Gay Miller

Author's posts

The Importance of Candles During the Holiday Season

Check out these great teaching ideas to use during the December holiday season.

Candles are important during the holiday season. They represent both religious and nonspiritual winter events. People interpret their meaning in many different ways. Some associate candles with the Yuletide. The winter solstice celebrations date back for centuries. Celebrators think the warm glow of candles shows spring is on its way. Others view candles as a family’s guiding light. This comes from several ancient traditions. Christians equate candles with the guiding star of Bethlehem. Jews light a Hanukiah during Hanukkah. During Kwanzaa, the central symbol is a candelabra of special colored candles.

Christmas

For Christians, the star of Bethlehem guided the Three Wise Men from the East to baby Jesus. The Magi wanted to honor the newborn king of the Jews with gifts and prayers. Because of this, Christians use candles during Christmas services to remember Jesus is ‘the Light of the World.’ Continue Reading

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Teaching Problems and Solutions with a Winter Theme

Collect free winter teaching materials from The Reading Crew.

Welcome to the Reading Crew’s Link-up

Here in the mountains of North Carolina, winter came in with a vengeance. Students have missed several days of school. A fresh wave of 12 to 24 inches is predicted for this weekend. It seems fitting to load up on some great winter materials for the classroom during this snow event. Continue Reading

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Teaching Reading Skills with Animated Christmas Shorts

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high interest activities to your lessons this Christmas season, try using animated shorts to teach reading and writing skills. 

This post contains a sample of my new product “Using Animated Short Films to Teach Reading Skills Christmas.”  The product contains printable organizers with guiding questions to help students evaluate the short film and learn valuable reading skills. All short films will be added to a webpage on Book Units Teacher for easy access. The link to this webpage will be included in the purchased product. Continue Reading

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Activity 2 for Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

If you are reaching this post without seeing the previous basic plot patterns posts, you might wish to start at the beginning. Be sure to download the handout in the Introduction post as it contains links to all the posts in this series. Continue Reading

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Schooled by Gordon Korman Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas to Use with the Novel Schooled by Gordon Korman

Thirteen year-old Capricorn “Cap” Anderson lives at Garland, a farm that had once been commune in the 1960’s, with his grandmother Rain. Rain falls and breaks her hip. With no phone to call 9-1-1, Cap drives Rain into the city an hour away. Police arrest Cap for driving without a license and quickly ‘unarrest’ him when they realize how naive Cap is. He doesn’t know he is supposed to have a license in order to drive.

Rain’s broken hip prevents her from returning to Garland for a couple of months. This means Cap must live with the social worker and go to public school for the first time in his life. The students at Claverage (nicknamed C Average by the students) Middle School immediately see Cap as a loser because of his tie-dyed clothing, beads, and long hair. Since it is the custom to pick the lowest person on the social ladder as class president in eighth grade, Cap is elected to the position. Continue Reading

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Activity 1 for Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

If you are reaching this post without seeing the previous basic plot patterns posts, you might wish to start at the beginning. Be sure to download the handout in the Introduction post as it contains links to all the posts in this series.

Christopher Booker outlined seven basic plots. You will find a post for each plot. Each post contains a handout. This handout includes a foldable graphic organizer going over the basic plot pattern. Examples  and outlines help students better understand the plot. Students ‘dig deeper’ with discussion questions. After students explore each plot individually, this activity contains a fun way to practice. Students use television advertisements to help identify plot types. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967

Free Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1067

Lauren Tarshis’s seventeenth book in her popular I Survived Series – I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies – tackles the grizzly attacks that took place in Glacier National Park. Readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen next. Continue Reading

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