Facebook Twitter Blog Mailing List

Featured Member

Shmoop Study Guides
Shmoop Study Guides
(Sunnyvale - United States)

Shmoop wants to make you a better lover (of literature, history, poetry and writing). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time.  Our mission: To make  ...

Language Arts Videos

Interview with author Dan Gutman

Author Dan Gutman talks about his series of baseball mystery books for the middle grade reader. He tells the you host about his childhood and his life as a writer.

This resource is part of the MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids collection.


Storytelling in Central Park

Visit with a storyteller to learn what makes a good story and how to tell a tale.

This resource is part of the MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids collection.


The Power of Simple Words

Long, fancy words designed to show off your intelligence and vocabulary are all very well, but they aren't always the best words. In this short, playful video Terin Izil explains why simple, punchy language is often the clearest way to convey a message.


Figurative language

A short video introducing different types of figurative language, including similes, metaphors, hyperbole, idiom, personification, onomatopoeia, and alliteration


Poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa Inspired by Cuba, Art

Miami-based Latin American art critic and poet Richardo Pau-Llosa discusses the memories of his youth in Cuba and Miami that he writes about in his poetry.

Pau-Llosa was born in Cuba but moved to the United States after communists came to power. Having grown up in Miami, he reflects on the local musicians, artists and writers that influenced him.

"When I arrived in Miami in the '60s, and growing up here from that point on, Miami was a place where the artists were creating, where musicians were playing, where writers were writing. And I came into contact with those people," he says.

In the first part of this video Pau-Llosa reflects on his personal history and the art that inspires and mirrors his poetry. He then shares an excerpt of his writing.

For more on how to incorporate this poetry reading into your classroom, see the lesson plan in this Unit.


Francis Richey Speaks to Soldier Son Through Poetry

Inspired by her feelings about her son's tours of duty in Iraq as a Green Beret, poet Francis Richey composed 28 poems for him compiled in a new book called "The Warrior."

Richey, who raised her son Ben as a single mother, felt their relationship disintegrate when they disagreed about the U.S. presence in Iraq.

"We had always debated about politics, and I didn't realize that when we were arguing, when he was so close to going into combat, that it was much more personal, that it hurt him when we argued," Richey said.

In this interview with NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown, mother and son discuss how Francis Richey was able to communicate her emotions to her son through poetry. Francis Richey reads two of the poems from her book, "The Warrior."

To incorporate this poetry reading into a lesson plan, see Poetry Series Lesson Guidelines in this Unit.


Poet Reflects Auto Industry Woes and Unemployment

How are artists reacting to the current economic situation?

Poet Bob Hicok was born and raised in Michigan, worked in factories and once owned an automotive die design business there before becoming a professor at Virginia Tech. His poetry reflects on the economic hardships suffered in his home state.

His poem, "In These Times," Hicok reflects on unemployment in a small town and its affects on families and communities.

For more on how to incorporate this poetry reading into the classroom, see the discussion questions also included in this Unit.


Poet Creates Identity in Verse

Poet, playwright and editor Nathalie Handal has lived in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Arab world. She uses poetry to weave together her memories and experiences and move forward as a person in the world.

"I've had a transient life, and so poetry and the word has been important because that's what I've gone back to, because that has stayed. So I've gone back to poetry for my memories, for what I've left behind," she said when she spoke at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

For more on how to incorporate this video into the classroom, check out the discussion questions and quidelines included in this Unit.


A Passion for Poetry and the Natural World

At 81, W.S. Merwin is counted as one of the nation's greatest living poets. Author of more than 50 books of his own poetry, translations of others, memoirs and more, Merwin's major prizes include the Pulitzer in 1970 for "The Carrier of Ladders" and the National Book Award for "Migration" in 2005.

In his most recent writings Merwin exponds upon his love of the natural world and gardening while using really simple and bare writing.

For more on how to incorporate this video into the classroom, check out the dicussion questions and guidelines also included in this Unit.


New Mexico Spoken Word Explores Indian Youth Identity

Native American students often describe their experiences in school as living in two worlds: both their native culture and the dominant. In New Mexico students at the Spoken Word Club at Santa Fe Indian School, which is voluntary, meet every Wednesday night, to work through the long process from page to stage, writing their poems, memorizing them, rehearsing them. Many students are working on themes of loss of native culture and language.

For more on how to incorporate this video into the classroom, check out the discussion questions and guidelines also included in the Unit.


Best Practice Vignettes-Language Arts Inclusion

Performance assessment and collaborative work are showcased in this middle school language arts video segment.


Expository Essay Writing Video

A video about choosing a topic for and writing a research report. This video includes examples of other students' research reports.