"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." 

- Albert Einstein

As teachers, we know that it can sometimes be difficult getting all of our students excited about learning.  Below I have linked some lesson plans that I believe are great teaching tools that are both fun and exciting.  If you would like your lesson plans or ideas posted on my site, please e-mail me and I will be glad to update!


~Newspaper Poems~

This activity is a great way for students to get to know one another, and is especially great for use in the beginning of the year.  This is beneficial to students because they are allowed time to talk amongst themselves both in what they are reading in the news as they cut out words, but also talking about their lives.  Creating a classroom community is key, and they more students get to know one another, the more trust is built along with community.  Also, this lesson sparks creativity which is always essential in the classroom, no matter what age.


~Holocaust Newspaper~

Creating a newspaper for the time period of the Holocaust is a lesson that correlates multicultural education with high-level writing.  Students will be asked to read Night for our Holocaust Unit, and find one article on-line favoring either Nazi Germany or the targeted Jewish community.  Students will be assigned one portion of the newspaper per group (by the teacher) and will be asked to write an article for the paper posing as either a Nazi or a Jew from the Holocaust period.  Students will be able to familiarize with their character and step inside their shoes for a day, using descriptive words and factual data from what they find on the internet sites provided.


~Story Boards~

In a high school English classroom, story boards are a great way for a teacher to monitor student comprehension of literature.  The purpose of this activity is to allow students to use their creativity and sketch their version of each chapter of the book to show their understanding of important concepts of the novel.  First, you need to create a worksheet with cells on the page (typically as many chapters as you have read) for students to draw on.  Also, bring markers and colored pencils so students can really enjoy getting involved with the assignment.  It would be helpful to students to write down three or four main parts of each chapter as they are to write one sentence beneath each picture to explain what is happening or who is involved.  In the end, display your students’ hard work in the hallways for them and others to see.  This fun, creative assignment has become a book report in colorful pictures


~Poems About You by You~

Objective:  Given a sample “I Am” poem to be read aloud and critiqued by the class, the student will be able to construct an “I Am” poem as a whole class and be able to write an individual poem as homework with examples from their personal lives.



  • This activity asks students to write a poem about themselves which is a great activity for the first few days of class allowing them to get to know one another and become more comfortable with writing.
  • To begin, while using the “I Am” model handed out to each student, the class will read the poem together sharing thoughts for each line out loud.  This gets them thinking about what they will want to write about while brainstorming and collecting ideas from one another.
  • Next, the students will construct an “I Am” poem together using the model aloud with the teacher filling in each line via overhead projector.  This allows for everyone to get involved with the activity and shows the students just what to do.
  • After the classroom poem is constructed, each student will receive their “I Am” model handout and begin to write their own.  They will received the skeleton outline and fill in the available space on the handout for their poem.
  • If time runs out, this assignment should be homework and each student will bring their poem to the next class completely finished.  (For a small homework grade, the teacher could check all poems for completion.)
  • The next class period I would construct groups of 3-4 and have the students share their poems within their groups.  Each group will elect one spokesperson to share his or her poem to the class.


- -English Journal Articles - -


English in the City 

A great article for helping educators balance lessons with topics such as sexual orientation.  This article focuses on the difficulties public schools face today with such issues. 

Books About Teen Parents: Messages and Omissions 

Examines narratives and novels written for young adults that deal with teenage pregnancy and parenting. Discusses eight common messages found in 17 such short stories and books, and notes three areas of significant silence.


Sex and Violence: Words at Play in the Shakespeare Classroom

This article reveals the excitement and learning that can occur when high school students are presented with multiple opportunities to play. Activities that employ playful language and the whole body allow students to embody, name, and identify with complicated emotions and situations in Shakespeare's plays. In addition, play can be effective preparation for success on the state test and in life.






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