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English Student Reference Booklets

Answering the same question over and over is a struggle that most teachers face.   I can’t tell you the number of times in my career that I have had to define metaphor, explain the basic essay format, or help students understand theme (and the list goes on and on).

I wanted my students to retain what I had taught them, yet I seemed to constantly be spoon feeding them the answers to questions that they should have been able to answer themselves. Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  If this is true, I fit the bill.

I wanted to foster more student independence and to stop the flow of repeated questions always coming my way.  As a result,  I decided to create student reference booklets for each area of study (Essays, Non-Fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Speeches, Drama, Figurative Language, MLA Format). Students would get a new booklet when we started a new unit or topic.

I would laminate a copy of each and put it on my bookshelf so it can easily be accessed.  Then, when we study a particular genre, I would print a black and white booklet for each student to have as a reference

English Student Reference Booklets

During a unit when students inevitably begin asking me questions like, “What is onomatopoeia again?”, “What are the four types of conflict?”, or “What is a soliloquy?” I simply direct them to their handbook for the answer.  I will admit that by using these booklets, you will initially have to say the phrase, “Check your handbook” about a hundred times a day.  If you keep up with it; however, students will eventually start to rely on themselves rather than on you.

Poetry Booklet

Why do I love these booklets?

  1. They promote student independence.
  2. Students are taking ownership of their own learning instead of always relying on me.
  3. Student retention of information improves when they use them regularly.
  4. I am no longer answering the same questions over and over!

If you’d like to try one of the booklets out for free, you can download the MLA Formatting Handbook (8th Ed.) by clicking the image below.

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