Looking for language arts extension activities, ones that can be used in a variety of ways? These extensions are perfect for ending English lessons.
Building English lessons that deliver meaning and connection to students’ lives takes time. As you reflect on lessons, ELA extension activities will present themselves.
A polished, a finished touch can send the message that whatever grammar, literature, or public speaking lesson matters beyond the classroom. We ELA teachers crave that impact, that lasting effect.
Language arts extension activities often deliver that impact. Here are English lessons that provide a final punch.
A few simple language arts extension activities are to build infographics. Students can add images, color, and ideas that provide meaning. As the teacher, you can gauge where you need to review or when you need to move on.
Plus, the freedom with infographics allows for student choice. Consider using a picture connected to the lesson or a background from Canva (or another platform). How can students add details, pieces of information, a timeline, or quotes to an image? Infographics allow for freedom.
A focused review simply hones on whatever concept you choose. Typically, these are part of my extension activities for middle school, but they will probably work with ninth graders.
I’ll demonstrate a focused ELA extension activity with nouns.
Nouns are everywhere and once my students start to recognize them, I start naming the types of nouns with them. The easiest differentiation is proper (specific, capitalized) and common nouns (regular, nonspecific). With any literature lesson, you can ask students to find nouns. As exit tickets, I will give them a sticky note and ask them to write a noun from the story. (You can also specify the type of noun.) Students hand me their note as they exit the classroom.
And! The next day, we begin with that activity and branch from there. I arrange the sticky notes into different categories. Our class discussion can lead us to literature or grammar.
If you need to scaffold, you can cut strips of paper and write both proper and common nouns. Label two posters, one with “proper” and one with “common.” Give each student a strip with a noun. As students leave, ask them to adhere their noun example into the proper poster.
Of course, you can do this simple activity with any grammatical concept: verbals, types of sentences, types of pronouns, and on. Focused grammar reviews are easy extension activities for middle school.
Student choice review
When I do a grammar extension activity with my older students, I ask them to find sentences they enjoy. They do most of the work for me! Not only are students choosing what they understand, but they are also providing me with valuable feedback. Students are showing me what they understand.
I make numerous copies of grammar cards for differentiation. Then, I allow students to choose what they will study. If a student will not attempt a more difficult concept or cannot show mastery of that concept, I now what I need to review. These cards provide me with fast feedback, and they neatly close a grammar lesson. You can use a similar concept for writing extension activities.
Finally, if you use interactive notebooks, you can incorporate student choice as a closing activity. Download my free interactive notebook pieces and ask students to find examples of grammatical concepts as an extension activity.
Combining grammar and literature lessons can be simple and needn’t be complex. Studying grammar can be a natural part of our literature. For instance when I teach short stories, I will close a chapter’s review with a study of mentor sentences. I pull sentences from stories and review grammatical concepts, which with well-placed questions, quickly becomes writing extension activities.
As I am closing a lesson with mentor sentences, I actually find that students are willing to analyze and discuss why the author used certain language. These discussions often turn into other extension activities, often writing an analytical essay using a language perspective. I love when students see all pieces of an English class working together.
Word walls are the perfect vocabulary extension activity.
I encourage students to build my word walls and bulletin boards! I do not enjoy creating either classroom display, and students find more meaning in seeing their work. Build off vocabulary for quick language arts extension activities.
With adjectives or adverbs, I ask students to create a list of words from literature or to use the vocabulary words we are currently studying. We then use the words in different ways: draw pictures that represent the word, create a graffiti of the word, write sentences with the word, and on. Then, students display their creations. The best part? We can review those words as class winds down. Word walls work well for both vocabulary and grammar extension activities.
These English extension activities are easy to make and modify, and they work especially well at closing a powerful lesson. When I close with one of these language arts activities, I glean important information from my students concerning what they do and do not understand. I hope you can use similar ideas in your classroom.