Posted tagged ‘Literature’

I is for Ivan

May 19, 2017

I is for Ivan as in The One and Only Ivan, a wonderful novel with lessons for both kids and adults. The novel is based on a true story, a gorilla in Atlanta. We were all taken with the novel and the nonfiction book, Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla. So, we created a unit for the novel and a read-along guide for the nonfiction book—both pair well. And, then of course we had to add bookmarks, which are free. Give yourself, your students, and/or your children or grandchildren a treat—read both books!

The One and Only Ivan unit includes:

  • Instructional Schedule for Unit Plan • 12 Lesson Plans with instructional guide and reproducible student handouts • Introducing the Novel Lesson • Setting Analysis Lesson • Character Analysis Lesson • Ivan-isms Lesson • Habitats, Groups, and Offspring Lesson • Pair Read Aloud & Prediction Lesson • Friendship Lesson • Ivan’s Letters Lesson • Novel Quotes Lesson • Ivan’s Many Families Lesson • Pair Read Aloud and Face-to-Face Slide-By Lesson • Ivan’s Billboard Lesson • Summative Assessment w/Rubric • 1 (19 page) Reproducible Student Literary Log • 16 Reproducible Student Bookmarks • • Unit PowerPoint to Guide Daily Lessons w/Teacher Guide • Formative Assessment PowerPoint (includes 3 quizzes) w/Teacher Guide and Answer Key

Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide includes:

  • Pre-Reading, During-Reading, and After-Reading Activities
  • Pre-Reading and After-Reading
  • Vocabulary Activity
  • Making a Timeline of Ivan’s Life
  • Ivan Mapping Activity
  • Advocacy, Protests, and Petitions
  • Illustrations in Nonfiction Literature
  • Research Project
  • Ivan’s Story Cube
  • Suggested Resource List
  • Ivan Grouping Cards
  • Ivan Bookmarks

Sixteen free reproducible bookmarks with quotes from The One and Only Ivan. Use for forming groups or just for fun. Your students will love them.

SALE 20% off May 20-21 The One and Only Ivan Unit and Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide

Save more and buy both products in the bundle!

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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.

We Love Bookmarks!

June 14, 2016

We love bookmarks. Students love bookmarks.  And so, in many of our products, we include bookmarks.  We even offerIvan Bookmarks free bookmarks to teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers.

7 Ways to Use Bookmarks

  1. Form pairs, trios, and/or quads. Distribute the number of different bookmarks equal to the number of pairs, trios, or quads you want to form. For example, to form quads, reproduce four copies of each individual bookmark. Distribute bookmarks and direct students to form a group of four by finding three other students who have the same bookmark they have.
  2. Use as a writing prompt. Distribute bookmarks. Direct students to read and ponder the quotes. Next, ask students to write a short reflection on what the quotes means to them. Invite students to share their reflections with an elbow partner.
  3. Investigate the speaker. Use the bookmarks to form student trios. Direct trios to read and ponder the quotes. Ask trios to answer the following questions: What kind of person would say this? To whom would this person address this quote? What kind of situation would be appropriate for this quote? Invite trios to share their quotes and their responses to the questions.
  4. Review the text. After students have read the novel, story, or play, distribute a variety of bookmark quotes. Direct students to read their quotes and jot down the incident in the text connected to that quote. Next, direct students to find another student who had the same bookmark quote and compare responses.
  5. Choose a favorite. On a table, lay out bookmark quotes and as students enter the classroom, invite them to choose a favorite bookmark quote. Ask students to jot down a few notes on the back of the bookmark quote what this quote means to them. Invite students to share their responses. Consider this activity for a morning meeting or talking circle.
  6. Make your own bookmark. Distribute blank bookmarks and direct students to write a favorite quote from a text you are currently studying in class. In addition to the quote, ask students to include a graphic or illustration that connects to the quote they chose. Invite students to share their quotes with the class. Consider collecting the bookmark quotes and displaying them on a bulletin board in your classroom.
  7. Use as a bookmark

We hope you love our bookmarks!bookmark this

Free bookmarks for The One and Only Ivan

Free friendship bookmarks

Free bookmarks for Esperanza Rising

Avoid Teacher Burnout: Learn Something New

March 23, 2015

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.  Barbara Sher

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There is something about doing or learning something new that is invigorating. Sharing that experience with your students is another way to avoid teacher burnout according to Ben Johnson, in his article: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Johnson suggests sharing a new book you are reading with your students or learning about how the brain learns and sharing that. Here are five things to consider connected to doing and/or learning something new.

  1. Go to a large bookstore and browse through their magazines. Choose a magazine you probably would never even look at, let alone buy. Buy it and page through it; look for connections to your own life and/or work.
  2. Read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink—lots of ideas and suggestions about looking at life differently.
  3. Choose a genre of music with which you have little or no experience. Share some of this music with your students and get their opinions about it.
  4. Try a new recipe every weekend and report back to your students what you tried and whether or not you liked it.
  5. Learn to do magic tricks. Share your magical ability with your students—but no disappearance acts for you or them.

One of the things I did when I was working on a master’s degree in literacy is to share new things I learned about literacy and new learning strategies with my high school students. I would tell my students that I am trying out this new learning strategy with them and after we use it, I want their opinions about how well it worked for them. This was stumbling into magic—students took the new strategy very seriously and then shared their critiques. It was awesome!

I also discovered that students love to learn about their brains and how they learn. There are so many reliable resources online connected to the brain and learning. Recently I pinned an infographic on Movement and Learning that summarizes the benefits of movement in the classroom. As for adding more movement to your classroom, again there are many resources available including brain breaks that are fun and still serve the purpose.

As my colleagues and I create teacher materials for Teachers Pay Teachers, we always include activities that get students up and moving. 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.

Movement and Learning Infographic

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 by Katherine Applegate

References

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

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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