Language Arts


Some of my goals for this year:
  1. That students recognize, appreciate, and are inspired by great writing.
  2. That the students learn to write in various styles and for various audiences, regardless of current strength/weakness
  3. That students care about writing well, and will work hard to do it.
  4. That students see literature as a "window" to the world and as a 'mirror' to themselves.
  5. That students develop a love for and curiosity about words and phrases.
  1. word etymology
  2. Dead word tombstone
  3. Calvin & Hobbes Big Word Bin
  4. student's personal word of the day
  5. replacement challenge:  replacing colloquialisms with "better" words
  6. word chains (welcome back ground water fall back rest stop sign...)

Ideas for Lessons/Projects
  1. X ways to say "it was raining" 
  2. Letter to yourself at 18
  3. Speeches to a group
  4. memoirs (get 6 word book)
  5. monologues (one of which parents pick)
  6. jabberwocky.... make up your own words
  7. Visual essay (Animoto, etc)
  8. Visual/Information design principles
  9. Evolution of information literacy
  10. Create a Facebook page (mockup) of an author
  11. Writing about a place and explore it on GoogleEarth
  12. Write an ad that will sell something online (craigslist, ebay, amazon, etc)
  13. Check out for a speaking-listening project (and and
Ideas for Routines
  1. Use a g-site (behind h-org) per person/family for everything
  2. Vocabulary page as a spreadhseet: word, part, def, samples, location in literature
  3. The Dowel of Words (kids do word of the day)

  1. Culture of Creativity, Avenue to Innovation

  1. Jay Richards
  2. Jim Burke @ Burlingame High School
  3. Gayle Britt retired
  4. Jackie Armor retired
  5. Lynn Thomas @ Borrell Middle School, San Mateo
Online Resources
  1. My Google Notebook
  2. Schmoop
  3. Shelfari
Grammar/Spelling Activities
1. Adverb Questions   2. Grand Grammar Game   3. Pronouns
1. Prefixes
2. Antonyms (opposites)
3. Suffixes
4. "ie" vs. "ei"
1. Subject-verb agreement (you can't repeat this one... one try, one score)
2. Spelling (unscrambling words)
3. Homophones (same sound, different meaning)
1. Commonly mis-used words (get both correct to get credit)
2. Conjunctions
3. Verb battleship
4. Fragments & Run-on Sentences
1. Spelling (get 23/25 or higher)
2. Vocabulary using context clues (repeat until you get 9/10 or higher)
3. General English Jeopardy: (get a score of at least 10,000)
Capitalization or
1. Punctuation and Capitalization
2. Vocabulary
3. Parts of Speech
1. Irregular verbs
2. One Word, Two Meanings

  1. 100 commonly misspelled words

Genre (from CDE website)


Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.


Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.

Fairy Tale

Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.


Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.


Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.

Fiction in Verse

Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.


The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or "folk" as handed down by word of mouth.


Historical Fiction

Story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.



Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.



Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres



Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.


Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.


Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.


Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.

Realistic Fiction

Story that can actually happen and is true to life.

Science Fiction

Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story

Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.

Tall Tale

Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.

All Nonfiction


Narrative of a person's life, a true story about a real person.


A short literary composition that reflects the author's outlook or point.

Narrative Nonfiction

Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.


Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.


Public address or discourse.