Empowering Writers

Toolbox: Lesson of the Month

Lesson of the Month


May 2015 Lesson of the Month

Here’s what you’ll do: First, have the students brainstorm some survival instructions to recommend to the in-coming class. For example: learn your multiplication facts, never come to school without your homework, always shake his/her hand when you walk in the door, raise your hand before you speak, never show your cell phone, don’t lean back […]


April 2015 Lesson of the Month

This month’s April newsletter was inspired by the April calendar. I always try to gain motivation from the monthly calendar, but it doesn’t always work out this ideal. I wanted something less traditional that would lend itself to writing and encourage reading at the same time. So when I discovered April is the month for […]


February 2015 Lesson of the Month

This month, students will research February’s celebrated heroes with one important question in mind! What type of influences – and/or media – prepared these epic heroes for their courageous roles? Then students will explore their own influences and how they might adjust these for their future. Melody Beattie, a revered self-help author, said, “The new […]


January 2015 Lesson of the Month

Everyone is concerned about close reading, and writing in response to close reading. The literary analysis tasks showing up on the latest state tests all involve this kind of deep strategic reading and writing. EW has always stressed close strategic reading through our annotation and analysis lessons, empowering students to identify genre, author’s purpose, and […]


December 2014 Lesson of the Month

So, how about a lesson of the month that includes it all – holiday cheer, a fun art connection, and solid instructional value that will enhance student writing? This lesson, taken from “Easy Art Activities that Spark Super Writing”, involves the creation of a Snowman and an elaborative detail lesson that will impress! Students can […]


November 2014 Lesson of the Month

Teaching quotation marks – not an easy task! Where do the quotes go, what about that pesky comma? What to capitalize? What about punctuation inside the quotes – when is it a comma, a period, question mark, exclamation mark? I learned the skill as an author, thanks to a number of obsessive-compulsive editors who probably […]


October 2014 Lesson of the Month

Halloween is a great time to engage kid’s imaginations with a fun, at-home project! Find an old book-bag, satchel, or suitcase, and get ready for some excitement! The idea is to fill the bag with all the makings for a class “Monster Field Guide” as well as other monstrous delights – a collection of monster […]


September 2014 Lesson of the Month

This month’s lesson can be adapted for all grades, and is a terrific vehicle for you to get to know students and for them to get to know one another. It involves a skill we refer to as “What feelings look like?” the writerly way of showing rather than telling about the emotional reactions of […]


May 2014 Lesson of the Month

Spring is in full swing and teachers, parents, and students alike are looking forward to summer! Whether school is nearly out, or you’re in the final two month stretch, May is a month to enjoy. It’s time to engage students in some fun springtime activities that empower them to apply the skills they’ve mastered this […]


April 2014 Lesson of the Month

Happy spring from all of your friends at Empowering Writers! Did you know that April is officially Poetry Month? The Academy of American Poets designated April as poetry month back in 1996, with the intention of celebrating poetry. And it’s easy to see why they picked April – plenty of springtime inspiration! Our lesson this […]


March 2014 Lesson of the Month

March is the month in which everyone is Irish, at least for a day! Join the EW team in celebrating all things Irish with some fun and fact-filled activities that call to mind the folklore of the Emerald Isle. Erin go bragh! May the forty shades of green suggest a hint of spring, just around […]


February 2010 Lesson of the Month

Have you ever read an expository piece of writing and then said to the student, “Give me more detail”. I know I’ve done that plenty of times. Here’s what they write: a string of very’s, or a color word or size word. They have no idea how to write more! This lesson is the secret […]