Middle school students appreciate being able to express themselves creatively. In your English class, allow your middle school students to create English projects that let them explore how they think or feel about themselves. Writing about themselves and their lives helps middle school students express themselves better.
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Who I Am
To practice writing poetry and using appropriate self-expression, let your middle school students create an English project exploring themselves. Create a list of questions that will help your students relate different aspects of their lives and preferences. Use questions that deal with the past, how they changed through the years, what they know about their heritage or name and how they would describe themselves now. Give each student time to write freely about themselves. Show them how to document an internet source when they try to find out the exact meaning of their name. Challenge them to create a poem that best describes how they see themselves and how it relates to the meaning of their name. Require your students as part of this project to find a graphic or image that best represents the meaning of their name to include with their poem.
Bring in objects to class to show students how to find inspiration in everyday objects. Include both odd and normal objects to give enough variety for your middle school students. Show the class how an object can hold a special meaning to an author and can work itself into a story by writing a story about an object itself. The story does not have to be solely about the object but the object should be critical to the story. Let your students slowly look at the objects you brought to class and free write for about 10 minutes on any object they like. Ask your students to find an object that inspires them and write a narrative using the inspiration. At the end of the project, ask your students to bring the objects to class and write a caption for it. Create your own inspiration museum and allow your students to share with their class why they found inspiration with their object.
For an engaging, Christmas-themed classroom English project, ask your students to write a play based on the Dickens book "A Christmas Carol." Assign the book for reading and ask students to picture themselves into the story. They should keep their own personalities as they relate to the events happening in the story. As a class project, rewrite the story as a drama inserting each class member into the story. Abbreviate scenes as necessary, and allow each person to write their own lines in the story, still keeping the spirit of the story intact. Read the script together letting students read their own lines and discuss how characters can change the tone of a story.
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