Category: Reading Skills

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

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=6360

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

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=6139

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

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5817

Wish by Barbara O’Connor Teaching Activities

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

After seeing a cardinal, close your eyes, spit three times, and make a wish. — You can make a wish if you clap three times before crossing a state line. — You can make a wish if you see a camel-shaped cloud.

The Story

These are just a few of the unusual things Charlie uses to make her daily wish; the same wish she has made every day since fourth grade.  Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5883

Silhouette Characterization – A Teaching Strategy

This post will illustrate how to teach character traits using silhouettes. This simple no prep method is both engaging and fun for students. 

This post teaching Silhouette Characterization. This simple no prep method is both engaging and fun for students. 

Instructions

Click here to download the printable. 

  1. Option 1 – Print the silhouettes found on page 8 on heavyweight paper. Cut out the patterns. Students trace the character onto a piece of ordinary paper.
  2. Option 2 – Show students the ‘Bean Character Clipart.’ found on pages 9 and 10. Students then draw their own silhouette people in a similar fashion.
  3. Option 3 – Print the sample organizers found on pages 3-7.

Activity #1 –

Students draw a silhouette figure in the center of their page. Out from the silhouette, students draw rays. In each shape formed by the rays, students write facts about the character. Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=6075

Prefix Teaching Activities and Ideas

Games, Anchor Charts, Foldable Organizers and More to Teach Prefixes

Are you searching for some new prefixes activities? This post is loaded with ideas and free printables.

The English Language

English is a mix of several languages including French, Italian, Greek and Latin, Vietnamese and so on. This makes the number of words linguists estimate the English language to have extremely large —- approximately one million words. About 170,000 of these words are in current use. The average adult English speaker has a vocabulary between 20,000 to 35,000 words. Ninety-five percent of everyday writing and speech in newspapers, most books, movies, etc. use only about 3,000 words. So…how do we prepare our students for college entrance exams when everyday life exposes them to so such a narrow list of vocabulary words? —- We teach students prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots. Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5999

The Secret Garden – Chapter 17 A Tantrum

Free Teaching Materials to use with The Secret Garden Chapter 17

Chapter 17 A Tantrum

The audio file for Chapter 17 “A Tantrum” is 13 minutes 09 seconds in length.

Handouts

She had got up very early in the morning and had worked hard in the garden and she was tired and sleepy, so as soon as Martha had brought her supper and she had eaten it, she was glad to go to bed. As she laid her head on the pillow she murmured to herself: Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5138