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

Happy Teaching,

Teach it Write

Building Powerful Academic Homes

Teach it Write logo

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 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 " 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

Happy Teaching,

Enjoy this an hundreds of other free and priced lessons on