Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Getting Hooked-

Teachers always hear about the importance of a good “hook” to interest students about a particular lesson. People say this because well, it’s true.  The first year I taught A Wrinkle in Time my students haaaated it. I taught it again this past year and the overall opinion was dramatically different. Now, I can’t place all the success on my beginning hook (there may have been an over-reliance on the audio book narrated by the author herself- speech impediment and all….whoopsies!), but it was a fun way to start the unit on science fiction and get everyone excited about the book before cracking it open.

Even if you aren’t reading A Wrinkle in Time, this hook can still work because it is directed at science fiction writing as a genre.

First, tell students to bring with them to class an account of a strange event–a UFO sighting, an example of psychic powers, or anything which could not be explained by our current technology. I gave them extra credit for bringing articles. My pre-AP kiddos eat up extra credit opportunities.

As prior preparation, you should put up the background paper and title for a bulletin board with some eye catching science fiction phrase. Leave space for students to post their pictures, but go ahead and get the ball rolling by posting some articles and pictures on the mind blowing topic of science, technology, space, etc. Leave the zany stuff for the students to bring, because that is what they will likely gravitate toward. I titled my bulletin board “A WRINKLE IN TIME: A LINK TO OTHER WORLDS?”

A Wrinkle in Time

The next class period when students have their articles and pictures in hand we get to have a brief class show and tell and I get to fill them in on the exciting genre of science fiction (yah! Ender’s Game! Isaac Asimov! Cory Doctorow!) annnnd what cool time and space travel adventures will be in store for them while reading A Wrinkle in Time. 

Science Article

Science Article

Hooked.

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Drop Everything and Read

Tomorrow, April 12, is D.E.A.R. Day! D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read. Sometimes D.E.A.R. is called Sustained Silent Reading. The main focus is to enjoy reading, so students choose their own books/comics/ magazines and silently read for 20-30 minutes. The teacher can even read!

So tomorrow in class-whatever the level- I encourage you to reserve some time to read. However, if you are just now hearing about this wonderful holiday (yes,yes, don’t snicker) and lesson plans are already set firmly, then set your own date to celebrate at a later time. On Thursday I am taking my students to the school’s book fair, which would make it a perfect day to D.E.A.R. Reading for pleasure is often overlooked, and when reading is enjoyable it is continued outside of the classroom!

This is the link to the official website for D.E.A.R…please notice the cute Ramona Quimby inspired art!

http://www.dropeverythingandread.com/NationalDEARday.html

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