Category Archives: Elements of Literature Lesson Plans

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 🙂

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!