5 Yogi Berra Quotes for the ELA Classroom

Yogi Berra turned 90 yesterday. For those of you who don’t know who Yogi Berra is, I don’t have time to explain.

What I do have time to explain is related lesson plans.

Making decisions. I like to bust out a decision making graphic organizer when reading Romeo and Juliet at the end of Act III. Romeo is banished. Juliet is obligated to marry Paris. Whatever shall she do? My electronic copy has been stolen. here’s how I do it.

  1. At the top write Juliet’s goal.
  2. Underneath, write 5 options Juliet has.
  3. Next to each option write the pros and cons of that option, keeping in mind Juliet’s goal.
  4. At the bottom make a decision and justify it.
  5. Write a letter to Juliet explaining what she should do and why.

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Predicting the future. I am amazed at the ability of many science fiction author’s ability to predict the future. I use this Fahrenheit 451 lesson plan to help students recognize Ray Bradbury’s genius. It would also work for other works, such as 1984 and Ender’s Game. You could also use the chart as a foreshadowing exercise with any story. Here’s what the chart looks like:

  1. In the left column, write a citation from a literary work.
  2. In the right column, record how that prediction has come true.

If used as a foreshadowing chart:

  1. In the left column write the foreshadowing example.
  2. In the right column, write the prediction or write the example in the story where the foreshadowing is played out.

Hey, i was just going through my files and found this Making Predictions Chart that could be used with literature. It’s a little different than what I described above. It’s an MS Word file, so you can edit it to fit your needs.

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Denotation and connotation. Although I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere about attitude, this particular quote sheds light on the difference between connotation and denotation. Although being in a slump means a hitter is not hitting, there’s a certain feeling each of the two phrases projects. I would much rather be “not hitting” than “in a slump.”

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Dream big. Remember when you used to have dreams and goals? Hopefully you still do. I like to talk about dreams with young people, get a gauge on what they want to do with their lives. Then I ask them how they’re going to get there. I prime them with Langston Hughes’ “Dreams” and “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

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OK, there really isn’t a lesson plan here, but I think we can all relate.

Try using Yogi Berra quotes with these lessons.

  1. You can use this analyzing humor in literature lesson plan.
  2. You can try a characterization lesson plan, using the words Berra says.
  3. And don’t forget this quotations writing assignment.
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