January lesson plans for middle school ELA need to help students refocus on their studies. The excitement of the holiday season is over and the testing season will soon arrive. January can feel a little glum after the festivities of December. Add to that – those cold days and long, dark nights and January can be a challenging month for teachers.
Let’s talk about January lesson plans for middle school ELA.
During January my classes focus on two things:
1. Goal Setting
New Years Goal Setting: Studies have shown that people who take the time to set their goals in writing are much more likely to be successful at achieving those goals and in life. I spend the first week back after break helping my students do just that. By practicing this now, hopefully, the habit will stick as they grow older. You can use any format you like, but here is a free lesson plan to help lead your students through self-reflection and goal-setting. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
During January, I focus on narratives with my classes. This can easily be done through either short stories or a novel study. Depending on which type of unit (short stories or novel) I did back in October, I do the other now.
If you are looking for some good novel suggestions, here are a few:
- Grade Seven: The Giver, Fish in a Tree, Long Walk to Water
- Grade Eight: Refugee, The Outsiders, Alexandra of Africa
- I also have compiled many lists of middle school novels by grade level, topic, and genre in this blog post.
- Short story suggestions can be found in this blog post.
Focus on Reading
Novel Study Activities for Any Novel – For use with any novel, this unit focuses, particularly on literary elements and devices. Use this unit to introduce or review these important parts of the literature with your students. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Short Story Units – These units focus on the same skills and elements as the Novel Study Activities above; they just do so through the lens of seven great short stories.
Focus on Writing
Writing this month is in relation to whatever literary unit my classes are involved in. Several tasks in the novel, short story or podcast units that focus on writing.
Focus on Speaking and Listening
Class discussions in relation to the novel or short stories unit we are reading cover this component for the month.
If you want to focus on listening skills this month, omit short stories or working a novel study and use a narrative podcast to practice similar skills.
Mars Patel Podcast Unit – This Mars Patel Podcast Listening Comprehension Unit keeps students engaged while learning about literary elements, literary devices and practising their reading comprehension skills. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Focus on Media Literacy:
Media Literacy Review Writing – This lesson bundle contains sixteen different media types for students to review. Help your students purposely engage with media using this differentiated review writing lesson bundle. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Consumer Awareness Lessons (Bundle) – I pick another of the consumer awareness lessons in this bundle for use this month. Topics include check-out charities, clothing waste, gender price differences, outlet vs. retail, bottled water, misleading food labels, breakfast sandwiches, makeup testers, fast food chicken, and healthy or junk food. There is no particular order that these have to be covered in, I just pick what appeals to me, my students, and any current trends in my classroom. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Winter Sports Digital Escape Room – This winter sports-themed digital escape room provides students with the opportunity to work independently or with their peers to solve 10 winter sports-themed challenges. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Winter Creative Writing Assignment – Students will select one of the provided character roles: winter coat, ice skates, coffee shop owner, local sledding hill, lost mitten, and create a written or visual product based on the character’s specific writing prompt. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Winter Digital Escape Room – This winter-themed digital escape room provides students with the opportunity to work independently or with their peers to solve 10 hot chocolate-themed challenges. Students must solve these required challenges to escape the cafeteria supply closet they accidentally got locked in. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Articles To Inform Your Teaching
- New Years Goal Setting and Re-establishing Classroom Routines
- 10 Back to School Supplies, All Teachers Need
Additional Monthly Lesson Plans
- September Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA
- October Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA
- November Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA
- December Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA