Marsha Waldman


English Language Arts

My passion as an English teacher is to empower students to express themselves verbally and in writing so they can connect with the world and share their ideas. Through literature, I invite them to experience a wider world of ideas and to appreciate the art of the writer. I achieve this by creating lessons that actively engage students through varied modalities to reach all individuals regardless of their learning styles, interests, and abilities.

Lesson Plans

Romeo and Juliet Character Traits

In this activity, student teams "become" one of the major characters in Romeo and Juliet. They describe themselves using lists of accurate, powerful adjectives. Classmates have to guess which character is being described. In a follow-on lesson, the student teams pretend to be one character and, from that perspective, describe another character. Once again, classmates have to determine who the characters are. Teams are required to provide evidence from the text to justify their descriptive choices.

Found Poetry - Fever 1793

Students compose found poems based on descriptive passages they have chosen from Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. They pick out words, phrases and lines from the prose passage then arrange and format the excerpts to compose their own poems..

Finding Stories, Telling Stories
In this series of activities, students analyze a photograph in search of a story ideas. Students describe the setting and characters, then imagine a problem the characters are facing in order to develop a plot. Working with partners or in small teams, the students use dialogue to advance the plot. They publish their stories and celebrate by reading them aloud.English_files/FindingStoriesTellingStories.pdfEnglish_files/SpokenWrod_lesson_plan.pdfshapeimage_10_link_0

Spoken Word - Poetry Appreciation, Writing and Performance

Many students have difficulty relating to poetry, considering it irrelevant to their lives and difficult to understand. To help them connect, I brought contemporary poetry slams into the classroom. Following models from Brave New Voices and Raymond Carter, they wrote and performed emotion catalog poems.

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