By Guest Blogger and Curriki Member Lani deGuia
If you are a middle school language arts teacher, you are probably rounding up ideas to keep students engaged as temperatures warm up. However, usually the latter half of the school year has a strong focus on writing. We’ve rounded up some of the best resources to help you get started on your planning and keep students focused!
April is National Poetry Month
Poetry writing seems to be one of the least intimidating methods to introduce students to using language to express ideas. The National Endowment for the Humanities offers a wide variety of resources for supplementing your poetry instruction. Discover poetry from around the world and history including Persia, India, and Japan. In The Power of Poetry, take a closer look at renowned poets including, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. Emily Dickinson: An American Poet for All Seasons provides research and information celebrating the beloved American author. In addition, ReadWriteThink offers a variety of lesson plans in April is National Poetry Month! focused on poetry instruction for K-12.
Are you looking to derive a solid approach to teaching poetry? Check out Language and Literacy: The Poetry Connection conceptual framework for building language through poetry. It also includes a middle school lesson on comparing poetry and prose.
Looking for lessons and activities tied to specific works of poetry? Curriki member Angela Greenwell offers a collection of middle school activities based on popular poetry including that of Dickinson, Longfellow, and Keats.
Additional poetry lesson plans and ideas for your classroom:
The Limerick Factory from Annenberg Learner
What is Poetry? UbD unit from Trinity University
Lesson Plan: Poetry Writing Collection – Make haiku, limerick, and pattern poems
It is Research Paper Season!
Is a research paper in the near future for your students? A Curriki member offers the Kim Aher: Research Paper Lesson Plan, which helps get students acquainted with the research process after reading To Kill A Mockingbird. Do you have students ready to change the world with their research? “What’s Your Problem?” Research Project uses the understanding by design framework to help students conduct research on a social or environmental issue.
Perhaps you need tools to thoroughly cover the basics of the research process with your students? Here are some of our favorites:
- Tools to Create a Research Essay
- Research Papers includes annotating resources, conducting research, bibliographies, and evaluating sources.
- Flexible Research Paper Outline Cards help you organize writing before sitting down at the computer.
- Auburn High School Research Manual is a complete guide to the research process.
- Resources for Writing a Research Paper includes notetaking and scoring guides for research papers.
If general writing technique guidelines and strategies are needed in your classroom, try The Writing Teacher’s Strategy Guide and The Writing Process Made Easier, a lesson plan covering elements of writing and includes visual guides.
In addition, engage students in understanding the author’s purpose in this lesson plan. Teach narrative writing through this assignment on Eleanor Roosevelt. Take narrative writing a step further using the Personal Narrative Writing Assignment to help students learn about sequenced writing. Expository writing can be made fun again in this understanding by design unit from Trinity University Cause and Effect: Using Expository Writing to Problem Solve. You can even cover all your bases with these expository writing worksheets and graphic organizers.
Remember that the open-ended nature of writing leads to many possibilities for your classroom. What’s your favorite poetry or writing assignment for middle school students?