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Projects to Engage Middle School Readers

Projects to Engage Middle School Readers
It's my fault. I'll admit it. During my eight years in the classroom, I ruined at least two amazing literary works by assigning horrifically dull reading projects. My only hope is that those middle school students, whose enthusiasm I quashed, found another way to become passionate about literature. Peanuts raises some interesting questions about the value of reading projects. Does Lucy clearly articulate her understanding of Peter Rabbit? In middle school, we ask students to dissect texts and perform literary analysis. Demonstrate understanding of the plot elementsExplore the role of tone and themeIdentify significant scenes or events and their impact on the storyAnalyze a character and show an understanding of that character's motivationsExplain the relationship between the author's life and the story . . . does it have to be an essay or book report? Book Trailers In the spirit of movie trailers, book trailers allow students to create video advertisements to entice new readers. Podcasts

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Things We Love: 5 teen lit books parents should read Things We Love: 5 teen lit books parents should read I used to think that young adult (YA) books were a waste of time. I didn’t even read them when I was an actual teen. (OK, I did read a friend’s much-dog-eared copy of Judy Blume’s “Forever,” but that was in sixth grade, and what Gen X’er didn’t read that?) I didn’t have enough time to read all the critically acclaimed “grown-up” books I wanted to read, much less those aimed at a different demographic. But a few years ago, I finally took the advice of my Common Sense pals Betsy Bozdech and Carrie Wheadon and started reading the “Harry Potter” series with my oldest son, who was 7 at the time.

The Ultimate Guide to Books for Reluctant Readers Ages 12 to 13 Here in New York City, I’ve observed a distinct mood change around the schoolyards. Decibel levels have crept into the danger zone, kids are literally bouncing off the walls (scuffed sneaker prints on the walls to prove it), and teachers are gulping down Advil. Something is coming. While some of us welcome summer (more relaxed schedules, wearing tank tops, going to the beach), others dread it (kids are not in school, family reunions, it’s hot!). And for many kids, reading takes a huge backslide during the summer. Those nightly reading assignments and endless five-hundred word essays for school may have made reading a chore rather than a joy. Frequent Citation Questions EasyBib is here to make citing sources and creating bibliographies easier. We’ve compiled some of our most frequent citation questions here. If you still have questions, you can always contact us. How Do I Cite a/an… Tweet?

Beyond the Book Report: Ten Alternatives In my last post I described 10 ways to cultivate a love of reading in kids. I want to expand on that theme by suggesting 10 alternatives to the book report. I'm not a fan of book reports; I don't think they are an effective way for a student to demonstrate understanding of a book and I don't think they help students enjoy or appreciate reading. Let's consider some activities that allow a student to show understanding of a book and that might be enjoyable.

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects The start of the school year offers an ideal time to introduce students to project-based learning. By starting with engaging projects, you'll grab their interest while establishing a solid foundation of important skills, such as knowing how to conduct research, engage experts, and collaborate with peers. In honor of Edutopia's 20th anniversary, here are 20 project ideas to get learning off to a good start. 1. Marilynne Robinson’s “Lila” Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, “Lila” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), opens in about 1920, and it begins with a shocking action: a woman steals a child. Not that anybody seems to care much. The child, a girl who looks to be four or five, has been deposited by someone (there is no mention of parents) in a house for migrant workers somewhere in the Midwest.

The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14 As we enter the last stretch of summer before school starts again, we present our big annual book list — and this year, we're focusing on great reads for kids. Back in June, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you, the NPR audience, to nominate your favorite books for kids age 9-14. More than 2,000 of you replied, giving us hundreds and hundreds of titles to consider. So we turned to our expert panel (read more about them — and their Newbery honors! — here), who combined audience favorites with their own choices to come up with a curated list of 100 must-reads.

Navigating the online information maze: should students trust Wikipedia? Being literate used to be about knowing how to read. In the 21st century it also means knowing how to negotiate through the torrent of information coming at you from all directions. Information Fatigue Syndrome, or “Infoglut” is a defining issue of modern life. For students particularly, it is getting harder to find useful, quality information. Information literacy to digital literacy

Book Reports 20 Ways of Looking at the BookThese activities address multiple intelligences and a range of student ability levels. 21 Literary Temporary Tattoos Every Book Lover NeedsThese images can serve as models for student response to reading. Students could design a tattoo for a character and then write an essay explaining or justifying their choices. 91 Ways to Respond to LiteratureMultiple intelligences, varied ability levels, traditional to cutting-edge: you'll find book report ideas here!

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