January lesson plans for middle school ELA need to help students refocus on their studies. The excitement of the holiday season is over and the testing season will soon arrive. January can feel a little glum after the festivities of December. Add to that – those cold days and long, dark nights and January can be a challenging month for teachers.
Let’s talk about January lesson plans for middle school ELA.
During January my classes focus on two things:
1. Goal Setting
New Years Goal Setting: Studies have shown that people who take the time to set their goals in writing are much more likely to be successful at achieving those goals and in life. I spend the first week back after break helping my students do just that. By practicing this now, hopefully, the habit will stick as they grow older. You can use any format you like, but here is a free lesson plan to help lead your students through self-reflection and goal-setting.
During January I focus on narratives with my classes. This can easily be done through either short stories or a novel study. Depending on which type of unit (short stories or novel) I did back in October, I do the other now.
If you are looking for some good novel suggestions, here are a few:
- Grade Seven: The Giver, Fish in a Tree, Long Walk to Water
- Grade Eight: Refugee, The Outsiders, Alexandra of Africa
- I also have compiled many lists of middle school novels by grade level, topic, and genre in this blog post.
- Short story suggestions can be found in this blog post.
Try these print and go teaching resources this month.
Focus on Reading:
Novel Study Activities for Any Novel: For use with any novel, this unit focuses, particularly on literary elements and devices. Use this unit to introduce or review these important parts of the literature with your students.
Focus on Writing
Writing this month is in relation to whatever literary unit my classes are involved in. Several tasks in the novel and short story activities above focus on writing.
Focus on Speaking and Listening
Class discussions in relation to the novel or short stories unit we are reading cover this component for the month.
Focus on Media Literacy:
This lesson bundle contains sixteen different media types for students to review. Help your students purposely engage with media using this differentiated review writing lesson bundle.
I pick another of the consumer awareness lessons in this bundle for use this month. Topics include check out charities, clothing waste, gender price differences, outlet vs. retail, bottled water, misleading food labels, breakfast sandwiches, makeup testers, fast food chicken, and healthy or junk food. There is no particular order that these have to be covered in, I just pick what appeals to me, my students, and any current trends in my classroom.
Articles To Inform Your Teaching
We all know that over the holiday break students can seemingly forget all the classroom procedures and norms that you so painstakingly established at the beginning of the school year. Here are some ideas to help your students get back in the swing of things in a fun and painless manner.
I’ve yet to meet a teacher who doesn’t get at least a little bit excited by a brand new pack of his or her favourite pencils or a great stapler. With the long haul until spring break and the fact that Christmas elves seem to occasionally walk off with your favourite grading pens and binder clips, here are a few back to school (again) supplies that make great January purchases.
Have a great day and stay tuned for February’s lesson plan blog post.
Other Monthly Lesson Plans