Pulling Ideas Together

Writing Better Essays  One useful strategy for getting started is to permit students draft in first person and then revise to third person.  When they realize that they are invited to present their own ideas, reflections, observations, the students tend to relax a bit and write more honestly about the…

Colors Call Out to Us

Colors call out to us in nature and in advertisements.  Help students understand the symbolism of colors as it relates to their feelings, as well as why different colors may entice them to behave certain ways, believe certain things, and buy certain products and services. What they learn in these…

Planning for Focused Units

Get Off to a Good Start  Consider thematic units that may be drawn from Essential Questions. Once you decide on themes or essential questions for the first unit or marking period, you could ask the students to choose the themes/questions for the subsequent ones.  Almost any piece of fiction/non-fiction can be adapted…

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…

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…
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