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Secondary Literature Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Secondary Literature educational resource ideas and activities
Are you teaching a high school language arts class and stumped for writing topics? Five pages of writing prompts for all kinds of writing should help you out. Many of these prompts refer to texts that are not included in this resource, but they should be easily found online. While this is a great collection of ideas, this resource does not provide any instructional strategies.
Your advanced middle school and high school readers explore plot structure by analyzing a classic Jack London story "To Build a Fire." Class members identify setting, characters, and plot. They participate in a discussion about the themes in the story and answer study questions in preparation for a homework assignment in which they write about how they would survive on a deserted island.
Analyze the motivation, purpose, and value of letters to the editor by examining letters written in response to the violence at Columbine High School. For homework, middle and high schoolers write their own letters to the editor about an article titled "Suspect in L.A. Shootings Surrenders to F.B.I" from the New York Times. Note: You could use a less-dated article to bring current events to your language arts lesson. The featured article is from 1999.
Designed to follow a unit on 20th century authors, high schoolers participate in a discussion trying to persuade a panel of scholars which 20th century American author is most influential and should be taught in the fictitious school Picky High School. They write persuasive papers and present their arguments (along with supporting details) to the student panel.
Explore the history of the American novel in the contexts of literature and US history. How does a novel or piece of writing from a particular time showcase the mood during that historical period? After conducting research and discussing social themes and writing styles, high school writers craft an original piece in the style of an American writer.
What comes to mind when learners think about campaign financing? They watch a video (linked) about the fundraising climate during the 2012 presidential election and discuss Super PACs and Supreme Court legislation as a group. Scholars focus on rhetorical device by listening to famous speeches and completing a graphic organizer on persuasive techniques. Next they view four Super PAC ads and complete an analysis of what they see. In a well-formed paragraph, researchers synthesize conclusions based on one of the ads. A rubric is included, and all worksheets are separated into middle school and high school levels. The informational text and resource links here are invaluable.
Bring some ghostly literature into your English classroom! Witches or The Raven will get your instructional activity started! After reading or listening to one of the suggested excerpts, learners write a scene from the text and perform it during the week of Halloween. Another option provided is to have learners draw scenes from the book.
After reading the Declaration of Independence, the Speech to the Virginia Convention, and The Crisis, No. 1, class members discuss the ideas in and structure of these famous documents. Groups focus on either the purpose, tone, diction, persuasive techniques, or organization of the documents. Using the jigsaw format, they share their knowledge with the other groups. Finally, the whole class creates a concept map comparing the three readings.
Role sheets clearly define expectations of all group members in this introduction to literature circles. By using a variety of picture books or short texts, readers can practice roles while the teacher circulates to each group observing or temporarily joining a group to draw all learners into a thoughtful discussion. The book list provides titles of possible texts.
Designed for homeschoolers (but equally as effective for independent learners), this worksheet focuses on Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Middle and high school readers summarize, define vocabulary, and answer questions about the chapters they have read. The worksheet includes several literary activities to extend learning. It also includes several online resources for the novel, though the rest of the activities are not specific to the book.