Posts in Writing Assignments
Starting the School Year with Literary Analysis Writing- Why I Do It, and Why You Should Too!

I frequently ask students to show their understanding of the various texts we read through a literary analysis paragraph or essay. I prefer this method of assessment over the traditional standardized, multiple choice tests to assess reading. Within a literary analysis, students are required to think deeply about a given text, then make inferences and provide evidence to support that inference. Not only does the skill of drafting a quality literary analysis response support students in high school English classes, but will essentially define much of their English coursework in college.

Read More
9 Ways to Get Secondary Students to Enjoy Writing

How can teachers help older students enjoy writing? Negativity and reluctance is a mindset that is established early on. However, in middle and high school, certain teaching approaches and strategies can help to change the way students view themselves as writers. Create a positive writing culture and maintain it through the year. These nine approaches can help.

Read More
Prompt Sticks Reflection Game: An Interactive Way to Reflect Back on the School Year

There are lots of creative ways to facilitate reflection at the end of the school year.  Integrating novelty into any lesson makes it more interesting, and the same concept applies to reflection questions.  So I set out to create an interactive "Prompt Sticks" Reflection Question game to get students more interested in assessing their learning at the end of the school year. 

Read More
Writing Thank You Emails to Spread Kindness

Engage secondary students in a meaningful real-world writing activity at the end of the school year - or any time! Writing thank you letters is an important life skill, but it's becoming overshadowed by emails and text messages. Teach middle and high school students about how to spread love and kindness by encouraging others through writing.

Read More
Tone Tunes: Using Music to Teach Tone in Poetry

Being able to decipher the tone of a piece of writing is crucial to being able to decipher the thematic message of a text.  This is absolutely true for analyzing poetry. 

Read More
FIVE Unique Valentine's Day Lessons to Target Essential Skills in Secondary Classes

Valentine's Day provides an opportunity during the month of February to focus on one of the most powerful topics in literature and art:  LOVE.  Love is as polarizing as the Valentine's Day holiday itself: some love it, and some hate it.  Nonetheless...

Read More
5 Collaborative and Interactive Games to Practice Argument Writing!

I yearned for a way to practice skills such as evaluating the sufficiency of evidence and seeing multiple perspectives on a topic. I wished to help them in creating rich and effective arguments with elements of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Finally, I needed to find a way to help students in creating effective counter-arguments that actually refute the argument as opposed to simply changing the subject.  

Read More
10 Unique and Creative Reflection Techniques & Lessons for the Secondary Student

As educators, we know how critical reflection is to the learning process. Getting students to reflect- deeply and meaningfully- is often one of the most challenging lessons we teach. I have found that both my middle school and high school students will often scoff at these reflection activities, providing the least amount of effort possible to complete the task they see as meaningless. I have been searching for and creating lessons and activities that will bring interest and engagement to this task. The following

Read More
Narrative, Information & Argumentative Holiday Writing Ideas

Before your pants are covered in green glitter and your classroom floor is littered with candy cane wrappers, make sure those writing skills you taught during that one unit in that one month are not forgotten! I’ve thought up some fun writing activities for the week before the holidays, plus key terms you can bring up during the super fun activities as well!

Read More
Three Famous Christmas Speeches to Inspire Writing

It's the "most wonderful time of the year" once again!  Every year, the holiday season inspires new movie ideas, and some of these movies go on to become some of the most beloved films of all time with some of the most well-known movie speeches in film history.  

Read More
Holiday Writing Activities for Fast Finishers

Read about three meaningful ways to keep students engaged in your secondary ELA classroom this holiday season. These writing activities will add value to your classroom culture while engaging students and keeping them focused. They're perfect for fast finishers and station activities.

Read More
Writing is Recursive, Not Linear: Free Task Cards to Reflect Writing as a Process

Writing goes all ways: forwards, backwards, sideways, over there, and over here.  In fact, the only piece of the writing process that occurs at a set point in time is publishing.

Read More
A Memorable Kinesthetic Writing Lesson for Older Students

Teaching the writing process? Try involving students kinesthetically. Play Doh can work for big kids, too! My high school students absolutely love this writing analogy that walks them through each stage of the writing process as if they were sculptors crafting a masterpiece. Differentiate your instruction with this best-practice, active learning lesson.

Read More
Daily Writing Prompts to Inspire New Ideas

TeachWriting.org has announced a new writing workshop endeavor for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the collaborators at TeachWriting are creating DAILY WRITING PROMPTS via their Facebook Page for English teachers in grades 6-12. 

Read More