Infuse your ELA classroom with personal expression, creativity, and relevance.
The day I realized my son and daughter could not recall having written one poem or piece of non-academic writing in their entire high school careers was the day I clarified my thinking about my own teaching.
Don’t get me wrong.
My kids’ teachers were excellent educators. They followed the standards and placed the focus where they saw fit: on academic writing. And while my children do write well, they do not enjoy writing.
That’s why I believe that as a teacher, I must find the balance between the academic and the creative. ELA teachers must not merely teach writing, but instead, create writers.
To that end, students need memorable, creative opportunities to fully grasp the power of expressing themselves with written language.
Personal expression — and by extension, creativity — must be a driving force in my classroom. What’s the point of learning in-text parenthetical citations, how to write a literary analysis, or knowing how to summarize a text if one feels no personal connection to those tasks?
Whether we’re reading or writing in my ELA classes, we are always mindful that what we are really doing is finding our own humanity… expressing our personalities, tapping our creativities, and digging for relevance to our own experiences within the texts we read and write.
Providing students a blend of creative and academic writing is a balancing act, but it can be done.ELA Brave and True | Marilyn Yung
You can teach creative writing AND prepare your students for college and career. Let’s learn and share.
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…and I’ll send you a free mini-lesson handout that will show your students how to write Treasured Object poems, one of our favorite poetry activities. I’ll also send you an email about once a month with a creative ELA teaching idea, lesson plan, and/or news on student writing contests.
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I’m interested in your story!
Please contact me to let me know about creative 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 email@example.com, or leave a comment on any blog post.
Some Recent Posts
- The Dream of the Rood: a dream of a poemLast fall, as I read and planned lessons for Beowulf, “The Wanderer,” and “The Seafarer,” I kept coming across “The Dream of the Rood.” It wasn’t included in our textbook, but since I kept reading about it (and it was included in my trusty Norton anthology, after all), I became more and more curious. Fast forward: my “Dream of the Rood” close reading activity is here!
- A new movie for your Anglo-Saxon poetry unitThe 1-hour and 52-minute movie is captivating, and builds suspense and excitement around the very culture awash in The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife’s Lament, and Beowulf.
- The Slice of Life PoemRecently, it occurred to me that slice of life writing would work equally well in poetic form.