Using mentors to teach literary analysis makes sense. Beginning in elementary school, students are engaged in some form of literary analysis. In fact, my second grade daughter, works out her analytical muscles on the regular. Her (amazing) teacher provides her students with plenty of scaffolding and sentence starters. She coaches them with exercises like I […]
Last week, I learned what it means to “move the writer.” My AP Literature students are in the middle of a heavy duty poetry study, and I’ve tried to honor their requests for what activities might best help them tackle Poetry-with-a-capital-P. So far, students have studied plenty of classics and rites of passage poems, they’ve […]
If you’re anything like me, those few short weeks between fall and winter breaks are nothing short of an anxiety inducing shopping/baking/grading/wrapping/tying-up-loose-ends extravaganza. Each year, the time sandwiched between breaks seems like too little or not quite enough. But a few years ago, I cooked up a new dish called Food Lit. Food Lit was inspired […]
Several years ago, I taught The House on Mango Street and I did what a lot of English teachers do while teaching The House on Mango Street — I assigned my students a vignette writing assignment using Sandra Cisnero’s work as the writing model. And I remember that assignment being good. My students worked hard […]
Mentor Texts: First few paragraphs of “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe Various photographs of your choice “After I Was Thrown Into the River and Before I Drown” by Dave Eggers Big Idea: Writers use syntax purposefully to create meaning and a desired effect. What’s ahead in this post: A 3-day lesson series […]
Teaching is often a balancing act. We’re constantly balancing, sometimes battling, the seemingly opposing forces of lesson planning vs. grading, eating the cake in the workroom vs. not eating the cake in the workroom, literature study vs. writing study. But why can’t we have our cake and eat it, too? And by cake, I mean writing. […]
Lessons to help students explore their unique and original voices in writing.
A challenging, fun, and engaging activity using Hamilton as a mentor text for character and theme analysis.
Students have a story to tell. So why not let them tell it as a way in to literature — to walk an idea around to see how far it will go and where else it might lead them.
Remember that Family Guy bit where Stewie is begging to get Lois’s attention by doing that lovable and annoying and relentless thing children do? “Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mama! Mama! Mama! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mummy! Mummy! Mumma! Mumma! Mumma!” Of course, Lois replies, […]