Does your English class create memories?

I provide memorable, effective, and easy-to-implement teaching ideas, lesson plans, and resources for creative ELA 6-12 teachers.

Ask me that question and I’ll answer, “Well, sometimes… but not always.”

Some days my class totally rocks. Other days, it falls flat and I wonder why I ever started teaching in the first place. But in the midst of all that self-doubt, I don’t stop doing my job. I just get more creative.

As teachers, we know it’s important to balance objectives and standards with the need to create experiences that students will remember fondly long after they graduate from middle school or high school. For example, we know they won’t remember the comma worksheet, but they WILL remember the Walden Pond cabin they designed or the day they drew their backyard to discover ideas for a memoir.

Providing solid curriculum in a memorable way is my teaching goal. And it’s not easy, but the challenge is exciting and even more so when I am able to share my stories and ideas with you.

Here’s how my blog can help you:

Running low on steam, but need a Chaucer lesson?

Need a new poetry idea?

Want a fun and effective way to teach a new vocabulary word?

Look no further than my search bar at the top of this page. Enter your keyword and see what you find.

With that said, know that this blog is a potpourri of sorts for all things ELA. I teach, reflect, and then post about my teaching across all five of my class preps:

English III American Literature,

English IV British Literature,

Independent Reading,


and Poetry.

In my 250-plus posts, you’ll find lessons on Beowulf, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, ekphrastic poetry, September 11, coffee cup lids (yes, that’s right), Articles of the Week, vocabulary, you name it …even how to teach seniors Braille.

So dare to bring more memory-making into your classes! It is my hope that my blog will help you do just that.

Making English class memorable is my goal as my students and I journey through ELA. I believe I can teach creatively and memorably AND prepare my students for college and career.

ELA Brave and True | Marilyn Yung

Discovering our shared humanity, expressing our personalities, tapping our creativities, and digging for relevance in the texts we read and write.

That’s what ELA is about.

Enter your email in the space below…

…and I’ll send you a handout (shown below) to show your students how to write Treasured Object poems, one of my favorite poetry activities.

Image shows readers the paper I'll send for signing up for my email list. The handout gives instructions for a Treasured Object poem.
Treasured Object Poems

Success! You're on the list.

Thank you for signing up!

I’m interested in your story!

Please contact me to let me know about creative and memorable ways you’re teaching ELA to middle grade and high school students. I am especially interested in the following:

  • poetry lessons and activities
  • writing contests for middle school and high school students
  • ways to combine visual and performing arts into reading and writing instruction
  • American classics and diverse text pairings
  • engaging and effective writing lessons for middle and high school students

Use my contact page, email me at elabraveandtrue@gmail.com, or leave a comment on any blog post.

Let’s connect!

Some Recent Posts

  • Race, Class, and Music in The Great Gatsby
    Originally posted on The Avid Listener:
    Carrie Allen Tipton (Houston, TX) https://www.youtube.com/embed/ozkOhXmijtk Warner Brothers film trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013), featuring multiple musical excerpts (starting off with André 3000 and Beyoncé performing “Back in Black”). The Great…
  • “Song of Myself” Video Project Reveals Walt Whitman’s Importance Today
    And then I stumbled upon something amazing: Whitman, Alabama. This was the inspiration I needed to demonstrate the importance of Walt Whitman’s poetry in American culture today.
  • Switch up sketchnotes to engage distracted students
    I love sketchnotes. They’re engaging, colorful, and creative, and allow me to make illustrative connections while I listen to a book. But here’s the thing: I’m not a very good listener. I need to carefully concentrate on the words I’m hearing or my mind wanders to whatever’s going on in the hall, outside the window, or just inside my head. So even though I’m a huge fan of sketchnotes, sometimes I need a more passive kind of sketchnotes… sketchnotes that keep me engaged, but still able to focus on the text so I can create meaningful notes and doodles that will ultimately aid understanding and retention of the content.