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Teaching a Sample Lesson? We’ve Got You Covered!

May 18, 2017 3 min read

There’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking and exciting as being asked to teach a sample lesson as one of the final steps of the interview process! As we’re sure you know, it’s important to put your best foot forward. While this can be intimidating, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you with this sample lesson. In fact, we used this lesson, ourselves, when interviewing for a teaching position (we both were offered the jobs!).

This lesson focuses on identifying figurative language in a short poem and works great for 5th-8th grades. We created a brochure that includes definitions of common figurative language, the poem itself, and a few possibly unfamiliar vocabulary words.

Here’s a brief outline of the lesson:

Step 1: Before reading the poem on the back of the brochure, students will discuss the three vocabulary terms in order to familiarize themselves with the words before reading the poem. After reading the definitions, students can share possible synonyms, and write the synonyms next to each word. Then, students will read the poem aloud before beginning the lesson. (5 minutes)

Step 2: Starting with the first figurative language term, metaphor, the class will come up with a second example of a metaphor. Then, students will work in partners to come up with two more examples for metaphor. Continue this process for the remaining five devices. *Whenever students have extra time, they can draw a picture of one of the examples they wrote in the box below each device. (20 minutes)

Sample English Language Arts (ELA) Lesson for a teaching interview! This is a great lesson to use as a part of an observation - includes a detailed figurative language overview, an analysis of a poem, and exist slips! You'll be sure to impress the interview committee :)

Step 3: Students will now complete the “Your Turn” section of the brochure. Using the poem, students will find three examples of figurative language from the poem. Instructor will do the first one with the whole class. Then, students will work in pairs to find two remaining examples. After, have students share some of the examples they found from the poem. Students will need to make sure they explain the choice they made! (10 minutes)

Step 4: If time permits, discuss and interpret the poem with students, making sure to help instruct them with including annotations. (10 minutes)

Step 5: Have students complete the Exit Slips as a way to informally assess for understanding. (5 mins)

The whole lesson takes about 45-50 minutes, but if time is running short, simply do not interpret the poem together as a whole group and move right into the exit slips.

Check out the complete resource in our FREE Resources Library here! Simply print out the resource, make copies, and you’ll be all set for your observation.

Sample English Language Arts (ELA) Lesson for a teaching interview! This is a great lesson to use as a part of an observation - includes a detailed figurative language overview, an analysis of a poem, and exist slips! You'll be sure to impress the interview committee :)

Finally, here are three helpful hints that will really impress the interview committee:

  1. We suggest making extra copies of the brochures for any other people who might pop in to observe your lesson. It’s better to have more copies than not enough! *We also suggest printing out your own brochure and making notes for yourself, as we have done in the sample pictures above.
  2. Look through the exit slips immediately following your lesson and before you sit down with the interview committee. Looking at student feedback will help you answer the questions that always seem to be asked, “What would you have done differently?” and “What was successful in your lesson?”
  3. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have student name tags, so you can easily call on students throughout the lesson. The Editable Name tags template that’s a part of our resource is not only cute, but they are ready to go (students don’t need to spend any part of your lesson time making name tags for themselves!). We also like that the name tags are a “tent” kind, so you can easily see them displayed on the desks. It might be a good idea to have some student volunteers pass these out while you get set up for your lesson.
Wishing you the best of luck during your sample lesson! 


Go knock their socks off!
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Sample English Language Arts (ELA) Lesson for a teaching interview! This is a great lesson to use as a part of an observation - includes a detailed figurative language overview, an analysis of a poem, and exist slips! You'll be sure to impress the interview committee :)
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Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

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