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!

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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

Essential Tools for Teaching Rhetoric: Ethos

What are the essential tools for teaching rhetoric and rhetorical analysis? This blog series will explore one tool each week. Ethos As we established in last week's post about rhetorical appeals, ethos is an appeal to personality or character. Aristotle conceptualized ethos as morality, expertise, and knowledge. A speaker's ethos might rely on virtue and goodness, … Continue reading Essential Tools for Teaching Rhetoric: Ethos

Beyond the Political Cartoon: Rhetorical Analysis of Visuals

One of the most neglected form of analysis in my school is of visual arguments. Sure, students might look briefly at an historical photograph or a political cartoon now and then. There are so many other visuals, though, that students may encounter in their college and professional work. I️ love to use artwork, charts, and … Continue reading Beyond the Political Cartoon: Rhetorical Analysis of Visuals

Commandments of Teaching AP Language and Composition-Part Two

This is the second half of a two-part series about teaching AP Language and Composition. You can check out the first part here. Good feedback is everything. I still struggle with this, as feedback simply takes time (who has that?!). Some of the best feedback ideas I’ve learned came from a Marzano workshop. The highlights: … Continue reading Commandments of Teaching AP Language and Composition-Part Two

Commandments of Teaching AP Language and Composition-Part One

This fall, I've received many messages from new AP Language and Composition teachers who are trying to find their feet. After some reflection, I decided to offer a few of the ideas and processes that drive my teaching. This is a two-part series, and I will cover five "commandments" in each part. Look for the … Continue reading Commandments of Teaching AP Language and Composition-Part One

Critical Back-to-School Routines for AP Language and Composition: Year-Long Processes

When I had my younger son a year ago, I was in the tough position of asking a long-term substitute to lay the foundation for my students' entire year of learning. My maternity leave stretched from August until mid-October, so a quarter of my students' learning occurred with a different teacher. I was lucky to … Continue reading Critical Back-to-School Routines for AP Language and Composition: Year-Long Processes

KABOOM! The Rhetorical Analysis Game that Makes Engagement Explode

I am SO EXCITED to share this one with you!  I came across a few elementary school blogs about a center game called KABOOM. Something just clicked--why couldn't this work for rhetorical analysis at the high school level? After some testing and adjusting, I'm pretty thrilled to bring KABOOM to my classroom this fall. Here's … Continue reading KABOOM! The Rhetorical Analysis Game that Makes Engagement Explode

How Assertion Journals Can Inspire and Challenge Your Students

They're analytical. They're argumentative. They're intriguing. They're bite-sized. Assertion journals are hands-down my favorite way to teach and assess writing. Here's how they work: Students are given an assertion, usually in the form of a pithy quotation. How much context you want to give your students is totally up to you. I just project the assertion … Continue reading How Assertion Journals Can Inspire and Challenge Your Students

New Year, New Unit

It's a snow day today, so this will be a quick post before I get back to playing Feed the Woozle with my toddler. We just headed back to school from winter break, and I am so excited to jump in with my AP kids. For one of my grad school classes last semester, I … Continue reading New Year, New Unit