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High School English Language Arts

Contributor: Mary Mathews, Utica Community Schools

Tools: Descriptions:
Tool: Building a professional library This tool gives recommendations for helping a beginning English language arts teacher to build a professional library. It includes a list of recommended books and a chart to be completed by a beginning teacher and a mentor who wish to read and evaluate the same book.


Resources: Descriptions:
Assessing high school writing assignments   To demonstrate how to use and assess writing assignments that require peer editing, this resource describes an assignment on The Canterbury Tales and then presents the two peer editing sheets and the grading sheet that are used as key components of that assignment.
Breaking the ice and building relationships Skittlemania, the icebreaker described here, offers an excellent way to start a course and help the students relax and get to know each other.
Engaging communities through parent letters Here is a sample letter that warmly reaches out to parents of a high school class while inviting them to attend the school's Curriculum Night.
Getting-to-know-you scavenger hunt Here is an activity that works well as an icebreaker at the beginning of a new course.
Helping students become discussion leaders This resource introduces Rick Womeli's "human videotape" strategy as a way to give all students an opportunity to become discussion leaders.
Identifying community resources This resource lays out several strategies for identifying local people who could be guest speakers or serve your English language arts course in other ways.
Investigating your reading habits This resource presents a “think-pair-share” activity that has students investigate their reading habits, discuss them with a partner and the class and then reflect on them in a short writing assignment.
Using portfolios to assess writing This resource presents a chart that can be used to have students assess each piece of writing before they put it in their portfolio.
Using skits to extend literature learning This resource argues for the value of having students use skits to act out their understandings of certain sections of literature that the class is reading. This technique is especially valuable to students who are kinesthetic and visual learners.
Using WebQuests to study literature WebQuests offer an excellent way to have students research a piece of literature on the Internet. This resource provides guidance on how to locate a useful ready-made WebQuest or how to learn to develop your own.