10 Must-Teach High School English Lessons

10 Must-Teach High School English Lessons

Students only have four years in high school English to learn and master so many skills that will help prepare them for college and life after high school. When students leave high school, we hope their English classes have taught them to think critically about what they read and be proficient in writing.

Here are 10 must-teach lessons for the high school English class.

1. Embedding Quotes in Writing

One of the first things I teach students is how to embed quotes in their writing. I teach this skill with our short story unit, and I really emphasize how to embed a quote properly. This skill takes time. However, with this embedding quote lesson, it is much easier. This embedding quotes lesson includes a presentation for direct instruction, student materials, and even practice to help students learn this skill.

2. Paraphrase, Quote, and Summarize Text

In addition to learning how to properly embed a quote, I also need them to know how to paraphrase and summarize text -and the difference between them. Once students learn how to paraphrase, quote, and summarize text correctly, their writing improves tremendously. This lesson on paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing text includes a presentation for direct instruction, various exercises and practice examples for students to work through, and organizers that work for any text.

Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Summarizing Text Lesson

3. Punctuation: Colons and Semicolons

My colons and semicolons teaching unit includes a presentation for direct instruction and student materials, including worksheets, assessments, and guides. Some trickier punctuation marks for students to learn how to use correctly include the colon and the semicolon. By the time students reach high school, they are ready to begin using these punctuation marks.

colons and semicolons teaching unit

4. Logical Fallacies

Teaching high schoolers about logical fallacies is so much fun. After all, there are so many different things you can do with it. You can analyze political ads and speeches, and even commercials. This logical fallacies teaching unit includes everything you need to teach your students about logical fallacies.

5. Rhetorical Appeals

Teaching students about ethos, pathos, and logos is also an essential high school English lesson. Students who know the various rhetorical appeals improve their critical reading skills. This ethos, pathos, and logos teaching unit includes a presentation for direct instruction and student activities.

ethos, pathos, and logos teaching unit

6. MLA Format

Teaching students about MLA Format and how to properly format their work isn’t glamorous. However, it is an essential skill that students need to know for high school, especially if they are moving on to college afterward. By having a good understanding of MLA Format, students are then able to figure out AP and Chicago as well. My MLA Format teaching presentation will help make MLA Format much more accessible for students to understand.

10 Must-Teach High School English Lessons

7. Elements of Literature: Suspense, Theme, and Tone

As students go from middle to high school, their level of understanding and analysis increases. When teaching short stories and fiction, high school students should focus on suspense, theme, and tone for their analysis. These Elements of literature mini units are ideal for pairing with a single short story!

Elements of Literature mini units

8. Literary Analysis

And speaking of fiction and short stories, high school students are ready to tackle tough analysis. My Sticky Note Literary Analysis Unit helps make that possible and engaging. This unit includes a thorough presentation for direct instruction, plenty of organizers for an entire unit, and writing prompts.

9. Rhetorical Analysis

Likewise, this Rhetorical Analysis unit is perfect for high school. With this unit, students will gain a better understanding of rhetorical analysis. This unit includes an in-depth presentation for direct instruction, a variety of rhetorical analysis organizers that work with any text, and writing prompts.

10. Poetry Analysis

Once students graduate from middle to high school, they are ready to take on more challenging skills, including poetry analysis. This poetry analysis unit combines sticky notes and rigor for the perfect combination! This unit includes a direct instruction presentation and utilizes the acronym SWIFT to help students analyze poetry.

10 Must-Teach High School English Lessons
poetry analysis unit



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