Online Lessons & Freebies

Welcome to Tips & Resources Page! I'm glad you're here. Below you will find lesson material and other resources to make learning great for your students, and preparing a little easier for you. Enjoy!

Check out my monthly freebies below!

January Freebie: Business Letter Infographic
Have you ever asked your students to practice a skill such as persuading, sentence structure, punctuation - whatever - by doing a sample writing piece, then get dozens of questions about the form of said writing piece? What does it look like? Is there a heading? Where do I put the date? Then suddenly you find that the skill you were teaching has become secondary.

Onceduring a unit on persuasion, I asked my 8th-grade writers to practice their rhetorical skills by drafting a letter.About a third of the class had so many questions about the format of a letter – something they’d done time and again - I realized it was taking the focus, and precious time, away from our content.

For the sake of my sanity, if nothing else, I decided to try infographics with parts of particular writing forms. After my students had studied a form, the infographic would go in their binders and always be at-the-ready. 

What a difference that made! It was such a simple fix, I couldn’t believe it took me that long to think of it. It wasn't the biggest problem I've ever had, but an annoying one for sure. If you'd like to download one of mine for your students, here is a link to my (free) business letter infographic. It's a clean and simple reference for students to keep ready to use as a guideline to the business letter format - so they can focus on the writing skills they need to practice. I hope you find it helpful!


How to Write a Business Letter Infographic for Students - Freebie for Teachers

February Freebie: Informational Text Analysis Sheet and Text-to-My-Dog Article

Along with the graphic organizer is a link to an interesting article for teens: a bit science, a bit "edu-tainment," and lots connecting in a text-to-my-dog kind of way. Just click below on the picture of the dog for a link to the National Geographic article. And then click on the graphic organizer summary pic to download this handy summary graphic organizer/guided notes from my shop.
National Geographic Article, "Dogs Are Even More Like Us Than We Thought"

Summary Graphic Organizer from my shop.
I hope you and your students enjoy!

March Freebie: Poetry Analysis Online Assignment (with Terminology)
Learning Target: Students will practice literary term definitions then read and analyze three poems: "The Whipping," "If There Be Sorrow," and "Willie."

Define or write an example of each of the ten terms below. A link is provided for each, for your convenience. Make it quick! Nothing too formal is needed. If the term is new to you, take a little more time to write definitions and examples.

 Consonance Synecdoche Assonance Allusion  Analogy
 Oxymoron Parallelism Alliteration Onomatopoeia   Style

In Your Notebook: Read and respond to the poems below.

1. Read "The Whipping" by Robert Hayden. (a) What is the theme to this poem? (b) Write textual evidence to support your opinion. (c) How is this message universal (you're making text-to-world connection about this poem relating to modern day society, as well as other cultures and time periods). 

2. "If There Be Sorrow" by Mari Evans. (a) Copy some words that use assonance in the poem. (b) Answer this question: What effect does the assonance have on the poem as a whole? (c) Locate one other poetic device (see the info above). If you could ask the poet a question about what was said, or left unsaid in this poem, what would you ask? 

3. "Willie" by Maya Angelou. Read the poem and (a) identify as many poetic devices as you can. (b) Describe some of the imagery that Angelou invokes (creates) in the poem.

Discuss a common thread in these three poems.
Lastly, of the three poems, which appealed most to you? Explain why. 

Create the positive, nurturing environment that truly makes a difference! Preview my popular positive classroom culture lesson mini-unit by clicking above. 

April Freebie: Quick Critique
Here's a three-page "quick critique" free for you. It adapts to any work of fiction and is a freebie for you! These handouts have saved me tons of time. Click the pic for the link - and enjoy your freebie! 

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