I have such mixed emotions about spring this year. I’ve been spoiled most of my teaching career by using all 8+ of our built-in snow days, but we’ve had such an abnormally mild winter here in East Tennessee, that I keep looking for white snow instead of yellow daffodils. Sigh. I’m hoping that sharing these ELA spring activities will put me into the spring spirit. 😀 🌸🌞
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ELA Spring Activities for High School and Middle School :
Take Learning Outside
Around this time of year, my students start asking if they can go outside. I try to say yes when it’s appropriate. Simply a change in environment can wake up groggy brains and energize class discussions. In our book Keeping the Wonder: An Educator’s Guide to Magical, Engaging, and Joyful Learning, we synthesize the research on how spending time outdoors can increase attention, creativity, and brain function. So, taking ELA lessons outdoors isn’t just a breath of fresh air (literally), but it can also enhance your brain-based teaching strategies. Below is a short list for spring activities to do outdoors, and you can find more outside ELA ideas here and in our book.
- Take free-choice reading outside
- Use sidewalk chalk for group activities
- Walk and listen to a podcast
- Practice procedural writing
Have students use elements from nature to build a mini model of a survival shelter. You can read all about this activity here, but the main premise is this: Students think they are clear in their writing until someone else tries to follow their directions. I use this outdoor activity when I teach the hut building chapter of Lord of the Flies, but it can be used as a stand-alone writing activity or with any story in which the character needs to build a shelter for survival (think Hatchet, Island of the Blue Dolphin, etc. )
Design a character egg:
This is my go-to Good Friday or day before spring break activity. Students focus some of their warm-weather energy into coloring while still digging deep into the text. This spring writing activity will add a creative prompt to your ELA class while incorporating reading skills like characterization, inferencing, and symbolism! Designed to pair with ANY text, you don’t have to worry about straying from your ELA curriculum schedule. Download it here: Design a character egg
Here are few examples from our Into the Wild unit!
Showcase spring figurative language:
Another fun seasonal ELA activity for spring is to showcase spring figurative language from literature. I’ve designed these spring posters that can brighten up your classroom as well as serve as teaching tools. One of the activities included is a “Show vs Tell” matching game. The gist is that students find the “show” match for the “tell” then write their own. Here’s a reel that shows how it works:
Write poetry responses:
April is National Poetry Month which is the perfect time to sneak in some text responses disguised as fun and creative poetry writing! For example, by this time of year, students (and teachers) are probably on their 210th Venn Diagram. Switch it up by having them write a Diamante poem instead! You can get this free worksheet here: FREE POETRY RESPONSE SAMPLE
Listen to a seasonal podcast:
One of the easiest lessons you can do the day before spring break is to hit play on a podcast. If you want to double up on National Poetry Month, I have this popular pack of poetry and podcast pairings. Or, I have a huge list of podcasts for the classroom here: An epic list of activities and podcasts for school.
Celebrate Earth Day in ELA:
Spring also brings Earth Day on April 22. From my podcast recommendation list, The Wild is perfect for Earth Day. This holiday also makes for a great time for ELA spring activities to help bring Emerson and Thoreau to Life!
I hope this post has provided some helpful ELA spring activities inspiration. Happy spring break and let the countdown begin!