Gay Miller

Author's posts

Using Animated Shorts to Teach Problems and Solutions

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high interest activities to your lessons, try using animated shorts to teach problems and solutions. 

This post contains the animated short “Taking the Plunge” found on Vimeo and inserted in this post. In this animated short, the main character has a problem he must solve. Handouts, leveled for upper elementary students, with graphic organizers encourage students to think about problems and solutions. You can download the handout here. Continue Reading

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Teaching the Greek Myth Daedalus and Icarus

Free Mini Lesson for Daedalus and Icarus

The Greek myth Daedalus and Icarus is perfect for teaching a number of Common Core literature standards. Read the myth. Then enjoy the mini-lesson covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing. Look for a link to the handout at the bottom of the post.

The Gift

Daedalus wanted to honor the newborn princess with a special gift. He created a mechanical bird that chirped when the sun rose. This was quite a gift in the age of using sun dials to tell time. Everyone who saw the mechanical bird was amazed. King Minos came to Daedalus and asked if he could help with a special project. He was seeking a way to keep the Minotaur imprisoned. This half-bull and half-man creature was dangerous. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011, Lauren Tarshis’s twelfth book in her popular I Survived Series, tackles the Joplin Tornado of 2011.

Eleven-year old Dex runs into an old college pal of his dad’s, Dr. Gage, while out riding his bike through the streets of Joplin, Missouri. Dr. Gage has become famous with his television show, Tornado Mysteries. Dr. Gage comes by Dex’s home and invites Dex’s family to go tornado watching with him. Since Dex’s parents teach high school and must attend the graduation ceremony the next day, Dex plans to go out with Dr. Gage on his own. Continue Reading

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Standardized Testing – Motivational Ideas for Test Day

Motivational Ideas for Standardized Testing

Are you looking for some motivational ideas for test day?

Your students will be ready to tackle the challenge with these five fantastic ideas. Read about candy notes, crafts, posters and bulletin boards, lapbooks, and videos. Follow the links for free printable. Enjoy! I hope your students rock the test. Continue Reading

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Authentic Learning – A Teaching Strategy

Teach authentic learning with these free vacation planner printables.

Authentic learning provides tasks that allow students to learn through real-life situations. Students apply what they have learned in class to realistic circumstances. Often students go outside the classroom. This could include field trips.

For example, students studying finance may visit a business to see how it operates. Students then evaluate the practices the business uses. This aids in a simulation where students create a mock business. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

Lauren Tarshis’s eleventh book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Eleven-year old Oscar lived in Castle, Minnesota with his father and mother. After his father died in a blizzard, Oscar became the ‘man of the house’ looking after the farm. Continue Reading

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Using Animated Shorts to Teach Compare and Contrast

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a beautiful award winning film. After winning 14 smaller awards, it won the Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards in 2012. A picture book was created based on the film which makes it ‘fantastic’ as a compare and contrast activity.

In this free sample from Using Animated Shorts to Teach Reading and Writing Skills, students compare The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to the movie version of The Wizard of Oz which inspired the film. Continue Reading

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