My Top 10 Posts of 2021

I’ve compiled this post to put into one place my most-read posts of 2021. I hope you find these helpful, and I really hope you’ll skim through these titles and make sure you haven’t missed any that will help you be a more effective and confident teacher in 2022.

The Great Gatsby 2013 Film Chapter Breakdown (updated 1/31/22)

While planning lessons a few days ago, I wanted to know exactly how Baz Luhrman’s Gatsby aligns with the novel. To find out, I watched the movie with novel in hand. Here’s the chapter breakdown.

Where I’m From Poem Templates

Plus photos and links to help you plan Back-to-school is the perfect time for Where I’m From poems. I’ve decided to repost this article from last May to help you add this great activity to your opening days. Where I’m From poems from the author and poet George Ella Lyons… you just can’t write enoughContinue reading “Where I’m From Poem Templates”

The distance learning dilemma

What are your thoughts? I made this headline poem a few days ago after reading some teacher comments in a private Facebook group I follow. The discussion centered on whether or not to return to school next month. Many teachers don’t want to return to school. It’s a personal and public health issue for them.Continue reading “The distance learning dilemma”

Frederick Douglass Unit Plan, Resources, and Handouts

These Douglass resources and handouts support the unit plan in my previous post Two days ago, I posted a unit plan for The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself. In that post, you’ll find a PDF of the unit for you to purchase and then review, tweak, adjust, present or otherwiseContinue reading “Frederick Douglass Unit Plan, Resources, and Handouts”

When class discussions get controversial (and unfair)

I need this plan for better discussions in my classroom Because I am a writer first, and a speaker second, teaching via whole-class discussions does not come easily to me. When those class discussions involve racially-charged, controversial topics, it’s even more difficult. This difficulty can be blamed on two things: I teach at a nearlyContinue reading “When class discussions get controversial (and unfair)”

White Teacher Question: Are these race and social justice books enough?

Send me your contemporary social justice book suggestions I ordered these books for fall 2020 because I’m focusing on the power of literature to effect social change. Of course, recent events in response to the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd make me wonder if there are more topical books I should have ordered insteadContinue reading “White Teacher Question: Are these race and social justice books enough?”

Corona virus acrostic poems perk up distance learning (updated 2021)

Students create acrostic poems to document Covid-19 My students learned at home from March 17 through May 14, 2020 when the school year officially ended. As part of their distance learning back then, I asked students to write a couple of paragraphs every other day or so for a “Life in the Time of Corona”Continue reading “Corona virus acrostic poems perk up distance learning (updated 2021)”