01 02 Poetry Assignment For Middle School


Calling on the Muse: Exercises to Unlock the Poet Within



I think that I shall never see ... well-disciplined creativity! How often has that thought crossed your mind? Don't despair! The experts -- working poets who teach their craft -- share their secrets for instructing and inspiring budding poets. Included: Exercises to help students access their creative powers and produce well-crafted poems.

Teaching poetry can be a tricky business. Concentrating too much on the theoretical aspects of poetry, such as rhyme scheme, scansion, feet per line, and poetic form can stifle students' creativity. Turning students loose with only pen, paper, and instructions to write a poem, on the other hand, can result in undisciplined drivel. Helping students achieve that delicate balance of theory and creativity is never easy.

Give the following techniques and exercises a try. Working poets use them to teach and inspire students of all ages.

SELF-EXPRESSION

"When we go into schools, our focus is to get the students to write, not to teach the theory of poetry," said Faith Vicinanza. She is the organizing force behind Words in Motion, a collective of poets who perform and teach in schools and other venues. "We want them to put something down on paper, something significant.

"Through the years, I've developed a whole set of exercises designed specifically to get students writing from a particular place," Vicinanza added. "A lot of teaching of poetry makes it seem much too difficult, too inaccessible for the lay person. But writing poetry is a simple form of self-expression. That's what I try to convey in my classes."

Vicinanza shared with Education World four exercises she has used successfully in workshops with both children and adults.

  • I'm sorry, but . . . "There's a wonderful poem by William Carlos Williams in which he apologizes for eating someone's plums," explained Vicinanza. "He ends the poem with 'but they were so sweet'. I have my students write a tongue-in-cheek apology. They're sorry for something, but at the end there's always a reason why they enjoyed doing what they're expressing sorrow for. An example of this is 'I'm sorry I broke your window, but it's the first time I ever hit a home run.'"
  • Be something else. "This is a very cool exercise," Vicinanza explained. "I have the kids be something. It might be a drop of rain, the color blue, a school bus, or a stalk of wheat. I ask the class for suggestions and write them on the board as the students shout them out. Then I ask each student to choose one. They have to be that object and tell me what they see, where they go, and how old they are. They can even make up a little biography of their object. This works very well."
  • Through the carnival door. "This exercise works better with high school kids or adults," noted Vicinanza. "I ask students to imagine they're at a carnival. They see a very strange-looking guy disappear into a doorway that somehow wasn't there a few seconds before. They follow the guy, and they have to tell me what happens once they're through the door. Where have they gone? What do they see? It's amazing what the students come up with."
  • The strike out exercise. "For this exercise, the students give me a list of suggestions for different subjects to write about. I pick one, and they all write on the same subject. For example, the subject could be wind chimes or a stone wall," Vicinanza said. "Then everyone gives me a word. We make a list of the words and the students have to write a poem that doesn't use any of the words on our list. This forces the students to be more creative."
     

IMAGINATION

Elizabeth Thomas, an accomplished performance poet who frequently conducts in-school workshops, is the director of Words Alive, a program that sponsors distinguished poets to work with high school students.

"When I go into schools, I try to get the students to think outside their normal boundaries," Thomas said of her approach to leading workshops. "In school, the students might be coming from math class, where they're not used to using the right side of their brains. As the poetry person for a day, I have to come up with creative ideas that help the students stretch their imaginations.

"If I tell the kids to simply write a poem, it's not going to happen. You have to find the fun in it," added Thomas, whose Web site, UpWords Poetry, often features student writings from her workshops.

One of the exercises Thomas has used successfully is the Emotional Workshop, in which she asks participants to write a five-line poem.

  • The first line of the poem involves an emotion: sadness, anger, confusion, hurt.
  • The second line describes the emotion as a color. For example, a student might describe anger as "red as a stop sign;" happiness might be "as pink as a puppy's tongue."
  • The third line starts with "It happens when . . .." For example, "Anger happens. . .when I'm told to get up in the morning." "Confusion happenswhen I have a test but don't do my homework."
  • The fourth line begins with "It sounds like . . .." For example, "Sadness sounds like. . .a kitten left out in the rain."
  • The last line of the poem repeats the original emotion.
     

IT ISN'T PROSE

It would be hard to find a poet with more teaching credentials than Pit Pinegar. A member of the Litchfield Performing Arts group, Poetry Alive, Pinegar teaches at the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts and is the teaching director at the International Women's Writers Guild Conference. She's published two books of her own poetry and will soon publish a book about teaching poetry to children. "In many of the exercises I use, I'm trying to get the kids to think in terms of poetry and not prose," Pinegar said. "The necessity of writing in complete, well-punctuated sentences is constantly drummed into the kids' heads. So, often they're not used to expressing themselves in abbreviated thoughts. I try to break down their resistance to that."

Pinegar uses two exercises to accomplish this:

  • Make a list. "I have a whole series of list-based poems, about 20 variations. In one of them, I choose six general, unrelated words from a list of suggestions the kids give me. Then I ask them to use all the words in a poem," explained Pinegar. "A variation of this is to choose one word from the list and build a poem around it."
  • Everything including the kitchen sink. "This is another exercise I often use," Pinegar added. "I ask the students to list all the details they can remember about a place that's very familiar to them. It might be their bedrooms, their classroom, or the kitchen sink. After they've made their lists, I ask the students to work them into poems."

These exercises and others, used in workshops led by accomplished teaching poets, are designed to help students access their creative powers and produce well-crafted poems. Any one of them can help get your students' creative juices flowing -- and help you create some poetry-writing exercises of your own.

 

ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES

Kristine O'Connell George Poet
Kristine O'Connell George offers poems for children as well as tips and exercises for teaching poetry.

Related Articles from Education World

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Let's take a look at a program that has kids writing all kinds of poems---from quatrains to limericks to (yes!) Italian sonnets.

 

Article by David Martin
Education World®
Copyright © 2008 Education World

 

Links last updated 04/09/2012

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Civil War Photos Tell a Story
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Read and reflect on the letters of President Harry Truman, whose birthday is May 8. (Grades 6-12) 04/19/2010

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Use a color key map to learn about planting times in the U.S. (Grades 3-8) 04/12/2010

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Compare your water use with water use in other places around the world. (Grades 3-12) 04/06/2010

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Collect postmarks; track them on a classroom map. (Grades K-8) 04/02/2010

Overflowing the Banks
Hands-on activity teaches how floods happen. (Grades 3-8) 04/01/2010

Postmark U.S.A.
Collect postmarks; track them on a classroom map. (Grades K-8) 03/31/2010

Overflowing the Banks
Hands-on activity teaches how floods happen. (Grades 3-8) 03/30/2010

Vegetable Rock Garden
Grow vegetable sections without soil. (Grades K-5) 03/30/2010

Kids Bullying Kids
Survey, discuss data about bullying in your school. (Grades 3-8) 03/30/2010

Spelling Counts!
Create and solve codes based on the numerical values of spelling list words. (Grades 3-8) 03/29/2010

The Case of the Disappearing Frogs
Students work to solve The Case of the Disappearing Frogs. (Grades 3-8) 03/26/2010

Weekly Math Challenge
Set up a Math Challenge Center in your classroom. (Grades 3-12) 03/25/2010

Students' Favorite Reading Topics
During National Library Week (April 11-17), have students survey classmates reading preferences. (Grades K-8) 03/24/2010

Up-to-Date Aesop
Rewrite an Aesop fable in modern language and a modern setting. (Grades K-12) 03/23/2010

Think About It!
Creative-thinking problems. Perfect for April Fools day fun. (Grades 3-8) 03/22/2010

Let Your Fingers Do the Estimating
Estimate the number of phone listings in you local telephone directory. (Grades 3-12) 03/19/2010

In Your Opinion: Are Athletes Heroes?
Stage a classroom debate of the question Are athletes heroes? (Grades 6-12) 03/18/2010

Backwards Day
Plan a "Backwards Day" on April Fool's Day or for a fun reward. (Grades PK - 8) 03/17/2010

"Two Diamond Baseball" Review Game
This "baseball" game can be used to reinforce skills in any subject. (Grades K-12) 03/16/2010

Bug Me While I'm Eating!
Its Nutrition Month -- compare the nutritional values of insects and your favorite foods. (Grades 3-12) 03/15/2010

Best-Selling Books Bar Graph
Create a graph of the best-selling childrens books of all time. (Grades K-5) 03/12/2010

Art Imitating Life
Explore role of women by examining art through history. (Grades 6-12) 03/11/2010

Egg Hunt Reinforces Math, Language Skills
Do it indoors, or take kids outdoors for a fun learning activity and a little exercise. (Grades K-8) 03/10/2010

String Eggs
Decorate the classroom with beautiful string eggs for Easter, which is April 4. (Grades 3-8) 03/09/2010

Graphing Our Snacks
During Nutrition Month, graph the fat content of favorite snack foods. (Grades 3-12) 03/08/2010

What Happened?
Explore legends surrounding volcanoes, write your own legend. (Grades 3-12) 03/05/2010

Create a BIG Book
Create a big book edition of a favorite story. (Grades K-2) 03/04/2010

Eating Up Idioms
During Nutrition Month (March), feed your students a diet of food idioms. (Grades 3-12) 03/03/2010

Word-zles
Wordzle puzzles make fun thinking activities. (Grades 3-12) 03/02/2010

Grow a Great Spring Bulletin Board: Eggshell Flowers
Create a colorful spring bulletin board using this fun art project. (Grades K-5) 03/01/2010

Chain Together a Book Report
Students work in small groups to put together Chain Book Reports. (Grades K-12) 02/26/2010

Women's Words of Wisdom
Create a bulletin board of inspiring quotes by famous women. (Grades 4-12) 02/25/2010

Immigrants Who Built America
Explore the lives of ten immigrants who helped make American strong. (Grades 5-12) 02/24/2010

Multiple Meanings Game
Hunt for the classmate whose definition card leads to the same word as yours. (Grades 2-8) 02/23/2010

Fun Food Quiz: True or False?
During Nutrition Month (March), use this fun food quiz to test students knowledge of vegetables, fruits. (Grades 3-8) 02/22/2010

Black History Rap
Write a rap lyric about a famous African-American. (Grades 3-12) 02/19/2010

Visual Fractions Game
Create a classroom fractions competition using a Web-based game. (Grades 3-8) 02/18/2010

Plan a Read-All_Day Day
Celebrate Read Across America/World Book Day on March 2. (Grades K-12) 02/17/2010

Three-Way Match: Famous Black Americans
A unique three-way matching activity teaches about famous African Americans. (Grades 4-12) 02/16/2010

Who Wrote That?
Students have fun identifying which classmate wrote each response to a writing prompt. (Grades K-12) 02/15/2010

365 Days of African-American History
During Black History Month, create a 365-day calendar of African-American history. (Grades 6-12) 02/12/2010

George Washington Teaches Map Directions
George Washington teaches math, directions. (Grades 3-8) 02/11/2010

Word Processing Can Be Lots of Font
Fun poem activity reinforces basic word processing skills. (Grades 3-8) 02/10/2010

Langston Hughes Was a Dreamer Too
Learn how Langston Hughes expressed his dreams through poetry. (Grades 2-12) 02/09/2010

Meet Our Presidents Bulletin Board
Research and create a "Meet Our Presidents" bulletin board display. (Grades K-12) 02/08/2010

Follow the Drinking Gourd
Create an art project based on a song used to guide slaves to freedom. (Grades K-2) 02/05/2010

Secrets of the Presidents
Learn secrets of the presidents with this printable activity. (Grades 3-8) 02/04/2010

Multiple Meanings Game
Hunt for the classmate whose definition card leads to the same word as yours. (Grades 2-8) 02/03/2010

Fabulous Firsts in African-American History
During Black History Month, learn about famous firsts in African-American history. (Grades 3-12) 02/02/2010

Graph the Presidents At Inauguration: How Old Were They?
For Presidents Day, graph the presidents' ages at inauguration. (Grades K-8) 02/01/2010

Candy Heart Stories
Use the text on candy hearts to write a story. (Grades 1-8) 01/29/2010

How Tolerant Are Kids in Your School?
Graph results of a survey about attitudes and tolerance in your school. (Grades 6-12) 01/28/2010

Broken-Heart Matching Game
Reinforce skills with this Valentines Day matching game. (Grades PK-12) 01/27/2010

Coin Count & Classification
Celebrate Abe Lincoln by making penny predictions. (Grades 3-12) 01/26/2010

The Recycle Games
You know the Olympic Games. How about the Recycle Games? (Grades K-12) 01/25/2010

Everybody Is Unique: A Lesson in Respect for Others
Art activity teaches about respect for others unique qualities. (Grades K-8) 01/22/2009

The Magician's Apprentice
Performing magic tricks teaches the importance of following directions. (Grades 3-8) 01/21/2009

Pictures Tell a Story: A Lesson in Sequencing
Students illustrate sequential events in a story or in history. (Grades K-8)01/20/2009

Hoot, the Movie And Classroom Activities Too
Teaching activities to accompany the book Hoot.. (Grades 5-8) 01/19/2009

Dictionary Detective
Build students' dictionary skills with this fun activity. (Grades 3-12) 01/18/2009

Comparing Composers: Beethoven and Mozart
Celebrate Mozart (January 27) by comparing Beethoven and Mozart. (Grades 3-12) 01/15/2010

Anticipation Guides Improve Reading Comprehension
Use anticipation guides to help your students focus on content-area reading assignments. (Grades K-12) 01/14/2010

Map Projections: The Grapefruit Activity
Hands-on activity teaches about different map projections. (Grades 6-12) 01/13/2010

How Do Clouds Form?
A hands-on experiment illustrates how clouds form. (Grades K-5) 01/12/2010

Chinese New Year: A Simple Lesson in Debt, Percent, and Loan Interest
A Chinese New Year (February 14) lesson in percent and loan interest. (Grades 5-12) 01/11/2010

Tissue, Please!
Teach cold-season manners with a read-aloud story, art project. (Grades PK -2) 01/08/2010

Power Problem
Calculate losses caused by a snowstorm. (Grades 3-8) 01/07/2010

Snow Paintings
Use food-coloring mixtures to paint on snow. Fun winter art activity. (Grades PK-5) 01/06/2010

Martin Luther King Jr.: Pre- and Post-Reading Activity
A pre- and post-reading exercise about the life of Dr. King. (Grades 3-8) 01/05/2010

Lewis and Clark: Equipping the Expedition
Prep along with Lewis & Clark for their 1803 expedition. (Grades 3-12) 01/04/2010

Speedy Spelling Bee
Teams of students work together in this spelling bee with a twist. (Grades K-12) 12/17/2009

Following Directions
This lesson proves that frequent practice can improve skills. (Grades 5-8) 12/16/2009

Use Literature to Teach Tolerance
Use popular literature to teach tolerance. (Grades PK 12) 12/15/2009

Hieroglyphics: It's Not Greek to Me! (It's Egyptian!)
Use hieroglyphic characters, an online hieroglyphic translator too. (Grades 3-12) 12/14/2009

The Betsy Ross Story: Truth or Legend?
Just in time for Betsy Ross Day (January 1): the Betsy Ross story -- truth or legend? (Grades 3-12) 12/11/2009

H2O to Go
Sponge relay race offers a fun way to learn math (measurement) skills. (Grades K-8) 12/10/2009

100 Years Ago in History
Start the new year by investigating events that happened 100 years ago this year. (Grades 5-12) 12/09/2009

Fact-O!
Practice math facts with this game of skill and chance. (Grades K-12) 12/08/2009

Sunrise, Sunset: Quickly Go the Days
Why does Alaska have less daylight than your state has? (Grades 3-12) 12/07/2009

Holiday Wreath Ornament
Fun holiday project: create a holiday wreath ornament. (Grades K-5) 12/04/2009

How the Kangaroo Got Its Pouch
Create a play based on an Australian kangaroo legend. (Grades 3-5) 12/03/2009

Seasonal Notepad Gift
In this simple technology lesson, students create a seasonal notepad gift. (Grades K-12) 12/02/2009

Planet X
Celebrate the Bill of Rights anniversary (December 15) by writing a Bill of Rights for a colony you are founding on a distant planet. (Grades 4-8) 12/01/2009

A Musical Holiday Gift
A CD song collection by your students makes a great gift for any holiday. (Grades PreK-12) 11/25/2009

Teaching Students to Tell Time: Three Resources for Busy Teachers
Three activity sheets develop, reinforce time-telling skills. (Grades K-5) Math 11/24/2009

A Math Game for Reinforcing Computation Skills
This dice-and-math game provides practice in many math skills. (Grades K-12) 11/23/2009

Geography Twister
Students exercise while they play this fun geography game based on Twister. (Grades K-12) 11/20/09

Rosa Parks Changed The Rules
Recognize the anniversary of Rosa Parks historic bus ride (December 1) by completing a diagram of the bus. (Grades K-5) 11/19/09

Bowling Math
Keeping score of a bowling match is a fun way to learn math. (Grades 3-8) 11/18/09

"Book Report Gallery Bulletin Board
A camera is all you need to create this fun bulletin board for Book Week or anytime. (Grades PK-8) 11/17/09

May I Take Your Order, Please? (A Sequencing Activity)
Adapt this "sequencing" reading lesson to all subjects. (Grades 3-12) 11/16/09

You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving
Learn the truth about the First Thanksgiving. (Grades 3-8) 11/13/2009

Thanksgiving Feast (Read the Charts)
Learn about where some Thanksgiving foods are grown. (Grades 3-8) 11/12/2009

Graphing the Annual Food Drive
Graph the amount of food that comes in during the annual food drive. (Grades K-12) 11/11/2009

Thanksgiving Placemats: A Community- Service Project
Make Thanksgiving placemats as a community service project. (Grades PK-12) 11/10/2009

Anti-Smoking Letter Writing Campaign
Celebrate the Great American Smokeout (November 19) by having students write a letter to encourage a friend not to smoke. (Grades 3-12) 11/09/2009

Drafting the Gettysburg Address
Recognize the anniversary of Lincolns Gettysburg Address (November 19) by comparing its draft to the final version. (Grades 6-12) 11/06/2009

Turkeys Gobble Up Bulletin Board Space
Two fun ways for turkeys to gobble up bulletin board space. (Grades K-5) 11/05/2009

Lewis and Clark's Journey West: A Timeline Activity
Recognize the anniversary (November 18) of Lewis & Clark reaching the Pacific. (Grades 3-12) 11/04/2009

Design a Navajo Rug -- A Lesson in Symmetry
Create a Navajo rug; a lesson in symmetry. (Grades 3-8) 11/03/2009

Smoking Danger Demonstration
Recognize the Great American Smokeout (November 19) by demonstrating the dangers of smoking. (Grades K-12) 11/02/2009

Native American Misconceptions
Blast students stereotypes about Native Americans. (Grades K-5) 10/30/09

Wacky Word Play
Combine students' love of word games and drawing. (Grades 3-12) 10/29/09

What a Pair! A Cross-Grade Writing Activity
Young students role play being President of the United States. (Grades K-3) 10/28/09

Stage a Poetry Slam!
Stage a classroom or school-wide poetry slam. (Grades 3-12) 10/27/09

Every Day Is Presidents' Day At the White House
Older and younger students team up in this cross-grade writing activity. (Grades K-12) 10/26/09

Huey and Louie Meet Dewey
Use this work sheet and resources to teach about the Dewey Decimal System. (Grades 3-8) 10/23/2009

365 Days of African-American History
Create a 365-day calendar of African-American history. (Grades 6-12) 10/22/2009

Help Wanted: President of the United States
Learn about the Presidents responsibilities; write a want ad for the position. (Grades 3-12) 10/21/2009

The Wall Inspires Letters to Veterans
Inspire students to write letters to veterans at local hospitals. (Grades K-12) 10/20/2009

Dead Word Wall Kills Overused Words
Create a Dead Word Wall to kill words overused in student writing. (Grades K-12) 10/19/2009

The Top Ten Reasons for Going Into Space
Consider the validity of the top ten reasons for going into space. (Grades 6-12) 10/16/2009

Bueno Brothers' Bean Dip
How many words can be formed from a scoop of lima bean letters? (Grades K-8) 10/15/2009

"War of the Worlds: A Broadcast Re-Creation
Relive -- and re-create -- the panic-causing 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds." (Grades 6-12) 10/14/2009

Tabloid Tales
Write a story for one of these unbelievable tabloid news headlines. (Grades 3-12) 10/13/2009

Postmark U.S.A.
Collect postmarks; track them on a classroom map. (Grades K-8) 10/12/2009

Report on a Reporter
Invite a news reporter to visit class; write news reports about the visit. (Grades 3-12) 10/09/2009

Rescuers: Those Who Risked Their Lives to Save Others
Read Holocaust rescue accounts, write reflective essays. (Grades 6-12) 10/08/2009

The Alphabet Game
Use alphabet cards to play a small-group spelling game. (Grades K-8) 10/07/2009

Saying No!
Celebrate Red Ribbon Week (October 18-26) by presenting plays about saying no to drugs. (Grades 3-12) 10/06/2009

Students' Favorite Reading Topics
Students survey their classmates reading preferences. (Grades K-8) 10/05/2009

Celebrate Character Counts! Week In October
Ten ideas for celebrating Character Counts Week (October 19-25). (Grades PreK-12) 10/02/2009

Halloween Party Alternatives from UNICEF
Replace your Halloween party with a valuable service-learning project. (Grades PreK-12) 10/01/2009

Where Did Foods Originate? (Foods of the New World and Old World)
Explore how New World explorers changed the Old World's diet. (Grades K-12) 09/30/2009

Space Tourism Brochure
Create travel brochures to sell tourists on the concept of space travel. (Grades 6-12) 09/29/2009

Go West With Columbus
Go West With Columbus game teaches map skills. (Grades K-5) 09/28/2009

Create a Globe
Make globes from balloons and a paper-paste mixture. (Grades 3-5) 09/25/2009

Fire Safety Songs (and Poems Too)
Songs, poems for Fire Safety Week, October 4-10. (Grades PreK-2) 09/24/2009

Catchy Captions
A lesson in newspaper photo captions and caption writing. (Grades K-5) 09/23/2009

The Million $ Mission
Calculate the quickest way to earn $1 million in one month. (Grades 3-12) 09/22/2009

The Great Chicago Fire: Did Mrs. OLearys Cow Really Cause It?
Investigate the cause of the Great Chicago Fire (October 8, 1871). (Grades 6-12) 09/21/2009

An Immigration Graph
Create a graph to show the number of immigrants by country of origin. (Grades 3-8) 09/18/2009

Graph the Results: Applesauce Taste Test
Make three kinds of applesauce, hold an applesauce taste test. (Grades PreK-8) 09/17/2009

Where Am I?
Use latitude and longitude to identify volcano locations. (Grades 6-12) 09/16/2009

Did You Know...
Take a true-false quiz about Hispanic history. (Grades 6-8) 09/15/2009

Autumn Colors Shine Through
Let autumn shine through with colorful window decorations. (Grades K-5) 09/14/2009

Bark Art
Learn about Australias Aborigines, create Aboriginal bark art. (Grades K-5) 09/11/2009

Read a Fall Foliage Map
Use a color key to read a fall foliage map. Printable work sheet included. (Grades 3-8) 09/10/2009

Tracking Falls Falling Temperatures
Reinforce many skills by tracking falling temperatures this fall. (Grades 3-12) 09/08/2009

Pinwheels for Peace
Create "pinwheels for peace" to celebrate International World Peace Day September 21. (Grades K-12) 09/07/2009

How Well Do You Follow Directions?
Teach valuable lessons about listening and following directions. (Grades K-12) 09/4/2009

Five-O
Use logic and deductive reasoning to guess a vocab word in this team game. (Grades 3-12) 09/3/2009

Civil War Slang
Explore slang words and phrases used during the Civil War. (Grades 6-12) 09/2/2009

The Week That Was
A weekly writing assignment results in a year-end volume of work that documents students' writing progress. (Grades K-12) 09/1/2009

Geography Bee
Hold a classroom Geography Bee. (Grades 3-12) 08/31/2009

Ball and Triangle Game
Create a modern version of an old Native American childrens game. (Grades K-8) 08/28/2009

Create a New Amendment
Recognize Constitution Day (September 17). Work in groups to propose a new amendment to the Constitution. (Grades 6-12) 08/27/2009

Bing!
This game combines spelling words and chance. (Grades K-12) 08/26/2009

Who Are Your Heroes?
Work sheet helps students organize their Who is my hero? thinking. (Grades 3-8) 08/25/2009

Map Your Favorite Sports Team's Next Road Trip
Use maps to chart a favorite sports teams next road trip. (Grades 3-12) 08/24/2009

Memorable Maps
Memorable maps lesson shows a year of geography skill growth. (Grades K-12) 08/21/2009

A "Typical Day Then and Now
Celebrate Grandparents Day (Sept. 13). Students compare their "typical day" to a grandparent's childhood. (Grades K-8) 08/20/2009

Getting-to-Know-You Crossword Puzzle
A class crossword puzzle makes a great back-to-school activity or bulletin board. (Grades K-12) 08/19/2009

I Think, Therefore
Use logic to complete a statement by Charles Darwin. (Grades 9-12) 08/18/2009

What's in a Name?
Use clues to identify U.S. cities with unusual names. (Grades 3-12) 08/17/2009

World War I Art and Artists
Learn about the artists behind paintings of World War I. (Grades 9-12) 08/14/2009

Drafting the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence: compare Jeffersons draft with the final version. (Grades 6-12) 08/13/2009

Simon Says "Who Are You?"
This Simon Says game highlights students similarities, differences. (Grades K-5) 08/12/2009

Puzzle Race Builds Cooperative-Group Skills
A puzzle race builds cooperative group work skills. (Grades K-8) 08/11/2009

Cutting Costs With Coupons
Clip newspaper food coupons, add up the savings. (Grades 3-8) 08/10/2009

Germs Experiment 2
Use glitter to demonstrate how germs travel. (Grades K-5) 08/07/2009

Understanding Needs and Feelings
Complete this story to show how different people deal with needs, feelings. (Grades 3-5) 08/06/2009

The World Of Anne Frank
Ideas for teaching about the life and diary of Anne Frank. (Grades 6-12) 08/05/2009

Civil War Recipes
Prepare foods Civil War soldiers might have eaten. (Grades K-12) 08/04/2009

The Human Body: A Life-Size Model on Paper
Create life-size diagram of the human body. (Grades K-12) 08/03/2009

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