Category: Reading Skills

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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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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Separate is Never Equal

Enjoy this free lesson for the picture book Separate is Never Equal ~Sylvia Mendez & Her Fight for Desegregation~. Free resources include both printable and digital versions.

Welcome to the Reading Crew’s 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 fall. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post.  Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Several researchers have attempted to categorize basic plot patterns in literature. William Foster-Harris thinks stories can be sorted into three basic patterns. Ronald B. Tabias theorizes 20 Master Plots. Georges Polti writes about The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. Kurt Vonnegut  argues that all stories can be outlined into one basic shape. Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. 

So just how many basic plots are there? Everyone has a different opinion. Continue Reading

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Academic and Testing Vocabulary

Academic vocabulary consists of words that are not commonly used or frequently encountered in everyday conversation. These words include specialized content vocabulary for specific subjects such as reading/language art, science, social studies, or math. Academic vocabulary also includes terms found on standardized tests  When students understand testing vocabulary, test scores go up. By teaching test vocabulary and how the words look in different forms on a test, students feel better prepared and more confident on test day.

Academic vocabulary consists of words that are not commonly used or frequently encountered in everyday conversation. These words include specialized content vocabulary for specific subjects such as reading/language art, science, social studies, or math. Academic vocabulary also includes terms found on standardized tests.  When students understand testing vocabulary, test scores go up. By teaching test vocabulary and how the words look in different forms on a test, students feel better prepared and more confident on test day.

When to Teach Words

When preparing units of study such as novel studies, add four to five academic vocabulary words in with the novel specific words. Select words based on the skills taught during the unit of study.  Continue Reading

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Inverted Pyramid Story

Teach students how to writing inverted pyramid stories with these free printables.

News reporters use an Inverted Pyramid Story to relay information quickly to readers. Both newspapers and web writers use this approach. News is written in order of importance. The most essential information is placed in the lead paragraph. The purpose for writing using this method is to give the reader the most important information first. The reader will understand the story even if he stops reading after a few lines.

Many feel this method of writing was invented shortly after the telegraph. Reporters tried to condense their stories into as few words as possible to keep the cost of sending a story over telegraph wires low. Also if the connection was lost, the most important details would be received. Continue Reading

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