The Great Gatsby: Chapter 1 Challenges

Chapter 1 isn’t always a student’s cup of tea “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” (from The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1) We all recognize that famous first sentence of The Great Gatsby. It’s a quiet sentence, isn’t it?Continue reading “The Great Gatsby: Chapter 1 Challenges”

Poetry Chapbooks for High Schoolers

Have students self-publish their poetry in chapbooks This will be a short post, but I wanted to briefly fill you in on a culminating activity my high school poetry class completed last spring. Our final project of the year was to create a poetry chapbook, a small(ish) book that contained the many poems they createdContinue reading “Poetry Chapbooks for High Schoolers”

On Tap for 2023: Gatsby, Inspiration & Insights into Student Focus

Plus: my top ten posts of 2022 I savor these last moments of the holidays. They’re the perfect time to reflect, rethink, and redirect my site’s content to better serve you, my dear readers, in the coming year. In doing so, it’s always interesting to learn which posts resonated most strongly with readers throughout theContinue reading “On Tap for 2023: Gatsby, Inspiration & Insights into Student Focus”

When Students are Disengaged and Unable to Focus

We need to reclaim our ability to focus. Is it possible students are suffering more anxiety and stress because they know deep down inside they’re falling short of their potentials? Johann Hari discusses how to think deeply again in his book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention.

Ekphrastic Poetry Roundup

Integrate art and poetry For a twist on poetry that merges art study with creative writing, introduce students to ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrasis — the description of artwork in a poem — brings art into your classroom and into your students’ lives. I’ve taught ekphrastic poetry on several occasions to high school students in both EnglishContinue reading “Ekphrastic Poetry Roundup”

DAR Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest

High school essay contest Looking for a high school writing contest this fall? Look no further than the Daughters of the American Revolution’s (DAR) Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest. In my previous teaching position, a few of my high school students participated in this contest as part of our Writer’s Workshop routine. EnteringContinue reading “DAR Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest”

Beowulf Lessons for High School

Seven Beowulf Lesson Plans and Resources It’s that time of year again for British Literature teachers. It’s time for Beowulf! Have you started your journey into Anglo-Saxon poetry? My usual early fall Anglo-Saxon routine culminates with a three-week unit on Beowulf followed by a short unit on The Hero’s Journey. I didn’t always enjoy teachingContinue reading “Beowulf Lessons for High School”