Dear Blog Reader, I’m not sure if this weekly run-down is helpful for you, but it sure is helping me. Early each Saturday, I sit down with a large coffee in a quiet house (yup, everyone else is still asleep) and type up the calendar plan for the upcoming week. Sure, I already have a general sense of what I’ll be doing, but writing down this play-by-play has given me the unexpected boon of mental peace by erasing Sunday Night Dread, a diagnosable scourge that strikes countless teachers across the globe. You may also be a victim. Symptoms, including distracted thoughts and nagging guilt, usually begin to appear around 4 p.m. each Sunday. The only cure? A completed lesson plan calendar and, in extreme cases, a last-minute trip to the corner copy shop.

But I’ve surprised myself with these weekly posts. Sunday night? Lately it’s been all football and family around here because my work is done before the Saturday pancakes are served.

Okay, so here’s my weekly dose of S.N.D. medicine (Note: All of the poetry items mentioned below are in my full unit, though I’ve also linked to individual items when available):

Monday
Open with a five-minute M.U.G. Shot (Mechanics, Usage, Grammar) Monday mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

Read Robert Herrick’s famous “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” (Gather Ye Rosebuds) poem and complete short-answer analysis questions in stations around the room.

View a short video clip of Robin Williams presenting part of the poem to the students of Welton Academy in Dead Poets Society. (Some years I show the full film as part of our Transcendentalism work, but I don’t have time for the movie this year since I’m not teaching juniors – bummer.)

Begin Walt Whitman’s “O Me! O Life!” lesson, if time allows.

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books.

Tuesday
Open with a five-minute Lit. Term Tuesday mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

Finish the “O Me! O Life!” lesson together.

Then, we’ll add a non-fiction element as we analyze Apple’s use of the poem in a recent ad and read an online newspaper article about the ad campaign.

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books.

Wednesday
Open with a ten-minute Words on Wednesday vocabulary mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

Introduce the Poetry Cafe: A Spoken Word Experience activity plan by sharing two examples of modern spoken word poets in action and discussing their performances. Students will begin prep work for our own spoken word class party, which will be held late next week just before we leave for the two-week winter holiday break.

If time allows, begin Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” compare/contrast lesson, which students will complete in teams of two.

For HW, students should work on finding their Poetry Cafe submissions, which are due Friday.

Thursday
Finish the “O Captain! My Captain!” compare/contrast activity and debrief as a full class.

If time allows, students will complete the How to Haiku worksheet.

For HW, students will finish their How to Haiku worksheet, if not done in class. Also, students need to remember to bring their S.S.R. books to class and be ready to turn in their Poetry Cafe work tomorrow.

Friday
Collect Poetry Cafe submissions.

Quarter Trio groups will play Just Give the Word. (We didn’t get to this last week as I had planned because we played Brain Teasers instead, so I already have the copies ready to roll. Score!)

Students will use the remaining class time to read their S.S.R. books.

For HW, students will complete an Analogies worksheet. The answers will be reviewed in class on Monday.

Ah, now that feels better. Thanks for being part of my cure. Teach on, everyone!

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. I need to do this! I always have Sunday night dread! I’d like to teach high school one day and have only one subject per week like you have! So much to plan in elementary! One day!

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  2. Oh yeah, swtspontaneous, I don’t know how you elementary folks are able to stack all of that planning and prep (let alone teach math and science – oh!). I have a high school colleague whose wife is an elementary teacher and she told me she pays on the front side and he pays on the back side with all of the paper/essay grading. Guess none of us is getting off easy. Enjoy the remaining hours til 4 p.m. today! 🙂

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  3. I love reading your weekly posts! Thank you for continuing to aid new teachers like myself through your blog posts and TPT products! I was wondering, are you still doing an article of the week with your kids? I remember you linking sources–Kelly Gallagher and izzit for inspiration. We are in week 14 of A.O.W. and feeling kind of burnt out. Did you keep this up for a 9 weeks or the whole year? Thank you!

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  4. Hey Brooke, thanks so much for reading the blog. 🙂 I actually never used the Article of the Week as a regular weekly feature with my classes because, as your experience confirms, I always thought a regular diet of those would get a little stale. Instead, I use some of my favorite articles as occasional lessons if they fit the theme of some larger work we’re studying, if I need to take a random sub day and the regular lesson would be too complicated for someone else to teach, or if I have a pocket of days in between major units. If I were teaching a media or journalism class, I’d definitely dip into the A.O.W. batch more often, but I think it’s fine to use these as appetizers instead of main courses. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor? Sorry about that.) Hope this helps!

    Anyone who’s wondering about Gallagher and/or Izzit can find the original post here: https://laurarandazzo.com/2014/06/12/ripped-from-the-headlines/

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  5. True….

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  6. Thank you! I appreciate your response!

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  7. Happy to help, Brooke. Have a great weekend!

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