Katherine Mansfield Author Research Grid, The Doll’s House, The Garden Party, CCSS
Skip the typical Katherine Mansfield introduction lecture as you launch a reading of <a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/the-dolls-house-katherine-mansfield-short-story-analysis-pdf-google-drive-ccss/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Doll’s House</a>, The Garden Party, or any of her other works. Instead, empower students to find their own interesting facts about Mansfield’s life with this “Author Bio” print/post-and-teach activity.
This single-page worksheet (both printable PDF & Google Drive versions included) is a powerful research organizer that’ll get students digging deep into Katherine Mansfield’s fascinating background.
Please note: This download does NOT include a specific article or links to defined articles. It is an organizer tool for students to use as they conduct their own research. In my experience, students take more ownership of the material when they are the ones to research and discover the elements that make a literary figure’s life fascinating. They’ve seen enough of our introductory slideshows; this time, let your kids do the work and discuss/determine what they think is meaningful about Katherine Mansfield’s life.
Here are a few suggested uses for this flexible research tool:
1. Book your school’s computer lab or have students access Katherine Mansfield’s biography information on their own devices. Assign students to either work solo or in teams of two. Once the grids are complete, have students share and compare answers in small groups, focusing on the four interesting facts they discovered, the meaningful quote, and the personal/professional obstacle. Then, pull the students into a full-class discussion, having each group present an interesting fact, quote, or obstacle until every team has contributed. No repeats allowed.
This assignment works great as an “into” activity, but it could also be a “through” activity to add variety to your in-class routine as you work through her short stories, such as “The Doll’s House,” “The Garden Party,” or any of her other works. If you’re using this as an “after” activity, during the discussion I would also ask how any of the biography elements are reflected in the Mansfield work your students just read.
2. Assign the worksheet as a traditional homework assignment. Launch the discussion mentioned in #1 at the beginning of the next class period.
3. Use the grid as the beginning assignment to a larger project where students read two or three pieces or interviews by Katherine Mansfield. Later, this author study could be turned into a compare/contrast essay or a speech presentation, if you wish to expand the assignment. (Author Bio sheets on a variety of modern writers are available in my shop if you want to vary speech topics within one class.)
4. Use as an emergency sub plan.
Download includes: 1-page PDF & Google Drive version of student handout
Please note: This item is not included in any of my other materials. Also, the image on the student PDF worksheet is slightly ghosted to save printer/copier ink. I encourage students to doodle/shade in that space as they work.
Want more Katherine Mansfield materials? Introduce students to her famous short story, "The Doll's House." Literary analysis lesson materials for this story here:
<a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/the-dolls-house-katherine-mansfield-short-story-analysis-pdf-google-drive-ccss/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/product/the-dolls-house-katherine-mansfield-short-story-analysis-pdf-google-drive-ccss/</a>
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Image credit: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katherinemansfield.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Charlotte Mary Pickthall, Alexander Turnbull Library, WikiMedia Commons, public domain</a>
Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin Short Story, Literary Analysis, PDF & Google Drive
Use Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour,” to build students’ critical analysis skills and help them learn about the history of women’s rights in the U.S.
This 8-page PDF download (includes Google Drive version of all student handouts) includes a full-text copy of Kate Chopin’s famous public domain story (two pages), a 9-question short answer sheet, and a supplemental “Quick Facts” activity where students quickly conduct their own research to answer questions about Chopin’s life and the history of women’s legal rights in the U.S. A detailed answer key is included.
Want students to dig even deeper into the life of Kate Chopin? Click here for an author biography research grid activity:
<a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/kate-chopin-author-study-worksheet-biography-research-pdf-google-drive-ccss/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/product/kate-chopin-author-study-worksheet-biography-research-pdf-google-drive-ccss/</a>
Want to add another Kate Chopin short story to your class? Click here to check out my teaching materials for "Desiree’s Baby," her dramatic tale of love and hate:
<a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/desirees-baby-kate-chopin-short-story-literary-analysis-pdf-google-drive/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/product/desirees-baby-kate-chopin-short-story-literary-analysis-pdf-google-drive/</a>
Download includes: 8-pages PDF + Google Drive version of student handouts (uneditable)
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Letter of Recommendation Templates, College Application Letter Writing Help
Writing letters of recommendation for students’ college applications can consume too many hours. To help reduce the time you spend writing these letters, I’ve cracked open the vault of college application recommendation letters I’ve written over the past two decades. I used to lose entire prep periods and large chunks of Sunday afternoons writing these college letters. Today, I just open a template, change the student’s name and school address, modify the body paragraphs with a few fresh details, and – bam! – I’m done. Prep time restored!
If you’ve never written college application letters before or you just want to save some time, you need this bundle of 20 sample letters/templates. The files are editable Microsoft Word files (.doc) and can be imported into any document software or pasted into online forms, such as The Common Application.
Please note that this is a collection of the actual letters I’ve used in the past (with students’ names changed, of course), and you’ll want to modify the details to fit your own students. The letter of recommendation starting points include templates for the following types of students:
1. All-Around Nice Kid
3. Community Service Volunteer
4. Empathizer/Big-Hearted Kid
5. English Language Learner
6. Enthusiastic Hobbyist
7. Future Graphic Designer
8. Future Journalist
9. Future Lawyer
10. Future Musician or Artsy Writer
11. Likable Underachiever
12. Kid with Lots of Medical Absences
13. Pillar of Moral Strength
14. Role Model for My Own Child
15. Quiet Science Student
16. Warrior for Social Justice
17. Embodiment of Growth Mindset
18. Sweet Kid from Low-Income Family
19. Kid with Tenacious Work Ethic
20. Well-Rounded Student
This bundle also includes two BONUS letters of recommendation for a student teacher and co-worker. Also, you’ll receive a copy of the Letter of Recommendation Request Form (.pdf), a helpful tool to help you gather the information you need to personalize your students’ letters. The Letter of Recommendation Request Form is also <a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/letter-of-recommendation-request-form-college-applications-worksheet-free/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">available here</a> as a free item in my shop.
Download includes: 22 Word .doc files + 1 PDF worksheet
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Julius Caesar, Scene-by-Scene Question Worksheets, PDF & Google Drive CCSS
These scene-by-scene questions covering Shakespeare’s classic play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, will require students to dig deeply into the text and their own minds to find the answers.
This packet includes 13 pages of student handouts with detailed questions (both plot points and inference) covering every scene from all five acts of Julius Caesar. A separate 6-page detailed answer key is included. A Google Drive version for online learners is also included.
In addition to working as homework assignments, the question set can also serve as small-group or full-class discussion starters, short-answer quizzes, and/or differentiated enrichment. I like to mix-and-match the worksheets to keep things fresh as we work through our Julius Caesar unit. More details on this here: <a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/conquering-question-fatigue/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/conquering-question-fatigue/</a>
Download includes: 19-page PDF + Google Drive version of student handouts (all uneditable)
Need a dynamic way to pull students into their study of the play? Click here for an introductory slide set covering everything they'll need to know as they enter the dramatic world of Caesar's Ancient Rome: <a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/tragedy-of-julius-caesar-introduction-lecture-shakespeare-prezi-google-slides/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/product/tragedy-of-julius-caesar-introduction-lecture-shakespeare-prezi-google-slides/ </a>
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Tragedy of Julius Caesar Introduction Lecture Shakespeare Prezi & Google Slides
Grab every eye in the room with this compelling 34-slide lecture that provides all of the background information your class will need as you launch a study of William Shakespeare’s <em>The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.</em>
The presentation includes a quickwrite topic that will help make the play’s characters and themes relevant to your students (15 minutes for writing and discussion). Then, launch into the 30-minute Julius Caesar intro. lecture which covers the time period and setting, background of the Crassus/Pompey/Caesar triumvirate, profiles of six important characters, themes, historical information (Rome’s Feast of Lupercal and Shakespeare’s commentary about the power grab in Elizabethan England), and modern frameworks to help students connect the drama of Ancient Rome to today’s world.
Download includes: 34 slides in Prezi, PDF & Google Slides (uneditable)
Need a scene-by-scene question set to help guide your students' reading of the play? Click here for my Julius Caesar study question set: <a href="https://laurarandazzo.com/product/julius-caesar-scene-by-scene-question-worksheets-pdf-google-drive-ccss/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://laurarandazzo.com/product/julius-caesar-scene-by-scene-question-worksheets-pdf-google-drive-ccss/</a>
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Frederick Douglass, Non-Fiction Analysis to use for ANY Novel with Slavery Theme
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a compelling autobiography and provides an honest view of the harshness of life for enslaved African-Americans in the 1800s. Use this 45-minute lesson that includes a slice of Douglass’ narrative to show your students the ugly reality of life in pre-Civil War America.
This package includes a two-page public domain excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ book in which he details battling Mr. Covey, an abusive slave owner. After students read the passage, they complete an 8-question worksheet that requires them to dig back into the text, emphasizing analysis and interference of the material. Once you’ve discussed the answers as a class, then show your students a letter written in 1865 by a former enslaved man to his master. The letter is filled with candor, grace, and even a bit of dry humor. Another series of deep-thinking questions accompanies the assignment. You could split the two different texts and question sets into two separate lessons, but I like to compare-and-contrast the two men’s experiences and all of the material usually fits well into one class period.
These materials were designed to stand on their own and would work just as well for a history class as an English class. I, however, use these materials with my high school students’ study of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I use this lesson the day after the class has read ch. 8 of the novel, when Huck discovers Jim hiding out on Jackson’s Island and Jim reveals his reasons for running away. By the end of the period, the class has a good understanding of the harsh conditions that Jim and the other enslaved people faced. As an additional homework assignment, I have my students write a letter from Jim to Miss Watson explaining his reasons for leaving.
Download includes: 7-pages PDF (uneditable)
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Cover image credit: George Kendall Warren, National Archives and Records Administration, WikiMedia Commons, Public domain