Monday, April 14, 2014

Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"

Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"
Figurative language enriches our reading and listening adventures and adds depth to our understanding of the piece. 

In my latest Middle and High School English lesson plan,
Language Arts Activity: Message - The Meaning is in the Words, students explore similes, metaphors, personification, sensory imagery and hyperbole in the stories that they study in class.

They exhibit their understanding for the types of figurative language with their selections to analyze, and deepen their comprehension with their explanations. 


This Activity has three parts:

Part A: Find three examples of each of the following literary terms. By the type of figurative language, copy the passage that you chose along with the page number. Next, explain its meaning.

Part B: Your Turn - Create your own figures of speech. Make each one fit the people, setting or plot of the book that you are studying in class, and

Part C: Closure: Address each of the following questions.
1. Which type of figurative language do you find the easiest to identify? Explain your response.
2. Which type of figurative language do you find the hardest to identify? Explain your response.
3. Which type of figurative language do you like the best to create? Why?
4. Which type of figurative language do you like the least to create? Why?


Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"
          Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"
Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"
           Language Arts Activity - Message "The Meaning is in the Words"

This standards-based and Bloom's Taxonomy aligned language arts lesson encourages middle and high school students to decode the meaning in the author's words, and to find the message in passages that are often confusing. 

Download this lesson and detailed Teacher Notes from 


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Monday, April 7, 2014

Language Arts Activity - Review It!

Language Arts Activity - Review It! cover
Students love to share their opinions about anything school, family, friends (and foes), community and world related. Review It! - a lesson plan for Middle and High School students - offers them the opportunity to develop their reasoning and logic skills as they write a review for a book that they have just finished studying in class. 

Best of all, they share their opinions with the world by publishing this piece on the book's page on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. 

In this language arts lesson, students will show their understanding of the elements of literature as they analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the story as well as the piece’s intent and whether or not it met this purpose. They will choose direct and indirect citations from the story to support their points. 

Review It! should be introduced after students have completed the reading. This activity enables students in grades 6-12 to exhibit their range of thinking skills from knowledge through evaluation. Their writing will demonstrate their understanding of all aspects of the elements of literature as well as their analytic and critical-thinking skills.

This packet includes:
A. 6 reviews from amazon.com - 2 each for The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Divergent (Veronica Roth) and Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)- for students to read, analyze and discuss
B. A Review Check List to use for the discussion of the Amazon reviews and for their original writing.
C. The Review It! handout that details the directions for this activity as well as the points that students must cover in their reviews.
Language Arts Activity - Review It!
Language Arts Activity - Review It!


Review It! offers Middle and High School students an opportunity to practice how to share their opinions through effective analysis.

Download this activity that promotes strong reading comprehension, writing and higher level thinking skills from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Language-Arts-Activity-Review-It-1197160.


Happy Teaching,








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Monday, March 31, 2014

Language Arts - What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity

Language Arts - What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity cover
When trying to show the importance of ideas, speaking tends to be so much easier. Word choice- along with the chance to instantly replace words for clarity- a tone of voice that expresses which ideas are emphasized, and even the speaker's body language work together to create sentences where thought coordination or subordination are evident.

Writing, though, is much more difficult. The writer has many rough drafts, but one final opportunity to demonstrate which thoughts show coordination, and which ones reveal subordinate ideas.

For example, maybe I want to show that Zelda's and Bubba's responsibility about homework is the same. I would write, "Zelda and Bubba both turn in their homework ninety percent of the time."
(I bet that their teacher is happy with this excellent data!)

But what if I want to emphasize that Zelda is more responsible than Bubba? I might write, "Although Zelda is conscientious about always meeting homework deadlines, Bubba is undependable about completing his assignments.

That information in that sentence is correct, but the emphasis is on Bubba's lack of responsibility because this idea is in the Independent Clause- always the clause that shows the most important idea.

This activity, "What's so Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity" offers Middle School and High School students three different activities to practice showing What is So Important.


Language Arts - What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity p.4Language Arts - What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity p.5Language Arts - What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Activity p.6



What's So Important? A Coordination and Subordination Language Arts Lesson is aligned with the Common Core standards and Bloom's Taxonomy, but will easily meet the needs of individual state's benchmarks.

Middle School and High School students will find that their verbal and written misunderstandings will diminish when they master "What's So Important".


Your students will be thrilled when you, "Please don't let us be misunderstood." 

I paraphrased these words from the song written by Bennie Benjamin for Nina Simone (1964) and also sung by The Animals (1965), and Santa Esmerelda (1977).

Happy Teaching,


Teach it Write
Building Powerful Academic Homes


Monday, March 24, 2014

Language Arts Activity - Tripping Through Time



Tripping Through Time Activity coverIn this 4-page Free activity, Tripping Through Time, students use their thinking and writing skills to show their understanding of the character, conflict and other elements of literature in the piece that they are studying through narrative writing. 

As the character of their choice from the reading, they are transported to a totally unfamiliar time and geographic area. After researching this different time and place, the students will write a personal narrative comparing and contrasting both societies. Their responses must reveal the point of view of the character that they chose to personify, not their own.

The students’ completed writing will show their comprehension of the reading, of the material that they gathered in their research, and they will strengthen their higher level thinking skills.


Download this FREEBIE from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Language-Arts-Activity-Tripping-Through-time-1174672


Happy Teaching,



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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Language Arts Activity - "Predicting Outcomes"


Language Arts Activity - "Predicting Outcomes" coverAll people, real and fictional, have experienced the Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda dilemma at least once in their lives. With this FREE lesson, Language Arts Activity - "Predicting Outcomes", students dig into this Choice/Consequence quandary that a specific character experiences throughout a story. 

The chart that students complete for this activity will show the round and dynamic qualities of the character as well as how the person  acts and reacts to the Plot/Conflict.

Introduce this activity during the latter part of the Rising Action or when enough information about the character has been given. In completing it, students exhibit their range of thinking skills from knowledge through evaluation. 

The written segment allows them to show their understanding of all aspects of the character elements of literature as well as their analytic and critical-thinking skills. The oral response/discussion aspect enables students to exercise and develop their speaking and listening skills.

This Common Core aligned activity has students, remembering, thinking, applying, analyzing,

Language Arts Activity - "Predicting Outcomes" activity
writing, evaluating and speaking. Their motivation is tweaked  by the age old, "Woulda', shoulda', coulda'" dilemma.

Download this FREE activity from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Language-Arts-Activity-Predicting-Outcomes-1152153. The Teacher Notes page details the Who, What, When, Why and How for this lesson as well as the selected Common Core Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy choices.







Happy Teaching,




Teach it Write
Building Powerful Academic Homes

Monday, March 3, 2014

Language Arts Activity - "Taking a Break"



Language Arts Activity - "Taking a Break"

Language Arts Activity - "Taking a Break cover

Just a moment ago, I turned my back to my window as a chill ran up my spine.  Why?

Because it is March 3rd and the "...weather outside is frightful," (From Let it Snow). Here in the suburbs northwest of Washington, D.C., snow in falling, and falling, and falling.  The wind is circling the street hunting for a face to face confrontation. Like the vast majority of the country, we are experiencing yet another Weather Event, this one bears the name,Titan.

Although  all of the school districts in a 50+ radius of my home office are cancelled today, many of you, my teacher colleagues, have splashed, slid and pushed a path into your classrooms for the first Monday in March. What do you do when those lessons that fanned your teaching flames in the fall and that kept your teaching passion warm during most school days of this endless winter now seem as drab lifeless as the arugula on that tuna sandwich you squeezed onto the top shelf of the Teacher Lounge fridge last Friday?

If it's impossible to actually pack your bags and set off for a sun-soaked sandy beach along with a few good friends, at least take a mental break. 

Ask your students to envision their own Fantasy Vacation mental break, too, but instead of enjoying themselves with a few of their real friends, they are hanging out with three fictional characters.

This engaging lesson is a terrific Any Time During the Year Recap to assess your students' comprehension, understanding and analytic skills of the material that they have read so far this school term, On dreary days when  any R & R seems far, far away, it offers a needed getaway for your students- even if they are only jet-skiing through their heads. 

For this activity, students will decide on traveling companions for their dream vacation. They will ask three characters from books that they have read for school assignments this year to join them on this fantasy trip. 

  • Who will they take? 
  • Why them? 
  • Where will they go? 
  • How will these people help them have a perfect trip?
Students must detail their responses to these questions so the reasons behind their choices are clear.Their explanations for these selections must reveal which physical, emotional and personality traits made them desirable trip mates.

Escape Storm Titan. Let your mental meanderings take you away to your dream getaway with some interesting and novel companions.

Download this FREE activity, with detailed Teacher Notes, from
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Language-Arts-Activity-Taking-a-Break-248681

Happy Teaching,




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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale

Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) Sale
Congratulations TpT- 3 Million Teachers Strong!


Teachers pay Teachers is hot, hot, hot. Fuel your teachers' files during this (up to)28% off sale. Use Promo Code TPT3 at checkout.
Find 148 Language Arts products-Priced and FREE-at 
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Write Right! Time for Spring Cleaning coverLiterature Task Cards coverUnconventional Inventions cover





Journalism Movie Activities cover
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Night Unit Plan CoverOthello Unit Plan Cover
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The Word is the Thing cover
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 While on TpT, click over to
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Shop the Teachers Pay Teachers Sales; February 27th and 28th and ignite March lessons.

Happy Teaching,