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ELA Blog - English Language Arts Resources for the Classroom

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Grammar

Diary of Anne Frank Activities That Will Strengthen Descriptive Writing, Grades 3–8

“When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!” Anne Frank wrote those words in her work: The Diary of a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Mother's Day-Inspired Compare and Contrast Lesson, Grades 3–5

Review reading comprehension strategies with my Mother's Day-inspired compare and contrast lesson. Although this compare and contrast lesson was...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Shakespeare Lesson Plan: Create Thine Own Vocabulary Insult, Grades 6–12

In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23rd have students create Shakespeare-like insults*, but with vocabulary words! This silly Shakespeare...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

4 FREE Shakespeare Activities for High School Students

Every year during second semester, tenth grade teachers at my school begin to teach William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Recently, a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to a NEW 21st Century School Design [Free Graphic Organizer]

Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools Today by Eric C. Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray is a MUST READ for educators. In this...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

ACT/SAT Test-Taking Strategies: Pre-assess & Differentiate Vocabulary Learning

After 13+ years teaching high school English, I've concluded that ACT and SAT test-taking strategies are more successful when educators make...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Talisman

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

A Guide to Reviewing Vocabulary Terms Before High-Stakes Testing

In this article, you'll explore the benefits and rationale for teaching and reviewing vocabulary strategies as part of high-stakes test preparation!...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Writing a Short Story Lesson Plan for Elementary Students –National Tell A Story Day

National Tell a Story Day is celebrated on April 27th. This is a day for people to get together to tell all kinds of different stories. These stories...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

3 Printable Earth Day Writing Activities, Grades 1–12

April 22 is Earth Day, and this provides teachers with an opportunity to encourage students to get involved in persevering their own communities! With...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

How to Use Text-Dependent Questions to Engage Students in Close Reading, Grades 2–5

In this article, you'll discover how to use text-dependent questions to engage students in close reading. I share text-dependent questions and passage...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Shoddy

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Fun Vocabulary Activities for End of the School Year

As the school year comes to a close, I find myself on the struggle bus right alongside my students. While they are anxious for summer, I am anxious to...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Reading Practice Prompts for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Like many of you, my students will be taking the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for the first time this spring. In my reading and...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Leeway

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

3 Test-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students (Includes 10+ Printables)

Recently I've had a lot of teachers come to me asking about standardized test preparation. While I hope the majority of my instruction prepares my kids...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Baseball Parts of Speech Grammar Game, Grades 2–12

The use of sports in the classroom is a great way to engage young people in learning! One of my favorite days of the year is baseball’s Opening Day. I...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

April Poetry Month – Fun Poetry Activities & Resources for Teachers

These fun poetry activities will make it easy to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month in your classroom. All month, students and teachers across the...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Barrage

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

5 Fun Grammar Worksheets to Use This Spring!

Spring brings with it both pleasant weather and the interesting dynamic of nearing the end of the school year – which can be exhausting – as well as...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Note-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students— Texts and Multimedia Formats

Teaching students how to take notes is extremely important, and it needs to be taught across all grades. Most students do not know how to take...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Using Prezi in the Classroom to Teach Vocabulary, Grades 6–12

One of my favorite vocabulary activities is Present Vocabulary with Prezi. I quickly learned that combining technology with vocabulary instruction...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Parry

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Simple Direct Vocabulary Instruction Strategies that Work (Proven Tips/Techniques by Vocab Gal)

In this post, readers will form a true understanding of how to successfully integrate all of the important aspects of direct vocabulary instruction...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Celebrity Tweets Worksheet for Revising and Editing Practice, Grades 7–12

Social media has become a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Wouldn’t it be fun to edit spelling, grammar, and punctuation in a relevant and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Leprechaun Activities to Improve Students' Writing, Grades 1–5

Over the years I have created and acquired many St. Patrick's Day lessons and activities. Today I am sharing some of my favorite leprechaun activities...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Women's History Month Research Activity, Grades 3–8

Every March, I make it a point to celebrate Women's History Month with my students. Instead of assigning a typical biography report, I make it a point...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Maul

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Components of Balanced Literacy and Strategies for the Classroom

The methodology that I use to teach reading is "Balanced Literacy." Many of my blog posts refer to "Balanced Literacy" as I share units, lessons, and...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Misnomer

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Vocabulary Lesson Plan: March Madness Competition, Grades 2–12

Have students fill out brackets for vocabulary words and let them decide the "ultimate vocabulary word" in the categories of nouns, verbs, and...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Classroom Debate Lesson Plan Inspired by March Madness, Grades 5+

Debates are a fun activity that demand students use a variety of literacy skills. Today I'm sharing a classroom debate lesson plan that is inspired by...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Venial

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

How Word Parts and Context Clues Strategies Can Help Students Become Better Test Takers

So often, teachers tell students to figure out what a word means based on its word parts or on surrounding context clues, but I rarely know how to...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Radiant

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Printable Reading Activities for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to highlight previous posts and printable reading activities that you may want to try with your students.

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Informative/Explanatory Writing in the Classroom, Grades 3–12

Lets explore the importance of teaching informative/explanatory writing in the classroom. Students need to have the ability to clearly convey concepts...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Waggish

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

National Anthem Close Reading Activities for Grades 3–8

In this article, you will learn how to use national anthems to engage students in a variety of close reading activities!

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

ESL Valentine's Day Lesson for Vocabulary Learning, Grades 1–12

Valentine's Day is approaching and offers teachers with the opportunity to link ESL students' interest in the calendar holiday with vocabulary...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Annotation

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Teaching Grammar Creatively; Seven Worksheets To Get You Started

It can be a struggle to keep students interested in learning about the more technical side of language. One way that teachers can enhance grammar...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Winter Olympics 5-Day Nonfiction Reading Strategy Lesson Plan, Grades 3–8

Use the 2018 Winter Olympics to engage students in a series of nonfiction reading strategy lessons! Use the lessons and printables below to teach (or...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Plod

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Super Bowl Commercials! Persuasive Writing Lesson for Grades 5+

The day after the Super Bowl, many of my students are tired from staying up to watch the big game, so I try to make my lessons for that day to be as...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Immunity

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

2018 Olympic Activities for Students That Will Strengthen Vocabulary

Are you and your students excited for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games? The Winter Olympics are especially exciting for me because they take place when...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Model Close Reading Annotation Using "I Have a Dream" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Every year in January, I take time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with students by: reading about his life, listening to his speeches, and...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Porous

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

8 Strategies for Teaching ELL Students Vocabulary Words

I have been friends with each of the three English Language Learner (ELL) teachers that have served my district since I began teaching, but I...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Teach Sequence of Events– Free Sequencing Worksheets for Kindergarten and Grade 1

Sequencing is the skill that is used when a reader lists the events of a story in the order that they occurred in, from first to last. For a student to...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Evince

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Meaningful Vocabulary Instruction and How to Get the Words to Stick!

Quality vocabulary instruction is a goal for all teachers at the beginning of the school year, but it can quickly become lost in the midst of all the...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

4 Tips to Successfully Begin a New Semester After Winter Break

Resolutions abound in the new year, and the beginning of a new semester can represent a clean slate, as well. A new year naturally lends itself to...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Free Printable New Year Activities for Students, Grades 1–5

The beginning of a New Year is a great time for reflecting and goal setting. Taking time to “reflect” on their experiences of the previous year gives...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

The Purposes for Multiple Reads in Close Reading Lessons

Having your students do multiple reads of a text (that is, re-reading more closely with a specific purpose for each read) is an excellent way to deepen...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Perpetuate

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

8 Ways to Integrate Greek/Latin Roots into Vocabulary Routines

I often get asked about how best to teach Greek and Latin Roots, Prefixes and Suffixes. Today I will share ways I integrate teaching Greek/Latin Roots...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Indelible

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Fun Winter Holiday Writing Activities Elementary Students Will Love

 Two of my favorite books to read in December are The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth. I love to use...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Creative Ways to Teach Parts of Speech in Middle School and High School

Memories of my middle and early high-school English class might be similar to your own: desks in rows, quiet work time, and sentence diagramming....

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Holiday Close Reading Lessons

The holidays can be a challenging time to keep students focused. They are usually thinking about anything other than school. This is why I embrace the...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Winter & Holiday-Themed Activities Students Can Use to Review Vocabulary and Improve Writing

Get students back on task and engaged in learning with these winter and holiday-themed activities! Below are six printable worksheets students can use...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Winter Holidays Around the World– Lesson Plans for Elementary Students

Early in my teaching career, I taught third grade in Maryland for two years. The teachers I taught with were fantastic! In those two short years I...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Ferment

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

10 Ways Teachers/Principals Can Celebrate Student Success

Most education professionals would agree that the job of “teacher” includes many other roles and responsibilities in addition to that of “instructor.”...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Aloof

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

3 Easy Ways to Support Grammar Instruction School-wide

Recently, I had a hallway conversation with colleague who asked me, "Does grammar even matter anymore?" My initial reaction was, "Of course, grammar...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Help Struggling Readers Build Vocabulary; 10+ Printables to Get You Started

I love working with our district’s literacy coaches and reading specialists, and I have a special place in my heart for Ms. Long, the reading...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension Lesson Guide– Milly and the Macy's Parade

If you have visited my blog before you know that I try to incorporate my students' current interests into my lesson plans. I believe students learn...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Slapdash

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Annotating Text Strategies That Will Enhance Close Reading

One of the most important skills I teach my students as we begin to work on close reading is how to annotate texts. Teaching annotation strategies will...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Brackish

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Nature-themed Homophone Activity, Grades 5–8

Emily Dickinson referred to nature as “the gentlest mother.” This image of ushering out one season and kindly welcoming in another, reminds me of the...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Thanksgiving Vocabulary Worksheets Your Students Will Love

Celebrate the Thanksgiving season in the classroom with vocabulary words! Like most holidays, the festivities surrounding Thanksgiving give teachers an...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Supine

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

How Self-monitoring Strategies Support Students When Reading Closely

One of the greatest gifts a reading teacher can give their students is the ability to read and comprehend a challenging text independently. It can be a...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

11 Vocabulary Homework Ideas And How To Motivate Students To Do It!

As a teacher, I try to concentrate students’ learning on activities done in class, because asking some students to complete work at home can be...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Attainment

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Free Thanksgiving Reading Activities Elementary Students Will Love

The downloads that are available with this post are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving reading activities. Print these free worksheets for your...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Using Classroom Centers for Writing in the Middle- and Upper-Level Classroom

This school year, I did something different in my tenth grade classroom. Rather than repetitively stating classroom routines and procedures during the...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Stark

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

How to Be Successful Mentoring New Teachers

As the "mentor coordinator" for my entire district, I have learned much by observing and working alongside mentors and beginning teachers. My role as...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Halloween Reading Comprehension Worksheets and Graphic Organizers

Add some spooktacular elements to your classroom curriculum with my free Halloween reading comprehension worksheets, book suggestions, and interactive...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Paragon

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Fall-Inspired Haiku Poetry Worksheet

When the weather starts to turn chilly, I want to grab a mug of hot apple cider and go on a hayride. I also want to play in the leaves. While I do not...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Top 10 Halloween Series Books for Kids in Grades 1–4 (Graphic Organizers Included)

As a literacy specialist, I'm often asked for advice on how teachers and parents can get students to read more. Although I have a number of activities...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

29 Printable Grammar Worksheets That Will Improve Students' Writing

Teachers, literacy coaches, principals, and administrators all want to improve the writing of students. The ability to write effectively and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Impair

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

8 Printable Halloween Language Arts Worksheets!

Download eight free Halloween language arts worksheets that will engage students in learning and make your classroom feel truly spooktacular! The...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

How to Use the Circle of Viewpoints Routine with Students

Circle of viewpoints is a “thinking routine” protocol featured in the book, Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Capsize

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Halloween Grammar Parts of Speech Worksheets for Grades 3–5

October is the time to year that welcomes the ghosts and goblins associated with Halloween. The end of the month usually signifies the end of a term or...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Fend

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

6 Things to Include in a Substitute Teacher Binder

One of the hardest things a teacher has to do is plan for a substitute. Likewise, one of the hardest jobs a person can have is to be a substitute...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Memorandum

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Power Word of the Week: Oust

Vocabulary development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. It doesn't matter if a student is learning a new grammar rule or...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Explore Emerging Themes with Pax by Sara Pennypacker, Grades 3–6

I love to share books that get even the most reluctant reader to start reading. Outside of sharing my recommendations with colleagues, I've also...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Vocabulary Assessment and Inventory

One of the most important aspects of vocabulary instruction is vocabulary assessment. Without knowing how many words your students already know, and to...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

The Power of Journal Writing in the Classroom

Last year, a student spoke to me about missing class for one week due to a family trip. What could she do to make up the work? After conferencing with...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Elements of a Literacy-Rich 21st Century Classroom

Do you want to bring a 21st century classroom design into your classroom? This guide will assist you in setting up a literacy-rich environment in a...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Back-To-School Writing Prompts [Includes Printable Worksheets]

With today’s technology, there are many ways to get information about your students. There are also many events going on in a young person’s life that...

Tiffany Rehbein

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