Category: Fun Stuff

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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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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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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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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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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Helping Readers Bloom Spring Link-up

Using the Novel Wishtree by Katherine Applegate to Promote Reading

Welcome to the Helping Readers Bloom Spring Link-up.

The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a blog link up. Enjoy reading through our posts and collecting free materials to use in your classroom this spring. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post. Before you leave, enter the rafflecopter also found at end of this post. The raffle will be open from 4/6/18 (6:00 AM EST) to 4/11/18 at (6:00 AM EST). We are giving away over $600.00 in prizes including an Apple iPad mini WiFi + gift cards for a total of 8 winners. Have a great time exploring our blog posts, and I wish you luck in the raffle! Continue Reading

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