Labels – Who Am I?

Sara Holbrook's poem "Labels" can be added to the list of poems used to inspire students to think about themselves and to describe who they as based on their genetic and ethnic heritage as well as their own personal interests and passions. Consider a lesson in poetry writing that invites…

We Wear the Mask

Start of the Year Writing Prompt Here's a start of the year writing prompt based on a poem, "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar. In one of my classes, it was the end of year essay prompt. Students were asked to consider three texts we'd studied and identify…

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…

GETTING TO KNOW THEM

Opening Week Activities to Learn More about Students   Here are five ideas that may be adapted for various content areas.  See adaptations at the links.  The assignments can be as simple or complex as time and resources permit.  I've used them all as first week assignment and students do…

Sensitivity to Holidays

Writing About the Holidays The holiday season, for many, extends from November through February.  Families will be celebrating Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year at various times during these months. Writing about holidays is a wonderful way to share cultures in words, pictures, and music.  Yes, holidays also…