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…

how to set up and manage distance learning

Distance learning: making it work

Schools are turning to distance learning to help keep students learning and progressing during the corona virus. While distance learning can be a bit intimidating if you’re new to it and are suddenly forced to make changes to the way you teach, that doesn’t have to be the case. This post will help you get […] Read more…

These 12 poems are perfect for middle school students. The post includes lesson plan ideas and a free poetry discussion starter.

12 Poems that Speak to Middle Schoolers

Here are 12 poems that seem to be written specifically for middle school students.  These poems will resonate with your students! Elementary teachers have Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein; high school teachers have T.S. Elliot and William Butler Yeats, but what about middle school?  12 poems that speak to middle school students: 1. “I’m Nobody! […] 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…

Looking for ways to teach critical thinking skills? Here are ways to use propaganda to help students practice. Free lesson plan included.

Propaganda and Critical Thinking

Propaganda surrounds us. And teaching our students to be critical thinkers is more important than ever.  One (fun!) way to do this is to teach about how propaganda is used in popular culture.  Examples are everywhere! Let’s get started: Start with propaganda they know Just by asking students to match the company and jingle or […] Read more…

Host a scrabble tournament with your class.

How to Host a Scrabble Tournament for Your Class

Looking for a fun way to engage students?  Try hosting a Scrabble Tournament. Great for pre-Christmas craziness, year-end, or before break excitement. Here’s how to do it: First steps Your students may or may not know how to play Scrabble.  Those who have played “Words with Friends,” “Bananagrams” or similar games will catch on quickly. […] Read more…

How to use student self assessments

Student Self-Assessment Strategies

Are you teaching your students self-assessment skills? Teaching this life skill is so important in helping our students gauge their growth. This post takes you through many ways to teach this. Let’s get started! When should students self-assess? Looking back at our accomplishments over time is so gratifying! We can bring that same joy of […] 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…

1 2 3 4 11