Teach Figurative Language and Connotative Language using film clips

Watch Maya Angelou’s “STILL I RISE” poem, and other spoken word poetry performances and ask students to: “Identify, interpret and analyze the poem’s figurative language and theme.”

Want more fun practice ideas? Instead of boring task cards or worksheets, use a read aloud video of “Where the Wild Things Are” or film clips from “The Little Prince” to teach tone, mood, connotative language, negative connotation, positive connotation and figurative language. For a print and go lesson plan and student handouts including a mini lesson video (to replace a traditional lecture) along with a figurative language study guide, CLICK HERE.

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Teach direct and indirect characterization with inspirational videos for students

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Why not teach common core standards for English Language Arts using Pixar short films, Ted Talks, popular film clips for students and other inspirational video clips for students? For example, have students practice CCSS.RL.1: Instuct students to watch the Inside Out Video Clip. Ask students to “Describe how the author used indirect and direct characterization to share each character’s personality.” For an entire year of highly engaging, no prep lesson plans and student activities, download my Grade 3 – 5, Grade 6 – 8, or Grade 9 – 12 reading with short films bundle. In addition to using pixar films to teach inferencing, summary, theme, characterization, conflict, allusion, figurative language and more, these bundles also come with educational videos to completely replace traditional mini-lessons and lectures. Sit back, relax and enjoy as you effortlessly engage students in academically rigorous, culturally relevant ELA activities.

Reduce Teacher Stress and Anxiety

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Want a cure for the Sunday Scaries? Meditate on inspirational and motivational quotes that will ease the anxiety produced when you worry about student misbehavior, or administrator judgments about your teaching ability. Meditate on inspirational quotes every morning to increase calm, confidence, joy and gratitude. What better way to bring this practice into your classroom than to start every class period with an inspirational quote bell ringer and discussion to build reading comprehension, paraphrase and analysis skills? Download my 60 bell ringers or 180 bell ringer bundle!

If you are still overwhelmed with lesson-planning, find print and go ELA lesson plans, student handouts, writing units, novel studies, bell ringers, task cards, sports and video-game themed reading response activities, short film student-led lessons and more at my TpT store. Prevent teacher burnout and student misbehavior with engaging lessons and inspirational student activities.

The Absolute Best Back to School Activity

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Need an inspirational back to school activity, end of year activity or pre-exam motivational activity? Play this inspirational video clip on goals and grit “Basketball – How Bad do You Want It” and ask students what their goals are and how they will commit to achieving their goals. For an Inspirational Bell Ringer, have students paraphrase the quote in their own words:

“When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breath then you will be successful.” Eric Thomas

Pair the video with my NO PREP activity for a classroom culture reset, inspirational writing activity, video clip bell ringer activity, discussion prompts or short film student activity for the first days of school or last days before final exams.

Fiction Analysis with Short Films

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Every week, enjoy a fun way to teach one of the common core standards for English Language Arts! To teach CCSS.RL.1 to middle or high school students, watch the “La Luna” short film. Ask students to cite explicit evidence and make inferences to explain what the conflict, and how direct and indirect characterization enhance the conflict. For a no prep lesson plan and student handouts containing mini lesson video, guided and independent practice activities and answer key download my Grade 3 – 5 or Grade 6 – 12 story element analysis lesson.

Teach Inferencing with Short Films

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Teach EVERY reading literature and reading informational text common core state standard using inspirational and engaging short films and video clips! For an entire year of highly engaging, no prep lesson plans and student activities, download my Grade 3 – 5, Grade 6 – 8, or Grade 9 – 12 reading with short films bundle. In addition to using pixar films to teach inferencing, summary, theme, characterization, conflict, allusion, figurative language and more, these bundles also come with educational videos to completely replace traditional mini-lessons and lectures. Sit back, relax and enjoy as you effortlessly engage students in academically rigorous, culturally relevant ELA activities.

Engage Reluctant Readers in Hip Hop & Sports-Themed Reading Activities

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As a special education ELA teacher, I struggled to keep my students with reading disabilities – who were 90% male students – engaged in remedial reading practice. Then I decided to ask my students who their favorite rappers, athletes and pop culture icons were. I simply printed articles off of wikipedia and online magazines. For the rest of the year, I gave students different articles on various basketball players, hip hop artists, football teams, etc., alongside common-core aligned assignments.

  • Characterize the athlete using three or more adjectives. Cite text evidence that supports direct and indirect characterization.
  • What is the major conflict the rapper overcame to become successful? Cite text evidence. What lesson can be learned from his life?
  • Summarize the athlete’s accomplishments in 20 words or less. Then choose the one, most relevant quote that best illustrates the athlete’s achievements.

The list goes on and on. Use high-interest nonfiction articles to teach every reading literature, reading informational text and expository, comparative and persuasive writing skills. Download my sports and hip hop bundle containing 32 biographies and 16 reusable reading response questions. What are you waiting for? Get ready for your most challenging students to start loving your class (as mine did)!

Use Pixar Short Films to Teach Reading Skills and Analysis

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Teach EVERY reading literature and reading informational text common core state standard using inspirational and engaging short films and video clips! For an entire year of highly engaging, no prep lesson plans and student activities, download my Grade 3 – 5, Grade 6 – 8, or Grade 9 – 12 reading with short films bundle. In addition to using pixar films to teach inferencing, summary, theme, characterization, conflict, allusion, figurative language and more, these bundles also come with educational videos to completely replace traditional mini-lessons and lectures. Sit back, relax and enjoy as you effortlessly engage students in academically rigorous, culturally relevant ELA activities.

Complete Back to School Lesson Plans for Secondary ELA

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We’ve got your first week back to school covered. Roll out classroom procedures, behavior expectations, consequences, discussion protocol, classroom culture and inspirational back to school activities. Enjoy five complete, no prep lesson plans for only $5 plus 15 free back to school activities to inspire students of the first days of school! Download back to school printables HERE.

Entire Year of English Bell Ringers

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Don’t waste time planning meaningless and forgettable bell ringer for your middle school or high school ELA class. Inspire students and improve classroom culture by starting every single day with an inspirational quote.

“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Have students paraphrase the quote in their own words. Paraphrasing is the most important reading comprehension and analysis skills to build because a student’s ability to paraphrase shows their ability to comprehend and make meaning. For no prep print and go ELA bell ringers, enjoy my “A Paraphrase A Day” Inspirational Quote Bell Ringers that includes printable bell ringer task cards and accompanying powerpoint slide plus an answer key for easy discussion and grading. Download 60 bell ringers or the 180 bell ringer bundle!