Our Best ELA Lessons to Make it Through the 2nd Semester


Teaching ELA during the second semester of school presents some interesting challenges. Students and teachers are both looking forward to the upcoming summer break, state testing is just around the corner, and there are usually some big end-of-the-year projects. 

We know how difficult the second semester can be, so we are here to share with you all some of our best ELA lessons for the middle school and high school classroom to make it through second semester. 

Danielle from Nouvelle ELA knows that Spring semester = Shakespeare season. If you’re looking for the perfect way to introduce ANY Shakespeare unit, look no further! In this best-selling escape room, students will explore the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare’s Life, and Elizabethan London. This digital and print resource also includes optional research to extend students’ learning. The Introduction to Shakespeare Escape Room will dismantle the scary stigma of Shakespearean texts and leave your students eager to read!

The Daring English Teacher always likes to tackle poetry during the second semester. There are so many different options for teaching poetry, and it is a good way to teach students analysis skills. By using the SWIFT acronym, this poetry teaching unit incorporates sticky notes and poetry analysis for some engaging, fun, hands-on poetry instruction! It is a complete poetry unit, and your students will love it!

Tracee Orman always loves to start the year off with an organized routine, which includes daily writing. One way she practices this with her students is with Motivational Monday quotes and prompts. Starting the week off with an inspirational and POSITIVE quote and prompt allows students the perfect opportunity to not only practice writing, but work on their own mental health. As a bonus, the prompt is visually appealing and hangs in the room all week as a positive reminder.

Jackie from ROOM 213 always loved starting a new semester mid year, as it gives everyone a chance for a new start, a reset. Check out this blog post to find out three ways you can transform the start of your new semester, including tips for setting expectations and creating climate right from the start! (NOTE: even if you aren’t starting a new semester, the first day back after a long holiday is the perfect time for a reset).

Bonnie from Presto Plans likes to start off the new year on a high note by doing the 30-Day Happy Teacher Challenge. The Happy Teacher Challenge is a FREE activity designed to help you connect with students, build staff rapport, organize your school life, keep yourself healthy, and help you focus on the positive! Click here to check it out. You can even get your students to join in on the fun with the Free Happy Student Challenge by clicking here

As we work through the 2nd semester Addie Williams likes to focus on skill-building for writing and literary analysis.  One of her favorite activities to use with any novel or short story is a deep dive into characters using her Character Sketch resource.  Set your students up for success with these graphic organizers that will guide your students through either a paragraph or full essay to analyze a character.

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