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Inspired English
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Inspired English
Raising Test Scores and Writing Effectiveness Through Poetry and Fiction


December 2004 | 160 pages | Corwin
"The author introduces new pedagogical approaches in teaching language arts, using fiction and poetry to enhance the student's critical thinking. This is a thoughtful, practical, and innovative book that will foster academic success."
Maggie Yadegar, Associate Dean
National University, Los Angeles Campus

"A 'must have' publication for the beginning teacher of English. The author gives explicit discussions, providing directions for formulating, presenting, and evaluating each phase of the lesson being taught."
Lois Gibson, Associate Professor Education (Retired)
Southeastern Louisiana University

Lessons that spark the imagination and fuel academic success!

Teachers of English at the high-school and middle-school level face greater and greater challenges as the pressures of standardized testing collide with the realities of declining literacy and unmotivated students. This manual-written by a teacher for teachers of all experience levels-is the perfect companion for those looking to reinvigorate their language arts curriculum and fully engage and inspire all students.

LaCroix shows teachers how they can use poetry and fiction to generate student interest and promote higher-level thinking skills through analysis and interpretation of great works. Arming teachers with all the necessary tools to plan and prepare effective lessons, this user-friendly guide ensures that even the most reluctant students can share in the joy of literature while becoming better readers, writers, and test-takers.

Features that will aid new and veteran teachers alike include:

  • Twenty proven, ready-to-use lessons complete with rubrics, reproducibles, and reteach ideas
  • Straightforward descriptions of three effective lesson plan types, including the LaCroix Model
  • Concrete examples of how to supercharge students' vocabulary, critical thinking, rhetorical writing and public speaking skills for higher test scores and lifelong success

Spark student interest with rich literature presented within the context of LaCroix's powerful and dynamic instructional plans, and watch as their achievement levels soar!


 
Preface
 
About the Author
 
Opening Letter to Reader
 
1. The Plan
The Hunter Model

 
The Generalist Model

 
The LaCroix Model

 
Key Resource 1.1 The LaCroix Model

 
 
2. The Design
The Purpose

 
The Objective

 
The Crucial Setup

 
The Critical Materials

 
Key Resource 2.1 Sample Syllabus

 
Key Resource 2.2 Teaching Poems

 
Key Resource 2.3 Chaser Poem Rubric (4 Point)

 
Key Resource 2.4 Bio Poem Rubric (6 Point)

 
 
3. The Preparation
Skills to Be Taught

 
Procedural Lesson 1: The Poetry Notebook

 
Procedural Lesson 2: The Dramatic Reading

 
Key Resource 3.1: Poetry Book Requirement

 
Key Resource 3.2: Dramatic Reading Rubric

 
Key Resource 3.3: Poetry Circle Grade

 
 
4. The Lessons
Lesson 1: Understanding Character Through Tragedy

 
Key Resource 4.1: Ladder of Responsibility

 
Key Resource 4.2: Summary of Characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet

 
Key Resource 4.3: Essay Scoring Guide for Student Response to Literature

 
Key Resource 4.4: Literary Report Card

 
Lesson 2: Conflict and the Heroic Journey

 
Key Resource 4.5: Miracle on the Bayou

 
Key Resource 4.6: The Heroic Journey

 
Lesson 3: Finding Themes in Literature Through Art

 
Key Resource 4.7: Boarding Flight 64

 
Key Resource 4.8: Broad-Based Themes

 
Key Resource 4.9: Paired Themes in Short Fiction

 
Lesson 4: The Important Questions

 
Key Resource 4.10: Blue Velvet

 
Lesson 5: In Search of Poetry--Found Poems

 
Key Resource 4.11: Young Chief Joseph's Speech to Congress (1879)

 
Key Resource 4.12: Sample Found Poem: Chief Joseph Speaks to Congress

 
Lesson 6: "Poetry Is..."--An Introduction

 
Key Resource 4.13: Poetry Is...

 
Lesson 7: The Power of Words--Interpreting Poetry

 
Key Resource 4.14: Changing Impressions

 
Key Resource 4.15: "The Day is Done"

 
Key Resource 4.16: "The Psalm of Life"

 
Lesson 8: "I'm Nobody! Who are you?"--The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

 
Key Resource 4.17: The Poems of Emily Dickinson

 
Key Resource 4.18: Summation of Emily Dickinson's Life

 
Lesson 9: A Self-Portrait--The Bio Poem

 
Key Resource 4.19: Bio Poem Formula & Example

 
Key Resource 4.20: Matt's Bio Poem

 
Key Resource 4.21: Bio Poem Worksheet

 
Key Resource 4.22: Character Traits

 
Key Resource 4.23: Bio Poem Rubric (Six Point)

 
Lesson 10: "All the world's a stage"--Shakespeare and Figurative Language

 
Key Resource 4.24: Similes, Metaphors and Personification

 
Key Resource 4.25: Shakespeare Poems

 
Key Resource 4.26: "A Split Tree Still Grows"

 
Lesson 11: "Once Upon a Midnight Dreary"--Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Works

 
Key Resource 4.27: Lecture Notes on Edgar Allan Poe

 
Key Resource 4.28: Edgar Allan Poe

 
Key Resource 4.29: "Annabel Lee"

 
Key Resource 4.30: "To Helen"

 
Key Resource 4.31: "A Dream Within a Dream"

 
Key Resource 4.32: Excerpt from "The Raven"

 
Lesson 12: Life's Lessons in Verse

 
Key Resource 4.33: Teaching Poems

 
Key Resource 4.34: "The Village Blacksmith"

 
Key Resource 4.35: "To thine own self be true"

 
Key Resource 4.36: "If Tomorrow Never Comes"

 
Key Resource 4.37: "O Great Spirit"

 
Key Resource 4.38: "To be, or not to be"

 
Lesson 13: A Poetry Potpourri

 
 
5. The Final Touches
Suggestions for a Successful Poetry Recital

 
Key Resource 5.1: Poetic License

 
 
Closing Letter to Reader
 
Index

"The author introduces new pedagogical approaches in teaching language arts, using fiction and poetry to enhance the student's critical thinking. This is a thoughtful, practical, and innovative book that will foster academic success."

Maggie Yadegar, Associate Dean
National University, Los Angeles Campus

“A ‘must have’ publication for the beginning teacher of English. The author gives explicit discussions, providing directions for formulating, presenting, and evaluating each phase of the lesson being taught."

Lois Gibson, Associate Professor Education (Retired)
Southeastern Louisiana University
Key features
  • Contains 20 step-by-step lesson plans complete with reproducible materials and scoring rubrics.
  • Excellent resource for beginning English teachers, and more experienced teachers with reluctant, unmotivated or struggling students.
  • Strategies presented for developing Poetry and Fiction units are easily translated for the development of other required units.
  • Will cluster well with our other reading and writing offerings.
  • Strategies and lesson plans have already been tested and refined in the modern classroom setting.
  • Lesson plans developed so that most touch upon at least 5 of the 6 strands of the required language arts curriculum.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: The Plan


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