Thug notes gives learning some much needed street cred...

Thug notes is a YouTube channel which started out as a series of comedy skits that somehow didn't pan out for it's creators who had dreams of becoming stars on the silver screen.

They created video 'cliff's notes' or quick descriptions of of classic literature and films delivered by gangsters and other highly engaging characters.

Somewhere along the line Thug notes switched from a comedy channel to one of the most viewed education channels on YouTube, as their approach had a massive impact on teachers and students.  It was both cool and well researched material.  And yes, it is funny.  It may not be for everyone, but either is sitting in a lecture theater for an hour listening to an incredibly boring analysis of lord of the flies.

Anyhow take a look for yourself here...

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Why we cant expect students to be great writers until we model it as teachers

I found this article by David Cutler about the importance of modelling high quality writing for students in more than just a five minute window on the the whiteboard.  It needs to become a meaningful process every time we pick up a pen and engage with students.

This is definitely something I have been guilty of not doing as well as I could when I looked at his six focal points of how teachers should writing effectively.

1 - Teachers need to be effective writers

2 - Teachers need to share their writing

3 - Teachers need to write for their students

4- Teachers need to run writer's workshops

5 - Teachers need to seek feedback.

6- Teachers need to write about the real world.

It is a great article for anyone teaching writing and is available here.  



Blank postcard templates for young writers

Use these printable templates to teach young writers how to write a basic letter or recount.  Your students will learn about addresses and can get creative in decorating the front picture and creating a stamp of their own in the process.

These and many other printables can be found our printable section here.

Download Postcard Template here.

Teach note writing through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Learning Intention / Overview

Responding to literature can be fun and creative.  There are many methods for students to use when responding to a piece of literature. This activity will focus on thank you note writing.  This will allow students to write from first person point of view.  This shows educators what students understand about a text as students reveal their thinking, feelings, and reactions to the literature they have read. 

Methods / Teaching Strategies

 Class Discussion

  Reviewing parts of thank you notes

 Independent Writing


Assessment of Learning

·         Thank you note

·         Demonstrates an understanding of first person point of view through writing a note card.

click here to download the free lesson plan

Teaching adjectives and adverbs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Learning Intention / Overview

Adjectives are words that describe nouns.  Adverbs are words that describe verbs.   This activity will practice identifying and locating adjectives and adverbs by describing parts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Adjectives and adverbs can be part of word skills that incorporate vocabulary that is important in helping students form mental images about scenes and settings in a story.  Forming these metal pictures assists students in understanding what they are reading.

Methods / Teaching Strategies

Class Discussion


Creative Art

   Independent Practice

Assessment of Learning

·         Adjectives and Adverbs  Page(provided)

·         Demonstrated an understanding of adjectives and adverbs through art.

Click here to download the free lesson plan

Teaching point of view through Charlotte's Web

This activity will allow students to demonstrate understanding from a character’s point of view (1st person).  There are numerous ways for readers to respond to literature.  This promotes insight into text and allows students to reveal their thinking, feelings, and reactions to the literature they have read.  This activity will also review and practice how to write a friendly letter correctly.

Click here to download the entire lesson plan and resources

Teaching persuasive writing through Charlotte's Web

Persuasive writing is when an author writes to try to convince someone to share their feelings on a topic.  Obviously, Fern wanted to keep Wilbur.  She certainly didn’t want Mr. Arable to kill him.  As students think about reasons that Mr. Arable should keep Wilbur, they will strengthen their opinion as to why Mr. Arable should keep him.

Click here to download the lesson plan and all resources 

Constructing a literature response to 'Charlotte's Web'

Independent reading is a necessary real-world skill. In addition, classrooms expect independent readers by the time students reach elementary grades 4th and 5th.  This activity will allow students to develop an understanding of how to respond to literature and how these responses build comprehension skills.  The more students are focused on their reading the more independent they become.  Literature responses improve student focus and can be used as formative assessments for standards related to literature and informational text.

Click here to download the lesson plan and resources