Engaging Review Ideas for Secondary ELA

Engaging Review Ideas for Secondary ELA

When starting a new school year, one of the most important and beneficial things a teacher can do in the classroom side from building classroom community is to take some time at the start of the new school year for review.

Review is not only crucial because students might have forgotten some of the content the learned before summer break, but it is also critical to determine precisely where students are. Plus, when teachers review essential content and ideas at the start of the new school year, students have a more uniform understanding of the ELA content.

And that is all during a normal school year. Again, like last year, this current school year is nothing like a normal school year, and that is why it is so important to go back to the basics, teach the essentials, and really make sure that our students have a good foundation before we move forward.

Essential ELA Review

One of the easiest ways to review quite a bit of essential ELA content at the beginning of the year is to stick with a review unit in your classroom. Recently, I created my Essential ELA Review Units to specifically address review in the secondary ELA classroom.

My Essential ELA Review units include five weeks of daily ELA review in a bell-ringer format, and all of the units include a wide variety of essential ELA standards. From argument, informational and narrative writing to language skills to reading analysis and inference, these ELA Review units hit on all of the major ELA standards.

With the Essential ELA Review Unit, students review content on the instructional slide and complete just a few exercises every single day for five weeks. I am currently using this program in my classroom with my sophomores, and it is helping me guide my instruction for the year.

Currently, I have Essential ELA Review units available for grade 8 (which reviews the grade 7 standards), grades 9-10 (which reviews the grade 8 standards), and grades 11-12 (which reviews 9-10 standards).
Engaging Review Ideas for Secondary ELA
Grades 9-10 ELA Review

ELA Review Stations

Another way to review important ELA content in the classroom is to set up review stations, and what’s so great about this activity is that you can tailor it to your class’ specific needs. One of the easiest ways to set up review stations is to use a combination of a computer-based program and task cards. For example, for one station, I might have students complete a grammar or punctuation review activity on their Chromebooks, and for the other stations, I might break up a set of task cards for students to work on.
  • For a digital review station, my Digital Grammar Review Activities are a perfect fit for a digital review station. This teaching resource includes four mini-lessons: parallel structure, semicolons, hyphens, and colons.
In an hour-long class period, I’ve found that review stations work best as either a one-day, three-station, or two-day five-station activity. Usually, I like to give each group of students about 15 minutes at each station. When planning for a station-type activity, I also plan to review the procedures at the beginning of the class. Then, at the end of the class, we review the content in a whole-group setting.

Escape Room Review

Another fun way to review essential content in your classroom and also build classroom community is the same time is to group students into teams and have them compete in an escape room challenge. While I typically use escape rooms in the classroom as an end-of-the-unit review, escape rooms can also be beneficial as a stand-alone review activity to help your students remember information they’ve learned in previous years.

In an escape room review activity, student groups will work together to solve a series of related tasks. While every student in the group might not have the answers or know the content, each group member will work together and pool their knowledge to solve the challenge.

My favorite ELA escape room activities for review are my Elements of Fiction Escape Room and my Parts of Speech Escape Room.

Gamifying Review Activities

In addition to the review activities mentioned above, there are lots of fun, digital ways to gamify classroom review. If you are pressed for time or need to grab a review activity quickly, you can choose from one of the premade activities. From Kahoot! To Quizlet Live, the options are really endless, and it adds a sense of fun and excitement to the classroom. And, there is already user-generated content to choose from.

If you are looking for more review activities, you’ll want to check out the short story collaborative review activity I have my students complete at the end of our short story unit. You’ll also want to check out this strategy to make any review activity an engaging experience.

More Review Activities and Ideas:

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