Creative English Teacher

Mr. Zorn: A Tribute

Creativity Encouragement

Mr. Zorn:  A Tribute

The world is a little less today:  Zorn has passed on from it. To the uninitiated, Zorn might seem like a sound effect from an old Batman fight scene, but it is a man’s name. Why should you know that name? Because Dan Zorn was the best teacher ever. No, he was never honored on national television. He never met Oprah. He never even won any local teaching awards that I’m aware of. Yet to me he will always be the greatest teacher ever. Mr. Zorn was a survivor of the Vietnam War. He came back with a few grisly...

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Five Reasons for Teaching Beowulf

British Literature Five Reasons To Teach Series World Literature

Five Reasons for Teaching Beowulf

Five Reasons for Teaching Beowulf I can still remember the first time I heard someone read Old English aloud. The words had a hypnotic sound to them like a druid casting a spell. Of course, this druid was Dr. Ellis, my Hawaiian-shirt-wearing English professor. I couldn’t believe that what I was hearing was actually English or at least “pre-English.” I later learned that Dr. Ellis was so knowledgeable in linguistics that the Merriam-Webster folks (of dictionary fame) would send him whole sections of the dictionary to double-check for accuracy. Throughout that semester Dr. Ellis taught us how to conjugate Old English verbs...

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Posterology: How and Why To Decorate Your Classroom

Teaching Ideas

Posterology:  How and Why To Decorate Your Classroom

Maybe you’re the type of person who moves into a new classroom and just leaves the previous teacher’s posters on the wall. Or perhaps you’re one of those people who has to make a classroom completely your own. Whatever your decorating preferences, wall art is a great way to engage your students in your subject matter—almost subconsciously. This post will give you some tips for making your classroom pop! More and more students are visual learners: Love it or hate it, media is taking over most young people’s lives.  Pictures send subconscious messages, so take advantage of the four blank...

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Life Lessons from Classic American Literature

American Literature Encouragement

Life Lessons from Classic American Literature

I created this infographic with some life lessons from classic American Literature. To see it actual full size, you might have to right-click it and save or open it in a new window. Enjoy! If you have time, leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite from this list!

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Hitting the Right Note: Making Your Classroom Sound More Engaging with Background Music

Hitting the Right Note:  Making Your Classroom Sound More Engaging with Background Music

It’s important to set the learning mood in your classroom, and one excellent way to do that is through the music you choose to play during student reading and/or work time. Here are five techniques for incorporating effective music that I have found successful in my own classroom.

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