The Rhetoric of Changing Times: First Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt

This post is part of the series The Rhetoric of Changing Times, a collection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its global consequences. In this series, we'll look at poignant historical speeches and documents and examine questions and topics for discussion/writing. Feel free to share your thinking in the comments or assign these questions … Continue reading The Rhetoric of Changing Times: First Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Hiatus is Over!

Hello, friends. It's been a long time since I've written to you, and I promise to get back to some good ol' teaching content within the week. First, though, I'd like to share a little of my life with you. If you have been following my blog, social media, or Teachers Pay Teachers store, it … Continue reading The Hiatus is Over!

Talented Students in ELA: 8 Tips for Teachers

“While natural, innate talent does exist, developing talent needs enduring and nonstop nurturing to come to a full fruition. Talent is made, not born. A dynamic environment that instills these beliefs into the fabric of the school matters enormously. Jonathan Kozol (2007) believes that knowledge is passed on through instruction and imitation and that that … Continue reading Talented Students in ELA: 8 Tips for Teachers

No Time to Wait

It's a pedagogical imperative: we must make sure our high-aptitude, high-achieving students are not stuck waiting to learn.

Three Low-Prep Classroom Debate Strategies That Rock

One of the best ways to get students engaged and practicing rhetorical strategies is to get them up and talking. The more they can be opinionated, the better! Here are three of my favorite low-prep debate strategies, perfect for any time during the school year. Four Corners Debates Prep: Make four signs: strongly agree, agree, … Continue reading Three Low-Prep Classroom Debate Strategies That Rock

Five Sentence Structures Every Student Should Adapt From Martin Luther King, Jr.

Imitation exercises are one of my favorite ways to teach students sophisticated writing. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s powerful rhetoric, I pulled five incredible quotes from his speeches and writings and created sentence frames that students could use with their own content. If you'd like this in handout form, I included this … Continue reading Five Sentence Structures Every Student Should Adapt From Martin Luther King, Jr.

Three Ways to Jazz Up Your Lesson Plans

Need to add a little interest to your lesson plans? Here are three tried-and true tips for taking it up a notch. Tip #1: Always start with a personal connection. That "hook" or "anticipatory" set part of a lesson plan is incredibly important to getting students ready to learn. In the first five minutes or … Continue reading Three Ways to Jazz Up Your Lesson Plans

25 Creative Argument Writing Prompts for Middle and High School Students

  Choose an undesirable or misunderstood animal; create an argument for why this animal would make an excellent pet. Craft an argument for why the person sitting next to you should be honored with a prestigious award. Which is the more powerful word: hello or goodbye? One of these words must be removed from the … Continue reading 25 Creative Argument Writing Prompts for Middle and High School Students

Teaching Shakespeare? You Need These Anchor Charts!

If you have ever taught Shakespeare's plays or sonnets, then you know students can struggle to unlock the language and meaning of the text. The following two anchor charts have been tremendously helpful in giving my students a process to understand the Bard's verse. In my classroom, these two posters sit side-by-side. They are the two … Continue reading Teaching Shakespeare? You Need These Anchor Charts!

Why You Should Be Using Imitation Exercises to Teach Writing

"You write your first draft with your heart, but you rewrite with your head." From Finding Forrester (2000) https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=zLBEFvMkQCo   Recall a favorite line from a beloved book. Its resonance and its transcendence recall something of the fragile tenacity of the human spirit--in a smudge of ink on grainy paper.   A writer is a patient … Continue reading Why You Should Be Using Imitation Exercises to Teach Writing