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

Essential Tools for Teaching Rhetoric: Logos

What are the essential tools for teaching rhetoric and rhetorical analysis? This blog series will explore one tool each week. Logos Logos: it's "the principle of reason and judgment," according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Our current understanding of logos in rhetoric is actually linked with Jungian psychology (the same Jungian psychology that gives us … Continue reading Essential Tools for Teaching Rhetoric: Logos

It’s AP Test Time! Freebies for You

AP tests are right around the corner (next week!), and I put together a couple of classroom posters for you. You can download them for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Enjoy! CLICK HERE for the AP Lang & Comp poster.  CLICK HERE for the AP Lit & Comp poster.