Apr 21

The Wild Robot Writing Activities

 

Teaching Ideas to Use with The Wild RobotWelcome to the Reading Crew Spring
Mentor Text Blog Linkup

Be sure to sign up for a free copy all the books featured by the Reading Crew’s Linkup at the bottom of this post. My mystery word is ROBOT!

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown combines a science fiction story involving a robot of the future with a fantasy in which animals talk. The outcome is a book that is both charming and exciting. There is no question about it; your students will love this book!

Writing Ideas for the Book

CHARTING THE STORY 

Compare and Contrast Printables for The Wild RobotThis free printable with answer key included helps students keep track of the story. Students use the chart to write details about how Roz helps the animals on the island and then how they in return help her. After students complete the chart, it may be used create a T-Chart to compare and contrast the animals to Roz.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST WRITING IDEA

The Wild Robot Comparing Characters Anchor Chart

Have students write a compare and contrast essay using the information on the chart. Students can compare how different animals helped Roz by detailing which animals made the most impact on saving Roz’s life.

EVALUATING THE IMAGES WRITING IDEA

Peter Brown not only wrote The Wild Robot but illustrated it as well. Visit his website to learn about the process he went through in creating the story as well as the illustrations.

Have students write an essay explaining how the illustrations in The Wild Robot help the reader better understand the story.

SEQUENCING WRITING IDEA

These two videos show how to create robots from common household items. Cardboard boxes and plastic cups are painted and glued together. The robots are decorated with buttons, pipe cleaners, and various other materials.

After creating a robot from recycled materials, have students write instructions for how to build a robot.

 

The Wild Robot Book Unit
will be 1/2 off this week during the Reading Crew’s Linkup.

The Wild Robot Book Unit

If you would like to try out the The Wild Robot Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Point of View
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

The Wild Robot Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.The Wild Robot Book Unit is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.



Teaching Ideas to use with The Wild RobotGay Miller

Apr 17

A Long Walk to Water Activities

 

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on a true story. The book tells the stories of Nya who lives in Southern Sudan in 2008 and Salva who lived in Southern Sudan in 1985. Each chapter begins with Nya’s story and jumps to Salva’s story.

Ten-year old Nya spends her days walking from home to the pond to fetch water.

When the Sudanese Civil War came to 11-year old Salva’s village, he became separated from his family. He eventually became one of the “lost boys” of Sudan. These were refugees who walked miles across Africa from Sudan to Ethiopia and then to Kenya searching for safety. 

Teaching Ideas for the Book

Water Facts

Have students complete a small research project to learn about water. Here are some good places to start:

Word Cloud

Word Cloud with Water Facts

Have each student take one or two interesting facts about water and turn them into a word cloud. 

Sites for Creating Word Clouds

The example pictured above was created using Tagul. This site has the water drop shape as one of its built in options. The site also allows users to place quotation marks around words to keep phrases together.

Videos

Book Trailer: A Long Walk to Water

This short video [1:29] plays music while you view a collage of images with some overlaid text. The video would make a good introduction to the book.

An Interview with Salva Dut

While this is an excellent video, I would not show it until the end of the book. It contains photos of Salva building wells. This might spoil the surprise ending of the book for your students who are super observant.

More Teaching Ideas

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Parks: With Lesson Plans

 

Free Samples from A Long Walk to Water Unit

Free Samples from A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

If you would like to try out the A Long Walk to Water Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Character Traits
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Apr 13

Person vs. Technology Conflict

 

Person vs. Technology ConflictIn a person vs. technology/machine conflict, a character has a problem with robots or machines. This type of conflict is often found in science fiction.

Book Examples to use for Teaching Conflict in Literature

Picture Books

  • The Legend of John Henry 
  • Comic Book – Iron Man
  • Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Children’s Literature

  • From Hatchet –
    Brian flying the airplane after the pilot dies
  • The City of Ember –
    Lina and Doon must find a way out of Ember before the generator dies and the city is in total darkness.
  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox –
    The foxes must dig faster than Boggis, Beans, and Bunce on their tractors.

Teaching Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

Steve Jobs

This biographical movie covers 14 years of the life of  Steve Jobs, personal computing innovator and Apple Inc. co-founder.

 

2001: A Space Odyssey

While on a mysterious mission, the ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display strange behavior. This leads to a showdown between man and machine.

I, Robot

In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been committed by a robot.

 

Transcendence

Dr. Will Caster, the world’s authority on artificial intelligence, develops a computer to upload himself into a computerized form as he dies.

Transformers

Two races of robots, the Autobots and the Decepticons, bring their war to Earth. The good Autobots help Earthlings. The villainous Decepticons bring war. Only a human youth named Sam can save the world.

Teaching Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

 

FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

Apr 10

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

 

In Among the Hidden, twelve year old Luke lives in a future dystonia society where the government has passed a law banning parents from having more than two children. The story opens with Luke, an illegal third child, enjoying his last minutes of freedom outdoors. The government has bought the woods behind Luke’s house to build a neighborhood of mansions. Without the woods as cover and with neighbors living so close, Luke must hide indoors. 

Writing Prompts for the Book

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

What is it like to be a shadow child?

Imagine you are a third child. What would your life be like? Would your family be more like Jen’s who don’t believe the government has the power to monitor citizen’s lives through the telephone, television, or computer? Does your home have technology? If so, what types? Would your family be more like Luke’s who completely believes the government has the power to practically read the minds of its citizens? Where would you spend your days? Would you hide in an attic room the way Luke does, or would you have the freedom to move around the house? How would you spend your time? Would you read quietly or play computer games?

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat are the pros and cons of having a third child law?

Imagine your country is facing a major population explosion. People are starving. This could be because the food is not distributed correctly or simple not available. You are on a panel of government officials having to make some tough decisions about whether or not a third family law should go into effect. Make a T-chart and list the pros and cons of having a third child law. You may wish to read up on the laws that China created to get some background information for your T-chart. Here some good sites:

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat is the city like?

Haddix tells the reader that Among the Hidden is set in the future. When you read about Luke’s and Jen’s lives, no mention of any advanced technology is mentioned. Could their society be like The Hunger Games where advanced technology is owned by a few wealthy citizens living in the capitol city? Write a description of the advancements that the futuristic society has created. 

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat is a totalitarian government?

Luke lives under a totalitarian government. His parents worry about having enough money to pay the bills especially after the government tells his family they must sell their hogs. Jen says the government wants everyone to be vegetarians. Just how much control does a totalitarian government have? Can they dictate what people eat? Research what a totalitarian government can do and how they keep their citizens from disobeying the strict rules. You may wish to begin with Hitler’s Nazi Government.

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat types of propaganda could the government use to keep its citizens under control?

A number of propaganda techniques can be uses to convince people to think a specific way:

  • bandwagon
  • loaded terms
  • testimonial
  • name-calling

Research each of these types and decide which would be the most successful for a totalitarian government to use to control its citizens.

Create a one of the following:

BILLBOARD (picture and words) Billboards must be read by drivers as they are quickly driving down the highway.Your drawing must be large and simple. Your words must be quickly read.

MAGAZINE LAYOUT (picture and words) A magazine illustration uses details. Your writing may be a paragraph.

RADIO SPOT (words only) You will need to persuasive your listeners with vivid descriptions, slogans, or a creative story.

TELEVISION NEWSCAST (story map – series of at least 4 pictures with words for each) You will draw a series of pictures with words depicting what the actors will be saying under each drawing.

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

Free Samples from Among the Hidden Book Unit

Among the Hidden Book Unit Samples

If you would like to try out the Among the Hidden Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Course of Action
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Among the Hidden Book Unit

Among the Hidden Book Unit

 

Among the Hidden Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Apr 06

Person vs. Society Conflict

 

Person vs. Society Conflict in LiteratureIn a person vs. society conflict in literature, a character struggles against the laws or beliefs of a group. This could include a character that fights against the rules such as freedom, rights, or a cause.

Book Examples to use for Teaching Conflict

Picture Books

  • Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
  • Fly Away Home
  • The Island of Skog
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • The Biggest Bear

Children’s Literature

  • Rosa Parks, My Story
  • Holes
  • The City of Ember
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963
  • The Maze Runner
  • Wringer
  • The Giver
  • Among the Hidden
  • The Hunger Games
  • Number the Stars

Teaching Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

The Rosa Parks Story

Elysium

In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made luxurious space station. The rest of the population lives on a ruined Earth.

In Time

In 2169, people stop aging at 25 years old. The society uses time as the universal currency. Implanted clocks tell people the amount of time they have accumulated. When a person’s clock reaches zero, the person dies. The wealthy have years on their clocks while the poor have only minutes.

Pleasantville

A brother and sister get zapped into an idealistic TV show from the 1950s. 

The Giver

In a perfect community, all suffering, pain, differences, and choice have been taken away. A young boy learns from an elderly man named “The Giver” about the pain and pleasure in the “real world.”

The City of Ember

Ember is an underground city threatened by an aging infrastructure. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she races to figure out the secret that will save the people in her society.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is an annual event in which one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by a lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

 Using Movie Trailers to Teach Conflict in Literature (Person vs. Society)

 

FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

Apr 03

Teaching Theme with Because of Mr. Terupt

 

Because of Mr. Terupt is a phenomenal book! It features seven narrators telling about their 5th grade year at Snow Hill School. Each narrator has a unique problem s/he must work through.  Students include:

  • Luke – the class genius
  • Jeffrey – the boy with a secret who hates school
  • Peter – the class clown
  • Danielle – who wants friends
  • Jessica – the new girl in town
  • Anna – the outcast because of her family history
  • Lexie – the bully

Teaching Theme

Because of Mr. Terupt Free Theme Activity

With so many conflicts to solve, Because of Mr. Terupt is a perfect book for teaching theme. In this activity, students complete a table by thinking about the main characters in the book. What challenge, problem, or conflict does each character go through? Add what the characters learn. In what important way does each character change? This will be the major themes in the book.

You can download the free printable here.

Free Samples from Because of Mr. Terupt Book Unit

If you would like to try out the book unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for September
  • Comprehension Questions for September
  • Constructive Response Question – Setting
  • Constructive Response Question – Character Traits
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Because of Mr. Terupt Book Unit

Because of Mr. Terupt Book Unit

Because of Mr. Terupt Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Mar 30

Person vs. the Environment Conflict

 

Teaching Conflict in Literature - Person vs. Environment ConflictIn a person vs. the environment conflict in literature, a character is struggling against the forces of nature. A person may be fighting against bad weather conditions such as a hurricane or blizzard, survival in the wild including the desert or jungle, or against a wild animal.

Book Examples to use for Teaching Person vs. the Environment Conflict

Picture Books

  • The Great Kapok Tree
  • Peggony Po: A Whale of a Tale
  • The Legend of Bluebonnet
  • Ghost Eye Tree
  • The Lorax
  • Brave Irene
  • The Last Dinosaur

Children’s Literature

  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Call It Courage
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Cay
  • Hatchet
  • From Where the Red Fern Grows –

Little Ann and Old Dan tree a coon in the tallest tree in the river bottoms.
Billy enters the championship coon hunt and encounters the snowstorm.

Teaching Person vs. the Environment Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

127 Hours

A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while rock climbing alone near Moab, Utah.

Castaway

A Fed Ex executive survives a crash landing on a deserted island.

The Day After Tomorrow

A paleoclimatologist must make a trek across America to reach his son while the climates plunge into the subzero level.

Deep Impact

A comet must be destroyed before it collides with Earth.

Everest

A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.

 

Teaching Conflict in Literature (Person vs. the Environment) Using Movie Trailers
FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

Mar 27

Activities to Use with Brian’s Winter

 

Brian’s Winter tells the story of what would have happened to Brian Robeson if the rescue plane had not come at the end of the book Hatchet. Author Gary Paulsen received hundreds of letters from readers who thought Brian had been rescued too soon. He should experience living in the Canadian wilderness during the winter months. Brian’s Winter is Paulsen’s alternate ending to Hatchet

Activities to do while Reading the Book

Diorama of Brian’s Home

Diorama from Hatchet and Brian's Winter

Students built dioramas in the cardboard flats from a case of soft drinks. We asked the delivery guy to save them for us. Natural materials, plastic figures, clay, and other materials were used to build Brian’s home. Some students included the lake with the plane; others focused on Brian’s shelter as the one pictured here.

Dreaming of Food

After retrieving the survival kit from the Cessna, Brian dreamed of food.

In truth he felt relieved when the food was gone. It had softened him, made him want more and more, and he could tell that he was moving mentally away from the woods, his situation. He started to think in terms of the city again, of hamburgers and malts, and his dreams changed.

In the days, weeks and months since the plane had crashed he had dreamed many times. At first all the dreams had been of food—food he had eaten, food he wished he had eaten and food he wanted to eat. 

Write about the foods you would dream about if you were in Brian’s situation. Use Paulsen’s style of writing by including many sensory details. What the food would smell, taste, feel, look, and sound like?

“How did Brian Survive?” Graphic Organizer

Foldable Graphic Organizer to use with Hatchet and Brian's WinterIn this activity, students select nine things Brian did that saved his life. They must be able to support each of their opinions with textual evidence by listing two examples of evidence from the text to support their ideas Download the free organizer here.

Learn about the Animals Brian Encountered

Brian ate fish, foolbirds (ruffed grouse), and rabbits before he learned he could hunt bigger game. Later he ate deer and moose. Brian also had encounters with a skunk he fondly named Betty and wolves that he thought he had an understanding with about property boundaries.

Complete a small research project to learn more about these animals.

How cold do you think it got in Brian’s Winter?

Check out this video from YouTube and then compare it to the descriptions that Brian gave.

This would be a fun class activity. Watch the video to see how to make an instant Slurpee from a soft drink in three seconds.

Free Samples from Brian’s Winter Book Unit

Brian's Winter Book Unit Samples

If you would like to try out the Brian’s Winter Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Course of Action
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Brian’s Winter Book Unit

Brian's Winter Book Unit available at Teachers Pay Teachers

Brian’s Winter Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Mar 23

Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Name Calling

 

Name calling is the final post in this series of persuasive techniques. It can include a large number of targets including denouncing values, laughter, or putting down ideas.

Advertisements use name calling when one product puts down a similar product by saying theirs is superior in some way.

Political candidates also use name calling to make their opponent appear undesirable.  

Definition

When using name calling, negative labels are used to describe a person or item. It creates fear and arouses prejudices in the hearers.

Advertisements

It’s a 10 Haircare

This ad makes fun of Donald Trump’s hair.

 T-Mobile “Drop The Balls” Super Bowl Ad

Cell phone companies have been putting each other down for years. In this ad, T-Mobile claims that Verizon got it wrong.

Verizon vs. AT&T “There’s a Map For That”

In this ad from AT&T, maps of coverage area with the words “5X More” imply that AT&T phones will not work in large areas of the country. 

Top 5 Pepsi vs Coke Commercials

Instead of adding just one commercial here, a montage of five are included in this video. See which does the best job at name calling.

Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Donald Trump

In almost every political campaign, opponents sling words at each other. Included are advertisements from both candidates. 

Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Hillary Clinton

 Teaching the Persuasive Technique Name Calling with Commercials
Gay Miller

 

Mar 20

Walk Two Moons Context Clues Game Activities

 

Walk Two Moon is a beautiful story of a thirteen year old girl, Sal Hiddle, who travels from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents to visit her mother’s grave. The story moves between the adventures of the trip in the present to flashbacks into Sal’s past as she tells stories to her grandparents along the way. 

Context Clues Games

Three Free Context Clues Games to use with Walk Two Moons

 

These three games cover an important reading skill: USING CONTEXT CLUES. The sentences used to practice this skill are lines from Walk Two Moons. Both full color and black-lined versions are provided in this print-and-go activity. This means the games can easily be used for a small group activity.

You can download the free printable here.

Free Samples from Walk Two Moons Book Unit

Free Samples from Walk Two Moons Book Unit

If you would like to try out the Walk Two Moons Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Point of View
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Walk Two Moons Book Unit

Walk Two Moons Book Unit

 

Walk Two Moons Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

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