Archive for the ‘Adolescent Literature’ category

N is for Novel Studies

May 27, 2017

Teaching a novel effectively is challenging, especially if you want your students to engage deeply with the themes the authors are presenting and discover how novels can connect to their lives and perhaps show them how to cope with life’s challenges. And, above that, we want students to experience the pleasures of reading. The units and discussion and activity guides were intentionally designed to do all of the above while allowing for choice for students and teachers.  Another goal was to design the discussion and activity guides for independent study or for small groups, to help differentiate and to meet the needs of students. Here are the five novels that are popular with students and teachers.

Hunger Games: Unit Plan and PowerPoint Fact Game

Catching Fire: Discussion and Activity Guide

The Giver: Discussion and Activity Guide

Son: Unit Plan and Discussion and Activity Guide

The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion and Activity Guide

SALE 20% off May 28-29: Hunger Games: Unit, PowerPoint Fact Game. Catching Fire: Discussion & Activity Guide. The Giver: Discussion & Activity Guide. Son: Unit & Discussion & Activity Guide. The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion & Activity Guide.

 

 

 

 

m is for mockingbird

May 25, 2017

mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is one of my favorite novels—you smile, laugh, sniffle, cry. We developed a unit and a discussion and activity guide for mockingbird, which stand on their own or work together. Both products are grounded in best practice and use a wide variety of strategies that include step-by-step guidelines for implementation as well as handouts that facilitate that implementation. Our research and our work with classroom teachers over the years indicated to us that sharing how to implement best practice saved teachers time and increased the use of best practice in the classroom. Our goal with all of our products is to engage students and facilitate implementation for teachers.

mockingbird Discussion and Activity Guide includes:

  • Teacher Activity and Discussion Guide (34 pages)
  • Emotion Face Chart and 16 Emotion Face Cards for Forming Student Groups
  • 8 Summative Assessments
  • Personal Dictionary Project
  • Student Literary Log
  • PowerPoint Slide Presentation (109 slides) and PowerPoint Teacher Guide 25

mockingbird Unit Plan includes:

  • Instructional Plan for the unit
  • Caitlin’s Phrases Lesson Plan
  • Setting Analysis Lesson Plan (Part 1 & 2)
  • Character Analysis Lesson Plan
  • Fabulously Fun Theme Thursday Lesson Plan: Part 1, 2, & 3
  • 10-Second Rule Game for Chapters 1-14 and for Chapters 15-27
  • Mini-Assessment Project
  • Caitlin’s Rituals Lesson Plan
  • Figures of Speech Lesson Plan (Literal vs. Figurative Language)
  • Quotes Activity: Fact Checker Lesson Plan
  • Friendship Lesson Plan
  • Blooming with Knowledge—Mini-Projects for Mockingbird plus Rubric
  • Literary Log for Students

SALE 20% OFF May 26-27 mockingbird Discussion and Activity Guide and Unit Plan

E is for Esperanza Rising

May 11, 2017

E is for Esperanza Rising, a novel by Pam Muñoz Ryan. The first time this novel came onto my radar was when my granddaughter was reading it in fourth grade. She is an avid reader and lucky for me, loves to discuss what she is reading with me. I suppose we are both book nerds—nothing wrong with that.

A few years later I picked up the novel to consider for a novel study and her retelling came back to me as well as how meaningful the novel was to her. As I read it I was taken with how the author titled each chapter with the name of a food that was relevant to that chapter. Then I thought it would be fun to create a novel study that focused primarily on each food as well as how that food was symbolic of the ongoing story. So the Enrichment Activities Connected to Chapter Foods emerged. This product includes:

  • 14 Individual Lesson Plans (1 per chapter)
  • Chat Stations Activity
  • 12 Food Cards for Forming Student Pairs, Trios, and Quads
  • Permission Letter to Parents/Guardians
  • 1 PowerPoint with 58 Slides and Teacher Guide for PowerPoint

SALE 20% off May 12-13 Esperanza Rising Enrichment Activities Connected to Chapter Foods

And, don’t forget to check out the FREE bookmarks!

A is for Animal Farm

May 4, 2017

One of my favorite blogs is Compulsively Quirky written by Irene. Recently she published a blog about the A to Z Challenge. “For the past several weeks, I’ve been toying with the idea of participating in the 2017 AtoZ Challenge. Every April, bloggers write their way through the month publishing a post each day except Sunday based on every letter of the alphabet.

While I don’t think I can blog my way through the alphabet in one month, I am going to attempt to post a blog based on every letter of the alphabet in the coming weeks. My theme focuses on products my colleagues and I have created for Teachers Pay Teachers. The comments we receive regarding our products communicates to us that we are making a difference for teachers and students. So while I share a little history and description of our products, I hope you might pick up some tidbits and tactics for the classroom. And, who doesn’t love a thematic alphabetical list?

A is for Animal Farm, a novel by George Orwell, is more relevant today than ever. It’s a short novel, but worth reading or reading again. Some of the propaganda tools used in the Animal Farmnovel appear to be the playbook for the current administration. Animal Farm is the perfect novel to illustrate George Santayana’s quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The Discussion and Activity Guide is a great tool for classroom book clubs, independent studies, and community-wide reads. The unit works very well for a whole class study of the novel including propaganda techniques used in the past and present.

Animal Farm Bundle3 DAY SALE (May 4, 5, & 6). Save 20% off the Discussion and Activity Guide as well as the unit. Save even more if you choose the bundle which includes both products at a discounted price.

Unique Approach to Teaching Esperanza Rising

June 14, 2016

Esperanza Rising

As many teachers know, novelty catches students’ attention. Once you have students’ attention, readiness for learning increases. This was our thinking in creating enrichment activities for Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Food plays an important role in this novel, literally and figuratively. Enrichment Activities for Chapter Foods are designed to increase students’ connection to the novel through food. There are two or more activities for each chapter. Activities are connected to the food in the chapter title and/or foods mentioned in the chapter. Each lesson plan also includes Chapter Connections, which help students think about the significance of the foods in each chapter and find connections of those foods to their own lives. There are suggestions for preparing food for student sampling and additional resources connected to the various foods. The food activities are fun and may introduce students to new foods or honor the foods of their families.

Product Contents:

  • 14 Individual Lesson Plans (1 per chapter)
  • 1 Culminating Activity: Chat Stations Activity
  • 1 Chat Sheet
  • 7 Chat Stations Questions Mini-Posters
  • 12 Food Cards for Forming Student Pairs, Trios, and Quads
  • Permission Letter to Parents/Guardians
  • Common Core Standards and Best Practice Connected to this Novel Study
  • 1 PowerPoint with 58 Slides

For more resources and ideas, check out our Pinterest Board.

Surviving to Thriving LjL: Pinterest Board on Esperanza Rising

Here’s a list of some of our collaborative work:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Son by Lois Lowry
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

Visit our Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

 

Avoid Teacher Burnout: 6 Ways to Take Care of Your Health

March 15, 2015

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To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise

we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha

 

How many of you made New Year’s resolutions connected to taking better care of your health? Eat healthier, exercise often, and sleep more! And, yet somehow those resolutions haven’t morphed into new habits. It may be that that we need to strengthen our willpower and it may not be as hard as we think. According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, “Being mindful of the present moment improves a wide range of skills, including attention, stress management, impulse control, and yes, being self-aware of feelings and urges. Not only does it change how the brain functions, it physically impacts the structure of the brain to support self-control” (Migliore, 2015, p. 33). Being mindful is often associated with meditation and deep breathing exercises, which seem an easy way to increase our resolve, our willpower, to do those things that keep us healthy.

Teacher burnout is caused by many internal and external forces, one of those forces is physical health, which we have some control over. Taking care of your health is Step 2 in avoiding teacher burnout, as suggested in Ben Johnson’s article: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout.

Here are 6 suggestions to consider regarding taking care of your health:

  1. Meditate and practice deep breathing for 15 minutes a day.
  2. Do one thing to improve your diet: eat breakfast, drink more water, eliminate one unhealthy food, etc.
  3. Take a 20-minute walk daily.
  4. Take a 15 minute power nap (preferably not during class).
  5. Improve your bedtime ritual and commit to sleeping a healthy number of hours.
  6. Add a physical activity to your weekly schedule that you really enjoy: hiking, biking, dancing, aerobics, karate, yoga, bowling, tennis, golf, walking the dog…(power reading doesn’t count).

One way to find the time to take care of your health is to have on hand some units you love teaching and students love learning. I always think you should save one of your best units for the end of the spring semester. If you are newer to teaching, you might not have that unit developed yet or if you have been teaching for a while, you might have already taught that unit. Give yourself a break and look at some of the wonderful curriculum materials available online. My colleagues and I work hard to create teacher materials that are easy for teachers to implement and engage students. Check out our store Surviving to Thriving LjL on Teachers Pay Teachers. Here’s a list of the novels for which we have developed curriculum materials. Now go take a nap or a walk!

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenSurviving to Thriving TPT

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

References

Johnson, Ben. (April 22, 2014). 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Edutopia.

Migliore, L. (Spring 2015). The science of strengthening willpower and summoning self-control. Brain World. Issue 3, Volume 6, pp. 30-32.

Resources

Set Up For Sleep

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linden-schaffer/set-up-for-sleep_b_5605957.html

Sleeping Tips: 7 Ways To Get To Bed Earlier Tonight

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/sleeping-tips-earlier-bedtime_n_3359469.html

Start Reading Aloud to Your Students Today!

March 3, 2015

litworldWRAD15logo-web

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.  Dr. Seuss

March 4, 2015, is World Read Aloud Day and it’s a great day to start the habit of reading aloud to your students. Read a news article, the first chapter of a book, fiction or non-fiction, a poem, magazine article, whatever is at hand. Think about starting a lesson by reading a picture book related to your topic or the first paragraph of last night’s reading assignment. Reading aloud to students of all ages is powerful.

When I taught an American literature class to high school juniors, I realized that reading aloud poems, short stories, essays, and novels caught the attention of the students and kept their attention. It allowed me to stop and explain words, reread beautiful or intriguing passages, ask and answer questions, and check for understanding. And, I and the students were always on the same page.

Listed below are some resources to check that support reading aloud as well as tips for reading aloud. At first, it may be a little daunting to start reading aloud to older students, but once you start, your confidence builds, you don’t worry about stumbling over or mispronouncing a word, you start to use your voice differently for characters and/or for emphasis, and you begin to really enjoy reading aloud as much as your students enjoy hearing you read aloud.

So, in honor of Read-Aloud Day, read aloud to someone!

For those of you who are already reading aloud to your students, you may want to look at our Discussion and Activity Guides, designed for reading aloud, for Catching Fire, Son, The Fault in Our Stars, The Giver, and Wonder.

Teachers Pay Teachers:  Surviving to Thriving LjL

Resources–Reading Aloud

http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/

http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/teacher-read-aloud-that-30799.html

https://www.teachervision.com/skill-builder/read-aloud/48715.html

Resources–Picture Books

http://theeducatorsroom.com/2013/08/picture-books-for-high-school-theyre-not-in-kindergarten-any-more/

https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/top-10-picture-books-for-the-secondary-classroom/

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Written by L. V. Neiman

 


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