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3 songs to teach for analyzing allusion

3 Awesome Songs to Teach for Analyzing Allusion in Secondary ELA

Discover 3 engaging songs to teach for analyzing allusion in secondary ELA classrooms! Hey there, fellow ELA enthusiasts! 📚✨ Are you looking to spice up your lesson plans with some music that packs a punch of literary magic? Well, you’re in for a treat! Today, we’re diving into the world of allusions in music—a fantastic way to engage your students and explore the depths of literary references within the melodies they love. If you’re new here, we are kinda popular for recommending these 15 songs to use in ELA. We also have 15 MORE songs to use and songs to use for analyzing irony if you’re interested! I’ve handpicked three songs brimming with allusions, perfect for analysis in your secondary ELA classrooms. These tracks not only resonate with our students’ musical tastes but also unveil

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Queer Writers poster set to Diversify and Enrich Your Classroom this Pride Month and Beyond

Diversify Your Classroom with Our Beautiful 10 Queer Writers Poster Set

Enrich your teaching space and diversify your classroom with our Queer Writers poster set, a vibrant collection that celebrates diversity and inclusivity, making it a must-have for Pride Month and beyond. Use Our NEW Queer Writers Poster Set to Enrich Your Space Welcome, fellow educators! As we continuously seek ways to enrich our classroom environments with diverse and inclusive materials, I’m thrilled to share something special with you. Imagine adorning your classroom walls with the vibrant stories and voices of 10 remarkable Queer Writers, each with their unique narrative and contribution to literature. This digital poster set is not just a visual treat; it’s an invitation for our students to explore the rich tapestry of human experience through literature that transcends boundaries. As Pride Month approaches, what better way to celebrate than by diversifying our

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short-films-to-analyze-symbolism-square

3 Spectacular Short Films to Analyze Symbolism

Hey there, teacher pals! Are you on the lookout for short films to analyze symbolism? These 3 short films make for engaging content to shake up your symbolism lessons! These three short films to analyze symbolism are absolute gems that are perfect for diving into the rich, sometimes tricky waters of symbolism with your students. These aren’t just any short films; they’re the kind that stick with you, sparking conversations and aha moments that light up the classroom. Whether you’re aiming to inspire, provoke thought, or just switch things up, these short films are about to become your new best friends.  Trust me, your symbolism lessons are about to get a whole lot more interesting! 3 Spectacular Short Films to Analyze Symbolism Effectively “Let’s Eat” by Anamon Studios ✨ Provided Summary: “‘Let’s Eat’ is a

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5 short stories to teach characterization

5 Terrific Short Stories to Teach Characterization

Hey there, awesome ELA teachers! Looking for some fresh short stories to teach characterization? You’re in the right spot! I’ve handpicked five short stories to teach characterization that are perfect for getting your students hooked. These stories are a mix of old favorites and new finds, all packed with characters that will jump off the page and get your students talking, thinking, and even seeing a bit of themselves. Whether you’re aiming to shake up your lesson plans or just want to bring some new energy to your classroom, these stories are your ticket.  If you’re looking to teach other ELA concepts with short stories (like conflict, symbolism, and more), this blog post has a comprehensive round up categorized by concepts. Meanwhile, this blog post features a round-up of even MORE short story ideas, like

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3-poetry-lessons-for-national-poetry-month with "POETRY" spelled out in wooden blocks

3 Effective Poetry Lessons for National Poetry Month

Celebrate writing with 3 poetry lessons for National Poetry Month to deepen your students’ appreciation of poetry! Unleash your students’ inner poets with these 3 poetry lessons for National Poetry Month!  April is National Poetry Month, where we celebrate the power of words and the beauty of expression. As secondary ELA teachers, we play a vital role in igniting that creative spark within our students. This blog post outlines three engaging and interactive secondary ELA poetry lessons that will inspire and captivate your students during this special month.  Combining the power of language and the magic of poetry, these lessons are designed to enhance critical thinking, boost imagination, foster a deep appreciation for the art of words, and get YOU and your students excited about poetry. Each lesson is crafted to encourage active participation, encouraging

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3 songs to analyze irony in secondary ELA with purple music notes

From Lyrics to Literary Devices: 3 Excellent Songs to Analyze Irony

Looking for impactful songs to analyze irony in your secondary ELA class? This post has got you covered! Are you looking for an innovative and engaging way to teach literary devices to your secondary ELA students? Look no further! We delve into the world of music to explore 3 how popular songs can effectively communicate literary techniques, specifically irony.  With lyrics serving as powerful examples, we analyze three well-known songs from different genres and artists, dissecting their lyrics to uncover the various forms of irony present. Through this analysis, we not only introduce students to the concept of irony but also provide them with relatable and enjoyable examples to deepen their understanding.  Drawing on diverse styles, our chosen songs span a range of eras and themes, ensuring that your students will connect with at least

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3 Powerful Songs for Women's History Month with headphones and a microphone

3 Powerful Songs for Women’s History Month

Want empowering songs for Women’s History Month to incorporate into your secondary ELA curriculum? We’ve got you covered, teacher pals. March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of women throughout history. Although we have a beautiful poster set and a literary activity bundle for Women’s History Month, we are talking MUSIC today. As educators, we have a unique opportunity to integrate this celebration into our classrooms. Music is a powerful tool for engagement and learning, so here are 3 exceptional songs that not only resonate with the themes of Women’s History Month but also offer rich content for literary analysis and classroom discussion.  These songs, each by influential female artists, provide a diverse range of perspectives and themes that can enrich your curriculum and inspire your students. Let’s

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11 Black History Month Resources for Secondary ELA

11 Important Black History Month Resources: Texts, Tips, & More to Amplify Black Voices Yearround

Amplify Black voices and diversify your curriculum with these Black History Month resources for Secondary ELA! Black History Month Resources for Secondary ELA Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the rich contributions of Black authors and creators in literature. For secondary ELA teachers, incorporating diverse perspectives and voices into the curriculum is essential. By exploring literature that reflects the experiences of Black individuals, students can gain a deeper understanding of history, society, and themselves.  Below, we provide a curated list of Black History Month resources specifically designed for secondary ELA teachers during, well, all-year long! Yes, Black History Month is February, but Black history should be celebrated yearlong.  From escape rooms to song pairings, this list offers a wide range of texts and tips for you and your students. By incorporating

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4 songs to pair with The Great Gatsby for a Rich Literary Analysis

4 Songs to Pair with The Great Gatsby for a Rich Literary Analysis

Looking for songs to pair with The Great Gatsby? These four song pairings analyze the complex relationship between characters and themselves, the American Dream then and now, and the stark experiences between the rich and the poor. Welcome, fellow Secondary ELA educators! I’m excited to blog about a creative approach to teaching F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” using music as a tool for deeper analysis and engagement. I’ve carefully selected four poignant songs that not only resonate with the novel’s themes but also serve as a dynamic resource for your classroom activities. These songs will help students explore…✨ The complex dynamics between Gatsby and Daisy✨ The evolving concept of the American Dream✨ The societal pressure to alter one’s identity for personal and/or societal gain✨ The stark living standards throughout different socioeconomic groups in the

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Holiday song analysis activity

Unwrap Literary Magic with a Comparative Holiday Song Analysis Activity

‘Tis the season for festive tunes and merry moments with this ELA comparative holiday song analysis activity! If you’re looking for a holiday song analysis activity that is festive yet secular, I’ve got you! In this post, I outline how students can compare two secular songs that are perfect for the “cozy cup of coco in front of a cutie book tree” winter season vibe. A Comparative Holiday Song Analysis Sesame Street’s “Holiday Song” Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles’ “Winter Song” Both songs focus on winter and the holiday season. They are not specific to one holiday or a religious practice and are chalk full of literary analysis opportunities!  Give students an opportunity to engage in a first- and second-watch of both videos. If possible, provide a digital or printed copy of the lyrics, so they

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3 Free ELA Activities to boost creativity and collaboration picturing a small group of middle school students working together with support from their teacher

3 Fun and Free ELA Activities to Foster Creativity and Communication

Free ELA Activities for Your Secondary Classroom Looking for free ELA activities to boost students’ creativity and collaboration in a fun and free way? Look no further! Below, we share 3 engaging ELA activities that will improve your classroom community and the quality of student-to-student collaboration in your class. From word games to creative writing exercises, these activities are designed to make learning enjoyable and effective. And the best part? They won’t cost you a thing! With these activities, you can expand your students’ creativity, enhance their reading comprehension, and sharpen their writing skills. Foster Creativity & Community with these Free ELA Activities One free week of Collaborative Trivia Bell Ringers I loooove…✨ Building routines ✨ Fostering a positive classroom community ✨ Providing FUN opportunities for students to practice their collaborative skills These trivia bell

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Nine collaborative learning strategies to increase student collaboration in your secondary ELA class. Pictured are young students hands layered on top of one another as if ready to engage in a "team break" chant.

9 Collaborative Learning Strategies that Will Promote Rich Conversations Between Your Secondary ELA Students

Looking for collaborative learning strategies to implement in your secondary ELA classroom? These 9 strategies will promote rich academic conversations, build community, and foster effective communication for your students. The importance of effective communication in secondary ELA classrooms How do you promote collaboration in the classroom? In today’s ever-evolving educational landscape, fostering effective communication in Secondary ELA classrooms has become more crucial than ever before. Collaborative learning strategies have emerged as a powerful tool to encourage student engagement, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. This blog post walks you through nine collaboration strategies that can significantly enhance communication skills in ELA classrooms, which empowers students to express their thoughts and ideas confidently.  By incorporating opportunities for collaborative discussions, teachers can create a dynamic learning environment that promotes active participation and encourages students to think critically and

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7 Diverse & Powerful Poems to Teach Tone with a student wearing a yellow jacket writing in a notebook

7 Diverse & Powerful Poems to Teach Tone

Looking for FRESH and diverse poems to teach tone? Teacher friends, I’ve rounded up a good one today! Below, I have 7 poems to teach tone that are not typically taught in the mainstream ELA curricula (but should be!). They are all written from diverse authors and publishing dates range from 1995 to 2022. Want to know the best part? These poems are totally teacher-approved through CommonLit, and you can access them for free. You don’t need a district-paid account to access the poems, guiding questions, and other basic features. 7 Poems to Teach Tone Before you dive in, using daily poetry bell ringers and/or an introductory video like this one might strengthen your student’s understanding of tone analysis in poetry. You can also use the engaging activities in this stellar poetry bundle to introduce,

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teaching about cultural appropriation using Elvis

A Dynamic Exploration of Cultural Appropriation Through Literature and Pop Culture

Having conversations in your classroom about cultural appropriation can feel challenging. It doesn’t always have to be, though! With the right resources that are standards-aligned, your students can engage in evidence-based discourse.  For this post, I share a teaching idea you can implement to help students explore and understand the unjust practices of cultural appropriation. This relevant teaching idea centers on Elvis Presley’s appropriation of Black music and culture. Since the Elvis film recently came out, your students will immediately buy into this heavy, but necessary conversation. Essential Question: How does cultural appropriation negatively impact the marginalized communities involved? Please note: it is VITAL that you have established a respectful classroom culture. Without positive norms and relationships, any difficult conversation may not turn out as efficiently. Suggested Starting Points ✨ As students enter class, have

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this picture has a scorpion atop a blue background with the post focusing on Steinbeck's The Pearl Activities

Comprehensive Bundle: Steinbeck’s The Pearl Activities

Looking for The Pearl activities that excite your students’ creativity and critical thinking skills? The Pearl Unit Bundle will keep your students hooked from start to finish. The Pearl Lesson Plans included in the Bundle Pre-Reading: The Pearl Activities & Unit Calendar Before you begin, The Pearl Activities bundle includes an editable unit calendar. You can expect… ⭐️ Suggested lesson plans designed for 40-50 min. classes ⭐️ A total unit length of 4 ½ weeks (adaptable to be shorter or longer) ⭐️ Minimal homework throughout (homework-free option if unit length is extended) ⭐️ Students will engage in an anticipatory activity that provides resources (2 videos and 2 articles) to conduct research on John Steinbeck and Cortez Pearl. There are SO many benefits to using these activities as your anticipatory set! During: The Pearl Reading Guide

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Current Events in the Classroom

You can help your students see beyond the headlines! In this post, nine other teachers and I share our favorite tips for teaching current events.     Current Events in the Classroom When we have to devote so much time to teaching the test, I know how tough it is to consider adding anything new, like teaching current events, into your routine. As tough as it is, it’s worth it! Our students might sometimes seem far from adults to us, but in a few years, they’ll be driving, voting, working, and hopefully fully autonomous members of society. We can help them prepare for adulthood by helping them to understand our ever-changing world.   …But you don’t have to take it from me I asked some of my #teachergram friends for their take on teaching current

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A photo of golden maple leaves in the sunlight. There is text overlaid that says "Engaging - Rigorous - Creative - Halloween Activities for Secondary ELA

15 Halloween School Activities for Secondary ELA

Looking for engaging and rigorous Halloween school activities for your Secondary ELA classroom? Look no further! These mini-lessons will build close reading skills, practice inferencing, and get students thinking creatively. Whether you are a Halloween lover or a Halloween tolerate-er, it will be on the forefront of your students’ brains this time of the year. They are likely dreaming up their costumes, gossiping about the hip parties, and totally ignoring your lessons! Many of the resources I’ve linked below are also available for 25% off in this spooky and spectacular Halloween Activities resource bundle! Check out the 8 included resources here. Here are 15 Halloween school activities for secondary ELA that will allow you to use that excitement in your classroom: 1. Analyze Symbolism & Allegory with Candy It seems like, as soon as the

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Teaching Executive Functioning with Escape Rooms

Have you been told you should be teaching executive functioning? Is this a totally overwhelming proposition? Where do you even start? Let’s break it down.       Teaching Executive Functioning   Executive Functioning is the complex way the brain ‘works’. We use these skills to make decisions, choices, and plans. When we use strong executive functioning, we work smarter. We can delay gratification when working towards a goal, plan for the future, and avoid feeling stuck when our plan hits a snag. A lack of executive function skills leads to impulsive/reckless behavior, poor planning/time management, and an inability to stick with a task from start to finish.    Sound familiar? Of course, it’s normal human behavior to be occasionally careless with our time, or to make a rash decision. But if students are struggling

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Teaching Social Justice with Literature Circles

We read a lot of books with social issues for the YA Cafe Podcast, and I feature a lot of these books on my own Instagram. Because of this, teachers often ask me for resources for teaching social justice books. Today, I want to share some specific resources for teaching social justice literature circles.     Literature circles are classroom book clubs that give students a chance to read a selected novel with a small group of their peers. You can set this up several ways, but I typically choose enough books so that there are 4-5 readers per group. I have students meet twice per week over four weeks. Students make a reading schedule during their first group meeting and they generate focus questions for their reading. I like to have group presentations at the

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