”We’ve been urged to include more and more non-fiction on our reading lists. Not sure what’s out there? Check out the ReadWriteThink site that includes a TextMessage podcast with recommendations that may interest you and your adolescent readers. Below is the link and the posting.
What other books have engaged your students? In your replies, please include the grades in which you’ve used the non-fiction books you’d recommend. It’ll save time for those needing to make quick choices. Thanks.”
I posted this query about Non-Fiction Books on another discussion group and decided to share the link here so you can see the responses and join the conversation. Nonfiction Books for Teens - a link to ReadWriteThink
The best nonfiction books for teens defy simple distinctions between the dryness of fact and the pleasures of fiction. They draw on photos, interviews, and archival documents to bring the past to life or introduce readers to previously untold stories.
Department chairs regularly seek for ways to use meeting time more efficiently and to keep up the spirits of their department members. Attached are ideas planned for the High School Matters Round Table discussion at the National Council of Teachers of English held November 15-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Please feel free to adapt, adopt or just pass them along.
Looking for ways to stay up to date on English leadership matters? Join the Conference on English Leadership.
One way to introduce students to the power of persuasion and to show them evidence of logical fallacies is to have them analyze advertisements in print and digital media.
You can have students write and post their analysis or present their findings in a speech using visual aids. You may find paying attention to color adds an important dimension to student understanding of media. See Color Symbolism Chart. Here’s a link for more information about color and cultural associations.
Understanding how to speak convincingly is a skill required for success in all walks of life and those who can persuade others and maintain their integrity become valued members of society. Here is an assignment with step by step explanations to help students understand how to structure, develop, and deliver effective speeches. The guidelines here also could be adapted for teaching argumentative essay writing.
I invite you to take a view minutes to view this slide presentation from author talks I given to help answer the question “Why Buy My Book?” Teaching Middle School Language Arts: Incorporating Twenty-First Century Literacies is a professional book designed for novice and veteran teachers, those who teach them, and those interested in the education of adolescents. Many high school teachers have found it useful resource, too. CLICK ON THE ARROW to sharpen the image and begin the show.
We know that getting off to a good start makes all the difference in the world. Why not consider some of these ideas for kicking off your next unit of study or the next book you plan to teach. With careful planning, gathering resources, and scheduling use of technology, you and your students can have the time of your lives reading, writing, viewing and talking about fiction, non-fiction, print and digital media on topics that interest you all and also meet those COMMON CORE STANDARDS required by your school, district or state.
Here’s the link to a handout prepared for use during the recent National Conference of English Teachers annual convention held November 19-21 in Chicago, Session G-19: LEADING IN THE TIME OF CHANGE. My topic was “ Introducing New Units and New Books“.
The holiday season, for many, extends from November through February. Families will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. Writing about holidays is a wonderful way to share cultures in words, pictures, and music. Yes, holidays also can be an emotionally difficult time for your students. So, being sensitive to these emotions, you can design lessons for which students can write about real or imagined celebrations. You know your students and can adapt the lesson to fit the setting in which you teach.
Now is a time to plan writing assignments that draw on their real or imagined experiences with family and friends. This is a great time to tap into their creativity in writing sensory images – literally and figuratively. The assignment can be published on your class website or shared with other classrooms across the world using one of the websites, like The Global Poetry Project . Also see EDUTOPIA.COM “Taking Your Class to the Internet“. Remember, to confirm new sites with your administrator before launching a class site for your students.
I’d recommend beginning the assignment before the holiday breaks and picking it up when the students return. Starting prior to break will encourage them to be alert and maybe even journal while away school. Hey, I’m the eternal optimist. This linked assignment “Holiday Memory” can get you started.
Kick it up a notch as ask students to include x number of figurative images, too – metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, synesthesia, etc.How about onomatopoeia, assonance, and consonance too.
Adding, substituting figurative images usually works well during a revision step. You could ask students to circle the images already used, and then experiment with ways to substitute or expand with figurative images, more concrete nouns, or vivid verbs. When students have a goal, they usually meet it.
With or without using technology, book reports don’t have to be same old, same old, same old thing. See the NY Times Learning Network for alternative ways to engage students in reading, then writing and talking about books. Remember to include non-fiction titles on your lists of suggested books.
Looking for ways to incorporate technology and pop culture in your instruction? Check out the resources at FLOCABULARY . You’ll find ideas for teaching literary terms and for enhancing vocabulary study in general.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the literary terms page to see the list of terms taught on other pages.
Lisa Westbrook has used an on-line program, PREZI to design an engaging lesson to introduce students to poetry analysis. See ways you can enhance your instruction by adapting or adopting this technology to present these concepts. Check out TPCASSSTT Poetry Analysis by Lisa Westbrook.