Language Arts Articles

Challenge Students With Homographs & Homonyms

Many gifted students blow past grade-level spelling and vocabulary at a young age. Unfortunately, a common technique to "challenge" them is to find harder and more obscure words for their spelling list. Instead, let's take advantage of the built-in complexity of common words with multiple-meanings.

Jabberwocky, Parts of Speech, and Context Clues

Let's see how we can use a classic piece of poetry to enhance a lesson on parts of speech or context clues. This provides exposure to a great work and also increases the complexity of a typical task.

Comparing The Best vs My Favorite

Are bests the same as favorites? Can your class come up with a suitable definition of the difference?

Get Students Out Of Creative Ruts

Sometimes students need a little structure to force them into a more creative state of mind. Here are a few ideas for interesting writing prompts

3 Advanced Literary Techniques

Students' education about literary devices seems to max out with personification, similes, and other types of figurative language. But what about more complex tools?

A Holiday Themed Shakesperean Sonnet

Now we're going to create our own holiday-themed Shakespearean Sonnet. To add complexity (and help our students get started!), we'll write from the point of view of a specific holiday decoration, tradition, or character.

Patterns In Writing: Conflict

Discussing types of conflict is a great first step towards building a strong narrative. Although the term conjures up images of ninja battles for many of our students, conflict can take on many more sophisticated forms than physical fights.

Writing Better Personal Narratives

How can we apply literary themes, five act plots, and types of conflict to upgrade students' personal narratives?

Ideas for Idiom Activities

I began including an “idiom template” as well as some powerpoint slides in the weekly idiom list, but neglected to mention how I used the template! Here are four ideas I've used:

Coats of Arms, Seals, and Other Heraldry

Symbolic seals, crests, and coats of arms are a common concept across cultures. From the simplicity of Japanese mon to the regality of English coats of arms all the way to America’s Great Seal, humans around the world create graphical representations of themselves.

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