As a middle school English teacher, I have many masters when it comes to lesson planning.
Right now, for example, I am reflecting on the first semester and planning for the spring.
I have goals for grammar, vocabulary, essay writing, a unit on spoken word poetry, multimedia projects, blogging, and on and on.
At times I try to teach in units. The essay unit. The vocabulary unit. But inevitably they blend and it feels inorganic to leave one alone for too long. Of course there is the art of teaching and bringing all of these topics to bear whenever we can, but formally, how does one plan a semester?
I have been torn of late between two possibilities:
1) Put all of the major components on a rotation: Vocabulary emphasized on Mondays, Essay Writing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, SSR on Fridays, etc.
2) Teach the novel and have all of the other topics embedded. For example, our next novel is The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963. I can do vocabulary that comes from the novel, have the students write essays about the novel, etc.
While the second model is much more to my liking, I have yet to implement it effectively.