Activities, strategies, lessons, and planning pertaining to my tenth grade English/Language Art classes.
Saying Goodbye to English 10 - Wow, where to start with this group? These students were mine from day one. They were my most challenging, but my most rewarding group. And they taught me a lot about being a tenth grader.
Compare & Contrast – Tuesdays with Morrie Movie - My kids finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie! Yay! To complete the unit, I wanted the students to watch the movie and to compare the book and the movie--understanding literature through multiple lenses.
Who Is Morrie Now? - As a closing and wrap-up activity for Tuesdays with Morrie, I asked my students to take out their drawings from the beginning of the semester, there initial pictures of who Morrie was.
Unit Planning – English 10 - Planning for my English 10 classes was different--these periods, one and four, I was taking over from the start. I needed to have a plan from day one all the way to my final day, October 16th.
Life Lessons From Morrie – Final Paper - For this assignment, students were to choose two aphorisms/quotes/life lessons and define them, define them as they were presented in the book, and relate them to their personal lives.
Peer Reading - Okay, I thought. We'll see how this goes. I stood at the front of the class. "Today we're going to finish the book. I'd like you to find a partner of your choice and read this final section, 'Afterward' aloud."
“Graduation” and “Conclusion” Scaffolded Notes - After reading aloud and realizing that my students were struggling with comprehension, I decided to create a set of scaffolded notes for them to take home over the weekend and complete while reading.
Today’s Goals - In my classroom, I have my "I Can" board which states the classroom standards and 'I Can' statements pertaining to those standards. However, I wanted to branch out from the classroom standards and make something specific, for each day. So I created "Today's Goals".
Journal 4 – The “Nightline” Show - As I begin to wrap up Tuesdays with Morrie in my English 10 classes, I wanted to give students the opportunity to form an opinion. Some of my students love the book. Some don't. I wanted to get them working on opinion-based narrative writing, dip into persuasive writing, and most importantly, make arguments and back them up with support!
12th Tuesday Comprehension Questions - Something I started doing with my sophomore English students was read aloud from Tuesdays with Morrie. This began as an idea to help my ESL student and other struggling readers, but then it became a necessary tool to keep all students on track with their reading.
Reincarnation Activity - Today my students are taking their 5th-9th Tuesday Quiz, but after that, I wanted them to have a little fun.
5th-8th Tuesday, Study Guides and Quiz - After reading the 5th-8th Tuesdays both independently and as a class, I wanted to give my students a quiz. This time, however, I wanted a more challenging quiz, as my students had done very well on the last, multiple choice and true-false quiz.
Poetry Workshop - To connect on a deeper, more personal level to Tuesdays with Morrie, I had my students write poems about their 'Morries', the influential people in their lives.
7th Tuesday Reading Quiz - Want to check that your students are reading? Here's a simple quiz you can give them over the "Seventh Tuesday".
Who’s My Morrie? - I wanted to switch up activities in my English 10 classes and instead of having them write another journal or essay-type of response, I decided to have them write two poems. These would be about people who influenced them positively--their 'Morries'.
Journal 3 – Family - To help my students connect their lives to the story, Tuesdays with Morrie, I wanted them to write about themselves--right now, in this moment.
Emailing with Parents - In one of my English 10 classes, I have a student with a 504 Plan. He struggles, and sometimes I'm worried that he isn't grasping concepts, despite me working one-on-one with him during class time as much as I can.
My Kids Say the Darndest Things! (A Little Humor for Your Monday) - I'm having my English 10 students write in first person--narrative, autobiographical papers and journals. These can be tough because they're a mix of conversational and academic writing...but sometimes I just have to laugh at the hilarious, ridiculous things they write.
5th Tuesday – Tuesdays with Morrie - The "Fifth Tuesday" in Tuesdays with Morrie is important because it talks about relationships, family, and family that goes beyond blood. These were important points I wanted my students to grasp, so I made worksheets and study guides to help with their learner development.
Tuesdays with Morrie, Mid-Book Quest - I needed to asses my students' comprehension. It wasn't enough to read their worksheets or to peek over their shoulders during individual work time. I needed to know exactly what my students had learned, so I decided to make a Tuesdays with Morrie Mid-Book Quest.
My Grading/Planning System - Being a teacher can be difficult at times. There's typically 2084305 thoughts going on in your head at once--sometimes it's near impossible to keep it all straight!
Is Love Rational or Irrational? [Part 2] - This lesson is a follow-up to Is Love Rational or Irrational? [Part 1], which is primarily focused on the question of love being rational or not.
Is Love Rational or Irrational? [Part 1] - Today I started my English 10 class in a very strange way. I sat at a chair in the front of the room, and for the first five minutes, stayed absolutely silent.
Journal #2 – Being Your Age - September 21: By this time, my English 10 students are up to page 60 in Tuesdays with Morrie. Perfect time to assign another journal.
My ELL Student - Having a student that struggles with English is difficult, even frustrating at times. But so incredibly rewarding to see him/her succeed!
Connecting to Tuesdays with Morrie – Making Bucket Lists! - Today was a shortened day because of Homecoming. Classes were only twenty minutes, but I still wanted my students to do something pertaining to Tuesdays with Morrie, while being fun! So I had them make their own Bucket Lists!
Tension of Opposites - One of the major themes early in Tuesdays with Morrie is tension, or 'Tension of Opposites,' as Morrie himself names it. I wanted my students to understand this, but I wanted to see how much they understood independently. So I made a worksheet.
Task List/Work Day - What's the solution to disruptive, easily-distracted students while not taking anything away from productive, doing-what-they're-supposed-to students? For me, and for my English 10 classes, the solution was a Task List/Work Day.
Who Am I/My Culture Paper - For one of the first major writing assignments in my English 10 classroom, I decided to have the students write a paper about three items that define them, 'Who Am I/My Culture Paper'. This began as an assignment/mini-speech [to read more about that, click here].
Who Am I/My Culture Assignment - To dig a little deeper and connect my Tuesdays with Morrie unit to Narrative writing, which my students have and will be doing for the remainder of the year, I decided to create a 'Who Am I/My Culture' Assignment.
Tuesdays with Morrie – Quiz 1 - After going through the book for several days as a class and having short Journal assignments and discussion, I decided to have a reading pop-quiz.
ALS Web Quest - Sometimes to understand a concept fully, students need to research and learn about the concept outside of the classroom discussion. This I've learned with Tuesdays with Morrie and his condition ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis].
Employability Skills - What are 'Employability Skills'? According to MCHS and the rest of the district, Employability Skills are a set of standards that meet criteria such as responsibility, thinking creatively and critically, or being a self-directed learner, just to name a few.
Journal 1 – Connecting Student Lives to Tuesdays with Morrie - Students connect with a text when they are able to relate the content to their personal lives and make deeper, more personal connections.
Who Is Morrie Schwartz? - To introduce my students to the book, Tuesday with Morrie, and the main characters, I had my students close their eyes and listen as I read aloud.
Connecting Lessons to Real-Life: The Ice-Bucket Challenge [and more!] - As an intro activity to my English 10 class' first major reading, Tuesdays with Morrie, I wanted to talk about ALS and the complications of that disease since the main character, Morrie, struggles with ALS.
Pre-Planning the Tuesdays with Morrie Unit - This is what I call the Novel-in-a-Notebook, a way to pre-plan for your lessons by having all of the pages of your text copied into your notebook for easy access, reference, and smart note-taking.
Creating a Syllabus - The first step in getting ready for my classes was to create a syllabus.