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Back to School

Back to School Lessons for the Middle Level Classroom

ReadWriteThink has been providing quality lesson plans, interactive student materials, web resources, and ELA standards to classroom teachers since October of 2002. Highlighted here are examples of some middle level lesson plans with a focus on back to school and creating classroom community. 

Looking for more?  View these strategy guides that define and provide examples of effective literacy teaching and learning strategies.

Not your everyday calendar, here you can find important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, all with related activities and resources that make them more relevant to students. View by day, by week, or by month.

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers, Podcast for Grades 6-12
Text Messages is a monthly podcast providing families, educators, out-of-school practitioners, and tutors reading recommendations they can pass along to teen readers. Each episode will feature in-depth recommendations of titles that will engage and excite teen readers.

Get ready to go back to school!
Students share details about their lives with one another using the interactive Graphic Map and share their memories in small groups or with the whole class.

Alphabiography Project: Totally You
The traditional autobiography writing project is given a twist as students write alphabiographies—recording an event, person, object, or feeling associated with each letter of the alphabet.

Plot Structure: A Literary Elements Mini-Lesson
Students learn that the plot structure described by Freytag's Pyramid is actually quite familiar as they diagram the plots of a familiar story, a television show, and a narrative poem.

Alliteration in Headline Poems
Students will be introduced to the term alliteration and create a headline poem consisting of 25 words that contain at least three examples of alliteration.

Fairy Tale Autobiographies
Students read and analyze fairy tales from several cultures, identifying common elements. Choosing common situations, students write original fairy tales, using picture books as models and a peer review process.

Peer Review: Narrative
This minilesson guides student in using the PQP technique—Praise–Question–Polish—to offer concrete and useful peer review feedback.

Introducing Each Other: Interviews, Memoirs, Photos, and Internet Research 
Try this lesson for a get-acquainted activity that invites pairs of students to learn about each other and share their findings with the rest of the class.

The Feature Story--Fifteen Minutes (and 500 Words) of Fame!
A similar get-acquainted activity for older students which asks students to write a newspaper profile of a classmate with a particular focus on a talent, interest, or passion of that classmate.

Writing about Writing: An Extended Metaphor Assignment
To learn more about students as writers, try this lesson which uses Richard Wilbur's poem "The Writer" as an inspiration for students' own descriptions of their writing practices.

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages
This lesson explores the language of electronic messages and how it affects other writing.

Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology
Integrating technology, research, and the language arts, students work collaboratively on this lesson reviewing books and creating hypertext on the Web. Reading, writing, purpose, and audience are synthesized, resulting in a challenging and creative student project.

E-pals Around the World
This lesson provides teachers and students with an exciting way to build literacy skills in the classroom. Students learn appropriate formats for writing friendly letters and e-mail messages. Not only will students develop their reading and writing abilities, but they will also learn about other cultures, languages, and geographic areas.

Developing Reading Plans to Support Independent Reading
Students identify books they have read recently and look for patterns connecting those that they enjoyed the most. Once they've analyzed their past readings, students complete a reading plan, a simple wish list of books they hope to read in the future, based on their preferences in the past. The finished list becomes another supporting resource to guide independent readers.


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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts