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- The Importance of Feedback in Distance Learning - October 9, 2020
- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher's View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts - Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
It’s summertime! And whether you have still have school (sorry), year round school (sorry, again) or you are home, summer is a busy time. We vacation during summer, organize our homes, even remodel a little, and more importantly, we have fun. Here are some lesson ideas that are inspired by the summer.
Characters and vacation- It is time for vacation. What would Jay Gatsby pack? Where would Romeo go? You could have students pack a “suitcase” with items a character would take. They can design a travel guide and even research where their character is going. Happy travels!
Characters and Recipes- I love to cook during the summer. However during the school year, we never have time to try new recipes out. For your classroom, recipes could work for character analysis. Take 2 cups of pride, 1 dash of lust, a quart of guilt, and splash of hard work and you have John Proctor. Mix in a bowl and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The students LOVE these.
Left over scrap-book paper- Don’t throw it away! Bring it to school and use it for interactive journals. Let the kids cut out shapes, clue them in their notebooks. They can create “flip” books and make charts. It doesn’t take much to make them happy. Get a bin and throw bits and pieces of paper and left over letters. Let the kids go crazy.
Paint chips- I love HGTV and while I love the ideas of painting, actually doing it is another thing, but that isn’t a reason to avoid the home improvement aisle. There are so many cool things you could do with the paint chips. Especially the ones that have different shades on one strip. Here is some things you could use them for:
Here is some things you could use them for:
-Tone Words- Organize tone words from the least like to most like. Include word and definition. For example, sad could be the “BIG category” and underneath organized could be gloomy, blue, somber, forlorn, and bitter. The students organized the words with the shades of color going from “softest” to “heaviest” Cut the chips out and glue on to a poster.
-Character Traits- Allow the students to create a list of character traits for a character. List them according to the “least-like” (lightest color) to the “most-like” (darkest color)
-Textual Evidence- At the top of each poster put a theme or conflict. Allow the students to find textual evidence to support each topic and organize the textual evidence from least effective to most effective.
-Writing- All those paint colors have fabulous names. Have the students use the names of the paint colors in a creative piece of writing.
-Old clothing and shoes- I give so much clothing to Goodwill every summer. My son outgrows clothes every month it seems. It isn’t till the summer when I have time to sort things. Keep a few pieces of clothes and shoes and use them in your classroom. Use these pieces to teach voice. How would a stiletto sound? How would a kid’s tennis shoe? Or a ballet slipper? Read the pieces out loud and try to figure out which piece of clothing or shoe is speaking. It is a great stepping stone for teaching voice.
-Old Books- As difficult as it is sometimes books have done their time and they must either be thrown or donated. Let the kids use them as learning tools. Pull a page out of an old book and practice annotations. (Saves you copies). Use pages for “found” poems. Tell the students to pull out 15 words from the page they are given and create a new work.
Summer is a time for fun, but if you are like me, I can never completely tune out school. I keep a running list of ideas that occur to me. I hope this list gets you started and I hope you have a restful and inspiring summer.