Category Archives: Classroom Activities

8th Grade Pre-Reading Activities | The Giver | The Monkey’s Paw | FUN

I am so excited that I am returning to middle school and have the opportunity to teach 8th grade English (and History!) again! One of the most memorable lessons I have taught throughout my career was my pre-reading activity that introduced the novel “The Giver” to my 8th grade students. It happened to be a lesson that my principal was observing and it couldn’t have gone better – and I know that it had a lot to do with the design of the lesson!!!

We won’t be reading The Giver this year… and I am green with envy if YOU get to read it with your students! If that’s the case, check out these resources I’ve created over the past few years that truly enhanced the reading experience for my students and sent ENGAGEMENT through the roof!!!

The Giver Lessons and Activities from Ms Gs Room 30

Don’t take my word for it though… Look at the feedback I’ve received from other teachers across the country (which makes me SO proud)…


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Back to The Giver pre-reading activity…. IT’ A TEA PARTY! And who doesn’t love a Tea Party??? I have to admit I’ve never actually been a part of a tea party – except in my very own classroom – but the idea has always seemed fun!

This resource is jam packed with a very clear teacher’s guide and all the resources you will need to host your very own tea party with your students!! Not to mention… this is a CCSS-aligned activity that will have students sharpening the skills need to master those CCSS standards!

Here are a few snapshots of my favorite lesson of all time!

Over the past years, I also was able to do this activity with a few other stories (sparked by student request):

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Pre-Reading Activities

“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant Pre-Reading Activities

“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe Pre-Reading Activities – Engaging

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins Pre-Reading Activities – Engaging, FUN

If you’re on a hunt for “The Monkey’s Paw” resources, you’re probably asking “Where are the pre-reading activities for the Monkey’s Paw”? I’m excited to say that I just uploaded one resource to my TPT store:

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs Pre-Reading Activities – Engaging

Follow my The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs Pinterest board to see the resources as I upload them or check back in to TPT store for the newest products 🙂

Just in Case You Were UNAWARE…

4ActivityBundleBTSSALEIt’s not my style to use this blog to PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE my educational products… but I thought some of you might want to know about this….

My best-selling “Back to School” Activity bundle is now 28% OFF the already-reduced price! Yes, you can now grab 4 extremely unique and engaging activities for LESS than 5 bucks! Remember, this bundle includes the following activities, which I am selling the “beejeeeeguz” out of in my TPT store:

1. 33 Back to School TASK CARDS – “Instagram Style” Activity – Middle and Secondary
2. Back to School: 36 Task Card Set “I MUSTACHE YOU A QUESTION” – FUN
3. Back to School ICEBREAKER Activity: “Can you follow directions?” FUN Grades 6-12
4. Back to School Activity: Introduce Yourself with Instagram- No-Prep Printable

Hope you found this useful! I will be posting the progress of my “travel classroom” antics within the next day or two! Stay tuned!


Tired of Teaching “Elements of Plot”? A New, Fun Approach!

Are you tired of beginning each school year with the same ol’ “Elements of Plot” lesson? The initial vocabulary and concepts related to “Plot” can be kind of “dry” and “boring”, especially if you’re a student in grades 7th-10th! You know what I’m talking about because we’ve all been there 😉

I took some time (well, quite a bit of time!) designing a new way to introduce the “elements of plot” to my ninth grade English students! Instead of using the original “Plot Mountain” (pictured below) – I decided to take my students on “Plot Roller Coaster Ride”! Sounds fun – right? Obviously, I thought so! With that being said, I took the liberty to create a comprehensive, lesson bundle covering “The Elements of Plot” in alignment with CCSS standards!

Typical Plot MountainTypical Plot Mountain


Plot Roller Coaster Ride

New Plot Roller Coaster

Download FREE Plot Roller Coaster PDF

Inspired by the graphic organizer shown above, I went on to create a PREZI presentation, student note-taking packet and two intertactive activities to use this year as I teach this standard (RL 7-10.3). I’ve included a few thumbnails of these resources below but you can view a full product preview here:

Elements of Plot Bundle – PREZI, Student Note Packet, Activities, Task Cards

Elements of Plot Lesson Plans Elements of Plot Lesson Plans Elements of Plot Lesson Plans Elements of Plot Lesson Plans Elements of Plot Lesson Plans

As you can see, I’ve incorporated “Plot” Task cards into one of the activities in this bundle! I am really excited to use these because I think the students are going to love them! Each “Plot” task card includes a short description the setting, protagonist and antagonist of potential plot structure. There are a variety of ways to use them in the classroom, but students use the Plot Roller Coaster graphic organizer to create their own plot line from the information found on the “Plot” task cards! I’ve included an example of one below 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 4.34.44 PMIf you’re one of those teachers that has taught the same “elements of plot” lesson over and over (just like me!), maybe it’s time you step out on a limb and change it up for the new school year!


Flash FREEBIE: BACK TO SCHOOL Instagram “Task Card” Activity

Back to School Instagram Activity

I just used an activity that I created this summer for the first time with a summer school intervention (reading strategies) class. I had such a great experience that it made me want to share it with other educators! The students were diggin’ it and we’re highly engaged the entire time. Discussion was meaningful and it seemed to really spark some critical thinking!

With all of that being said (Can’t you tell I’m excited?), I am now offering my Instagram Task Cards for “Back to School”- 33 Cards and 5 Answer Sheets as a FREE download for a limited time!

Back to School Instagram ActivityThis is 22 pages filled with different strategies to use with task cards, unique Instagram-style task cards and differentiated student response sheets! Enjoy!



P.s. I would love to know how your experience with this activity went… So, if you feel compelled, drop me an email or a message after using it in your class! I would greatly appreciate it 🙂


All New Back to School Activities for Middle and High School Students

Yes, it’s that time again… “Back to School” is just around the corner! As a high school teacher, this has always been an exciting time for me! I love getting my classroom and teaching resources shined up and ready to welcome another class of students!

With that being said, I’ve spent a lot of time this summer creating new lesson plans and activities to use in my classroom this year! As you may know, I am a social media “junkie” and I capitalize on every opportunity I get to incorporate social media components into my lessons and classroom activities! If you’re interested in bringing different elements of social media into your classroom, check out my FREE guide to using Instagram in the classroom: How to Use Instagram in Your Classroom – A Resource for the Modern Teacher Read more