Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry

This lesson plan contains poetry-related activities that aim to help students read and interpret English poetry, and write their own poems. The activities are introduced in each of the following parts: talking about poetry, understanding poetic devices, interpreting poems, using poetry for language acquisition, writing original poems, performing poetry, and organizing poetry slams.

Using Journalism Skills in the Language Classroom

This lesson plan contains four activities based on the theme of newspapers and journalism. It includes a lesson to familiarize students with newspapers, journalistic writing, interviewing, and creating a class newspaper. The activities can be used as individual lessons or a larger project of creating a class newspaper.

A Letter from Miami: A Telenovela

This lesson plan contains four activities that can prepare students for the final activity of creating a video or a play. There are also two optional activities to help students learn grammar, and a fact sheet about Miami.

Cultural Crossroads: Hawaii and Beyond

This content-based lesson plan is about ethnic/cultural heritage and diversity in Hawaii. It also encourages students to explore their own cultures. The author includes four activities (listening and speaking, small group discussion, place-based group work, and role play). Ideas are also provided for multi-session lessons that encourage students to revise and communicate.

Going Green

The lesson plan, “Going Green,” allows students to develop research and problem-solving skills on the theme of environmental conservation. The lesson includes a glossary of environmental terms. It uses a learner-centered approach as learners work in groups to determine their topic, the vocabulary they want to learn, how to collect information, how to report it (qualitatively or quantitatively), and what action to take based on the results. Students report their findings and action plan in a poster presentation. Creative writing, a debate, or a “green fair” are optional extensions.

Greetings from Sunny New Mexico

The New Mexico lesson plan for this issue is a self-contained 1 1/4 to 2 hour lesson with a complete pre- during- post framework for interacting with the main text — a letter from a friend living in New Mexico. The focus here is on the vocabulary and grammar of description (e.g., words for scenery and weather, relative “that” clauses). Extension activities are provided for multi-session lessons (e.g., written response, class survey).

Maps and Legends

This lesson plan is based on the article “Maps and Legends” by novelist Michael Chabon and is for high intermediate to advance students. The lesson includes group and pair work. Students discuss the neighborhood where they grew up. They read the text and identify unfamiliar words, then answer comprehension questions in writing or discussion groups. Post-reading activities include scanning, inferring meaning from context, dictionary practice, and discussion questions. The lesson ends with questions to make connections beyond the text and project ideas.

Just Off Main Street

This lesson plan is designed for high intermediate to advanced English language learners. Based on an authentic, contemporary essay by an accomplished American writer, the lesson plan includes tasks and activities designed to improve students’ English language skills as well as increase their understanding of American culture. The lesson includes, during, and post reading activities to improve comprehension, learn new vocabulary, and make connections beyond the text. Websites of interest and useful questions for discussion or writing are included.

A Postcard from America

This lesson plan is based on the feature article, “Postcards from America” by Robert Olen Butler. It is appropriate for high intermediate to advanced students. The lesson integrates the four skills and has five parts: Preparing to Read, Reading the Text, Understanding the Text, Making Connections Beyond the Text, and Integrating Language Skills. The lesson includes group discussion of comprehension questions, scanning for vocabulary, and using the dictionary.

For Life's Sake

This lesson plan is for use with “For Life’s Sake.” After introducing the topic of Native Americans in class discussion, students read the article and identify unfamiliar vocabulary. Students may then read again and discuss comprehension questions. Post-reading activities build vocabulary, including idioms, and utilize dictionary and scanning skills. Questions to make connections beyond the text may be used for discussion or writing assignments. There are other projects that integrate language skills, such as writing a poem, considering family customs, and doing Internet research.

Quilting with Language

This lesson plan contains four activities based on the cultural content of quilts. It includes activities for teaching vocabulary and grammar, speaking, writing, and a dicto-comp activity (in which there is both dictation and composition).

Seeing Seattle

This lesson plan contains four main activities and two optional activities based on the feature article about Seattle.

Virginia: Jamestown and Its People

The lesson plan “Virginia: Jamestown and Its People” consists of two parts using Jamestown, a historical site in Virginia, and several of its famous figures as the source for classroom activities. Part I activities are about the site including a brief history of Jamestown and its artifacts as a basis for writing and speaking activities, while the second part focuses on some famous figures who lived there as a basis for listening and writing activities.