Category Archive: Fun Stuff

May 29

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins Book Activities

  Gregor the Overlander Before she wrote The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins wrote the Underland Chronicles. In the first book of the series is Gregor the Overlander.  Gregor and his baby sister fall through a grate. In just moments, they go from their apartment building in New York City to a fantastical subterranean world. This kingdom, known …

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May 01

Scar Island

  Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart is the perfect book for reluctant middle school readers. This gripping adventure story is an easy read (Lexile rating of 610). Twelve year old Jonathan has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. Jonathan thinks he deserves going to to this remote island just large enough to …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.  …

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Mar 16

Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Loaded Terms

  This is the third post in a series of four on using persuasive techniques or propaganda devices. This post contains several commercials that use loaded terms to advertise their products.  Loaded Terms Definition Phrases with loaded terms have words that evoke strong emotions. Advertisements, speeches, and writers all use loaded terms. Politicians use loaded words …

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Mar 13

Al Capone Does My Shirts Teaching Ideas

  Written by Gennifer Choldenko, Al Capone Does My Shirts tells the story of Moose Flanagan and his family who move to Alcatraz Island where his father has gotten a job. The family wants to live near San Francisco, so Moose’s sister can attend the Esther P. Marinoff School. In this school, “kids have macaroni salad …

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Mar 09

Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Testimonial

  In Part 2 of the series “Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Testimonial,” 2017 Super Bowl commercials are featured. Many stars came out to promote products. Actors, sports figures, and even Bill Nye the Science Guy promote products. With a 30-second spot costing $5 million, many companies went with big celebrities. Testimonial Definition Testimonial is when an expert, …

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Feb 23

Teaching Problems and Solutions with Songs

  This post “Teaching Problems and Solutions with Songs” is the final one in a series of four. This link contains a handout with the list of the songs from all four posts as well as some graphic organizers that can be used to evaluate the songs. I want to send out a special thank …

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Feb 16

Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs

  For February, I am creating a series of four blog posts on songs to use while teaching text structures. Cause and effect was one of the more difficult to think of songs. If you know of any classroom friendly songs, please include them in the “Comment Section” at the bottom of the post. When You …

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