Math Meets Verse: Counting, Decoding, & Rhythm

by Alice Pencavel T&W teaching Alice Pencavel offers a lesson plan that lets students connect language and equation, demystifies difficult language with concrete numbers and rhythms, and fosters collaboration among students. In so doing, the lesson elicits a physical pleasure associated with Shakespeare. Guiding Questions:  What feelings arise from the music? How fast/slow is it?…

Preparing to Perform: Practicing Peer Feedback

by Erika Luckert At the end of most T&W programs, we hold a celebration that launches an anthology of student work and features performances of poems by a selection of student readers. While not every student will perform their work onstage, it’s important to me as an educator that every student feels a part of…

Bats in the Belfry

Bats in the Belfry by Jayden (7th grade) I have always wondered what it feels like when you die. What channels it? I have been thinking about this ever since my mother died on April 3, 2013. Yet, I have faced worse challenges than this. Welcome, take a seat while I talk to you about…

Connecting the Written and Visual

by Jason DeHart As both a middle grades and college English instructor, I have found that using well-chosen visuals when introducing writing modes can create powerful, and even entertaining, opportunities for students to begin drafting. Images can be used in a variety of ways; for the purpose of this lesson plan, I will discuss guiding…

The Crumpled Paper Exercise: Collaborative Storytelling

by Alice Pencavel T&W teaching artist Alice Pencavel’s crumpled paper exercise engages students with the process of collaborative storytelling. The lesson enables students to harness a greater aptitude for spontaneity and deepens their understanding of story structuring. Grades: 6th and up Materials/Set Up: One writing utensil and sheet of paper per student. Desks should be…

Sports Poems

by Erika Luckert We rarely think of sports as a subject for poetry, and yet, when I speak to devoted sports fans or athletes about their passions, they invariably wax poetic. I recently taught a residency at a middle school where one of the most impressive poems was written by an avid sports fan, Julio….

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