Rapping with Romeo

TIMELESS AND TIMELY Sarah J. Donovan invited me to post prompts to celebrate APRIL POETRY MONTH.  Here's one from her website:  on ETHICAL ELA. INSPIRATION Many of you who accepted this “Poem A Day” invitation have read plays by William Shakespeare and may even have a favorite. One of my…
Converting Prose to Poetry and Patterning Poems   A challenging but rewarding practice activity for processing reading and writing poetry is transliteration – the act of converting from one genre to another. (Young teens love knowing and using such sophisticated words.) You could give this assignment after reading together Gordon Park’s…

Ignite Writing by Patterning

“There’s nothing new under the sun!” True, but students can be inspired by the old to do something new for themselves. Sounds weird, but that’s exactly what can occur when we invite students to pattern the writing they read.  Students soon learn that close reading, analysis and imitation unleash bursts…

Shakespeare’s Birthday

Happy 455th   Birthday, Will! April 23rd is the day many celebrate the birth of William Shakespeare, one of the more widely read dramatists of all times.This year is his 455th! Prepare your students to understand Elizabethan society a little better. Have a go with your students and have them take…

Women’s History Month

The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” 2019 HONOREES Here's a link with resources to plan lessons to complement those suggested below. What an opportune time to feature the writing of females and to encourage students who are doing research projects to choose women as their subjects.  Consider making this…

Getting to Know Harlem

Expanding Prior Knowledge with a Poem [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="166"] Image Scholastic Publications[/caption] Reading the classic novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison can be more interesting when students understand some of the historical and geographical references.  An assignment that works well is to plan a one-period small group research project based…

COLORS, ARRANGEMENT AND STORIES

Critical Thinking in Colors and Shapes Colors and arrangements can be used evoke different moods, different personalities, and different feelings.  Spend at least five minutes looking closely at this painting, Nine Colors by Ellsworth Kelly.  1.  What do you notice about the colors and arrangement of these circles on a…

Writing to Learn in Content Areas

WRITING TO LEARN Across Content Areas Now that more schools are considering ways to teach and utilize literacy tools to enhance instruction and increase learning across the content areas, many English Language Arts educators are being viewed as the repository for such strategies.  Remember, while schools are implementing the Common…

Celebrate and Educate

Black History Month and Common Core In the United States, February is Black (African-American) History Month, a time when many teachers tailor lessons to feature the contributions of African-Americans. Since the oral tradition is significant in African-American history, and since oral language skill is one of the English Language Arts…
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