Many of us will present “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry’s tale of gift giving and self-sacrifice in December, and friend of the blog Kate McCook just shared a link to a 15-minute film that beautifully modernizes the classic short story. “I came across this lovely short film set during the Greek economic crisis,” she emailed this week. “I’m thinking of showing it to my class for a little treat and exposure to world culture.” Thanks, Kate, for sharing the good stuff – this one’s definitely going into my rotation, too. Continue reading

Note: This is an updated repost featuring some of my favorite end-of-the-year lesson ideas.

You’ve wrapped your last major unit and final exams are still a week away. You could spend five days playing Review Jeopardy (uh…no, thanks) or you could grab some of these tried-and-true resources that’ll keep kids focused until finals. Continue reading

Last week, I shared five easy ways to help you celebrate National Poetry Month in your classroom. Today, I’m adding a sixth solid (and free!) resource. Continue reading

Of course we should fold in some extra poetry lessons in April, but who has the time? With state testing and AP exam prep, this month is a bullet train, whipping by with scary speed. But what if we slowed that roll just a bit? April’s also supposed to bring to mind warmth and new growth, the perfect time to dig some rhyme. I know we all have a lot to do, but here are a few easy options to help us celebrate National Poetry Month in our classrooms. Continue reading

Learning lessons from my first experience with stations, I’m happy to report that my second lap around the track with this technique was more successful. Right before we left for our two-week winter vacation, I used Poetry Creation Stations with my freshmen. The result? Oh, this one’s a keeper. Continue reading

As October comes to a close, novelists-in-the-making are sharpening their pencils (or more likely charging their laptops) in preparation for National Novel Writing Month. Each November, NaNoWriMo.org encourages writers to deliberately schedule time to ink some pages. They’re also now giving us the tools to help our students – and maybe even ourselves – take […]

Micro Fiction – Flash Fiction – Two-Sentence Stories – Sudden Fiction – Twitter Tales Whatever you want to call them, super-short stories are a super-fun way to spend a single class period, as you introduce your teens to the idea that an entire story can exist within just a few lines. Micro fiction can pack […]