Winter Poems including Figurative Language

Winter Poetry and Figurative Language

Are you looking for a new twist for teaching poetic elements? Check out these seven activities that use winter poems and figurative language. Winter idioms, Jack Frost, and snow make for high-interest topics during the cold, winter months.

Students will find rhyming schemes, identify figurative language, and analyze what is taking place in the poems. They will even enjoy writing a second verse to a poem using the author’s pattern. Continue Reading

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Teaching Ideas for Ghost by Reynolds

Teaching Ideas to use with Ghost by Jason Reynonlds

If you are looking for a book will a likable character that will make you laugh and cry, look no further. Ghost is a fantastic book! Throughout the story, the reader follows Castle ‘Ghost’ Crenshaw as he struggles with a mean dad, a school bully, doing what is right and wrong, and belonging. 

Ghost Book Summary


Castle ‘Ghost’ Crenshaw begins by telling the reader about several world records. Just like the people who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, Castle hopes he too will do something special to earn a spot in the book. Castle continues by telling about his normal routine. After school, he goes to Mr. Charles’s store to buy sunflower seeds. Then he goes to the bus stop to watch the people exercising in the gym across the street. Next, Castle reveals his biggest secret. Three years earlier, his dad drank too much, got out a gun, and shot at him and his mom. He was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Continue Reading

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From the Desk of Zoe Washington Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas to use with From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Students will love reading From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks. In this realistic fiction, Zoe struggles to free her father, serving a sentence in prison for a crime he never committed, a disagreement with her best friend, and a desire to be on the Kid’s Bake Challenge television show.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington Summary

For Zoe’s 12th birthday, she and a group of her friends go to Ari’s Cakes to bake cupcakes. When Zoe gets home, she finds a letter from her biological dad who is in prison. This is a real shock for Zoe as she has never heard from Marcus before. Zoe runs up to her room to read the letter in private. He addresses her “My Little Tomato” and talks about music, specifically Stevie Wonder. Continue Reading

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A Long Walk to Water Activities

A Long Walk to Water Book Activities

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on a true story. The book tells the stories of Nya who lives in Southern Sudan in 2008 and Salva who lived in Southern Sudan in 1985. Each chapter begins with Nya’s story and jumps to Salva’s story.

A Long Walk to Water Book Summary

Nya’s Story

Nya spends her days carrying water from the pond to her home in two grueling trips each day during the wet season. During the dry season, her family moves to the lake area where Nya spends her days collecting water from the muddy lake bed… Continue Reading

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Reintroducing Classroom Collaboration

Teaching Ideas to use when Reintroducing Classroom Collaboration

Teaching students classroom collaboration is such an important part of teaching. It doesn’t matter if teachers are trying to prepare students for today’s workplace or just how to get along with others; students need to be proficient collaborators. Educators recognize this skill as so important that the Common Core State Standards has a category under the Listening and Speaking section called “Comprehension and Collaboration” in every grade level from kindergarten through twelfth grades.

For nearly two years now this skill has been neglected. Whether students have been taught at home or in school with social distancing, it has not been safe for students to work closely together. As of November 10, 2021, the CDC reported that 14.7 million (59%) of adolescents aged 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, with a safe vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, students will soon be able to work in small groups once again. Continue Reading

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Teaching Capitalization & Punctuation with Animated Shorts

Engage students by teaching capitalization and punctuation with animated shorts.

Let’s face it. Some lessons are just more fun for teachers as well as students than others. Students would rather read the next chapter of an exciting cliffhanger, than study skills. So, how do you make teaching capitalization and punctuation fun for students?  The answer is to use animated shorts and games.

Free Capitalization and Punctuation Activities

These animated short practice activities were created specifically for this blog post. They are similar to the ones found in my Teaching Capitalization and Punctuation with Animated Shorts unit. Check them out to see if teaching skills with this highly motivating method works for you and your students. Continue Reading

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Teaching Compare & Contrast with Christmas Stories

Teaching Compare and Contrast with Christmas Books

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree and Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story are great Christmas stories for teaching compare and contrast. They have many commonalities. Both are a mid-third grade reading level; however, I have used them with students in 6th grade successfully.

Get all activities in printable format along with the link to the Google Slides version by clicking on this button. Continue Reading

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