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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. 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. Students could use iMovie or Animoto to create and publish their videos. Related:  Literacy

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. Here at Book Riot we’ve had a lot of questions come in about this very topic, especially among kids ages twelve to thirteen. Book Suggestions After a school year full of analyzing texts, drawing sentence diagrams, and writing persuasive first paragraphs, kids need books that will draw them in and keep them interested. Fiction: Oh. Wonder by R.J. Mr.

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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. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. This is by no means an exhaustive list of alternatives to book reports, but I hope it's spurred some thinking about how to get students to respond to books they read. What alternatives to book reports have you offered students?

Friday Fun Archive Students worked hard all week? Do they deserve a special reward for a job well done? The lesson and project ideas below are meant to fill the bill for Friday afternoon fun and learning. Some are simple games or activities that will reinforce skills as they offer a nice break from structured learning. Others are project ideas to be completed over multiple Friday afternoons. Click a link below to explore any idea in more detail. Profile Posters Learn about students' interests from the "profile posters" they create. Charting a Year of Growth Older students and younger buddies team up for yearlong fun. A Week in the Life of A yearlong project creates a great end-of-year memento. Getting-to-Know-You Venn Diagram Students discover common interests and unique abilities. Chain Gang A colorful chain promotes teamwork all year long. The Alphabet Game Use this lively, team-based game to reinforce spelling skills. Pop Up a Card This art activity offers monstrous Halloween fun. Who Works at Our School?

Six Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? Saying to students, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes! No safety net, no parachute—they’re just left to their own devices. Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and providing a tool, or structure, with each chunk. Simply put, scaffolding is what you do first with kids. Scaffolding and differentiation do have something in common, though. So let’s get to some scaffolding strategies you may or may not have tried yet. 1. How many of us say that we learn best by seeing something rather than hearing about it? Try a fishbowl activity, where a small group in the center is circled by the rest of the class; the group in the middle, or fishbowl, engages in an activity, modeling how it’s done for the larger group. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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. The final 100 has a little bit of everything: tales of trying to fit in, escaping to magical lands, facing prejudice, coming of age and fighting to survive. So if you're looking for a new book for the young readers in your life — or you want to relive that age yourself — please stick around and browse our bookshelf.

Home - The Reading & Writing Project 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! 150 Book Report AlternativesGreat ideas for audio, 3-D, artistic, and written responses to responses to reading. Baseball Book ReportsPrintable handouts with a baseball theme for young readers. Better Book Reports and Better Book Reports: 25 More Ideas! Beyond the Book ReportA list of 35 ways to respond to reading. Beyond the Book Report: Ways to Respond to Literature Using New York Times ModelsA list of 13 alternatives to traditional book analysis. Books Alive! Get Down and Book-ie!

SMART Teaching Strategies Sentences are key units for expressing ideas. Students in Stage 1 are using sentence structure in their writing to compose longer texts that achieve the intended purpose. Students at this stage need to use compound and some complex sentences for expressing connected and elaborated ideas in writing. Strategy Explicit Teaching There are different types of sentences: simple, compound and complex: Simple sentences are structured by a single main clause. Students in Stage 1 need to write accurate simple and compound sentences and learn to recognise and compose some complex sentences. Introduce students to complex sentence structure. General Strategies Engage students with frequent experiences of hearing, reading and viewing texts with a variety of sentence structures. Teach students how to join sentences using different conjunctions for different purposes (for example and, but, because). Activities to support the strategy Activity 1 Sentences can grow! Activity 2 Conjunctions Bank Online resources

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