your students love writing weather poems? There is one thing we can agree on…the weather outside our classroom windows can be fascinating! No matter the time of year, the weather can be a source of distraction (“I see a snowflake!”) or inspiration. Use what’s happening outside your classroom to engage students in meaningful […] Read more…

how to use rafts to teach writing

Why RAFTs encourage creative writing

Use RAFT prompts engage students in creative writing responses to engage students in writing that is exciting and imaginative. All writing should be creative — no matter what the subject. But, too often the prompts we provide our students are dull. No wonder we’re nodding off as we grade! By using RAFT as a formula […] Read more…

Decoupage a Classroom “Author’s Chair”

Decoupage a boring stool or chair to create an author’s chair that will give your students a special place to sit and share their writing. Here’s how: A few summers ago I made this stool for my classroom.  My students loved it but were only allowed to use it as the “author’s chair” when they […] Read more…

Learn how to teach blackout poetry.

How to Teach Blackout Poetry

Looking for a fun poetry activity? This will guide you on how to teach blackout poetry — and why you should! You know those books on your shelf that are falling to pieces? Grab ’em! You’re going to love using them for blackout poetry! What is blackout poetry? Blackout poetry is a type of “found” […] Read more…

Here are ideas to help students get excited about research. Lesson plans and ideas that will get you started.

How to Get Your Students Excited about Research

Research should be fun!  Yet it often involves restricted topics, rules, and requirements that can limit a student’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm.   Encourage students to follow their questions by implementing simple, small research activities about topics they are curious about. Create a Research Notebook I loved making  upcycled notebooks, and I decided to use […] Read more…

Looking for quick ways to engage students in writing arguments? Here are quick lessons and activities to get started.

How to teach argument writing

Ready to start teaching argumentative writing? Arguments and middle school students go hand in hand! Looking for essay topics and ideas to help your students? Read on! What is an argument? That seems like a silly question, but ask your students and you’ll be surprised at the responses you get! What you really want to […] Read more…

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