Academic Calendar 16-17 – Free Download

My first year of teaching, my principal provided teachers with one paid planning day per grading period.  It was coordinated with our team, so that we could reflect on the current grading period and plan for the upcoming one.  Little did I know at the time how I spoiled that was!

Since that year, I have never had so much time to plan.  My second year of teaching I didn’t even have a calendar of my lessons each grading period other than my lessons plans that I created only one week ahead of time.  This was clearly not ideal, especially for me.  I am a very organized person, and I love to plan ahead!  Plus, with four different preps, I it’s very important that I plan well to ensure that all of my courses are on track. Continue reading “Academic Calendar 16-17 – Free Download”

Analyzing Rhetoric with I Love Lucy

I recently shared about how I incorporate The Dick Van Dyke Show into my lesson about Evaluating Reliability in Historical Accounts.  Today I want to share another of my favorite shows, and how I use it to introduce or review Rhetorical Appeals – I Love Lucy!

I begin the lesson by showing my class the famous Vitameatavegamin scene, where Lucy films a commercial for a health product.  Most of my students have never seen it before, so I let them know that they will be seeing a commercial, and I want them to jot down all of the ways she tries to convince her audience to buy the product (if you are using this activity to review, you can specifically ask students to identify rhetorical appeals). Continue reading “Analyzing Rhetoric with I Love Lucy”

Evaluating Reliability in Historical Accounts

One of the challenges in teaching American Literature is creating relevance when studying very old texts with antiquated language.  A strategy I have found to be useful is creating connections to more contemporary texts and videos, particularly in my Warm Ups.  While there is definitely value in using pop culture references to engage students, I sometimes like to use videos from before their time.  This way, it modernizes the topic but is still new and maybe outside of their comfort zone.  One of my favorite types of resources to pull from are fifties sitcoms!  In this lesson, I use The Dick Van Dyke Show to help students recognize bias and evaluate reliability in historical accounts. Continue reading “Evaluating Reliability in Historical Accounts”

Beginning the Year with Suitcase Introductions

All teachers understand the importance of the first day of school.  It is not only the day when you set the standards and begin to develop the classroom atmosphere, but also when you get to know your students and make your first impression.  The challenge is finding something that is engaging without being cheesy. Continue reading “Beginning the Year with Suitcase Introductions”

Making Inferences with “The World on the Turtle’s Back”

Like most teachers, now that the summer has begun, I have already started thinking about next school year.  In my American Literature class, we begin the year with the study of Native American oral literature.  More specifically, we read an Iroquois creation myth entitled “The World on the Turtle’s Back”.

My students are usually interested in this story due to some of the crazy plot elements (including a husband pushing his pregnant wife through a hole in the sky, a baby being born out of his mother’s armpit, and an epic duel between two twins).  But what I love about teaching this text is the conversations we have about the art of storytelling. Continue reading “Making Inferences with “The World on the Turtle’s Back””