May 11

Teaching Person vs. Supernatural Conflict with Movie Trailers

 

Person vs. Supernatural ConflictIn a person vs. supernatural conflict, a character battles that which is beyond nature. It can’t be explained by natural law. This could be witches, vampires, mythical creatures, and so forth.

Examples of Person vs. Supernatural Conflict from Literature

Picture Books

  • Vampire Boy’s Good Night 

Children’s Literature

  • The Witches
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Ender’s Game
  • Harry Potter
  • The Lightning Thief
  • Oedipus Rex

Teaching Person vs. Supernatural Conflict with Movie Trailers

The Witches

While in a hotel in England, Luke spies on a convention of witches. He learns the Grand High Witch plans on turning all children into mice. Now Luke who has been turned into a mouse must fight the witches.

Gremlins

A gadget salesman buys his son a pet mogwai. He is warned never to expose it to bright light, water, or feed him after midnight. The boy inadvertently breaks these three rules. This unleashes a horde of mischievous monsters on a small town.

Predator

The U.S. government hires a team of commandos. The group goes to Guatemala. There they battle an invisible extraterrestrial with superhuman strength.

Jurassic Park

A team of specialists tour an island theme park. The park is populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. Although the park is supposed to be safe, it suffers a breakdown. Ferocious predators break free and go on a hunt.

Abominable

Preston is attacked by a gigantic ape-like beast. When he contacts the local authorities, they dismiss him as delusional. He then sets out to stop the creature by himself.

Dracula Untold

In 15th century Transylvania, the Sultan demands 1,000 boys for his army. To save his son, Vlad makes a deal with a monster. This enables him to defeat the Turks. It also costs him his humanity. 

 

Independence Day

A satellite engineer spots a 3,000-mile-wide ship that’s approaching Earth. Fortunately, 20 years earlier, nations across the world started to use recovered extraterrestrial technology to develop a defense program. When the alien invaders attack, humans are ready for battle.

Teaching Conflict in Literature (Person vs. the Environment) Using Movie Trailers
Teaching Conflict in Literature (Person vs. the Environment) Using Movie Trailers
FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

May 08

Activities to Use with the Book Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rules

In the book Rules by Cynthia Lord, twelve-year-old Catherine must spend the summer without her best friend who goes to California for the summer. A new girl moves in next door. Catherine hopes her autistic brother does not keep her from making friends.

Ideas for the Book

 Using a Communication Board

Free Communication Board Activity - Have students try to communicate using a communication board only to see how Jason feels in the book Rules by Cynthia Lord.

I created this communication board to use with the novel Out of My Mind; however, it is a great activity to use with the book Rules as well. Jason uses an album of cards to communicate. In the story, Catherine is frustrated by this limited means of communication, so she makes Jason additional words. 

Activity:

  1. One student will randomly draw a request slip from the stack.
  2. The student will read the strip without showing his/her partner
  3. The student will then try to make the request using only the “Communication Board” with no verbal instructions.

Discussion:

  • Which questions were the most difficult?
  • How did you feel when you couldn’t make your partner understand your request?
  • What words do you think should be added?
  • How would you draw words like gross, beautiful, or frustrated?

Download the “Communication Board” and request strips here.

Teaching Ideas on the Web

Children’s Books with Characters who have Special Needs

  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  • Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Chodenko
  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
  • Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker

Rules Book Unit

Free Samples from Rules by Cynthia Lord Book Unit

If you would like to try out the Rules Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Character Traits – Catherine
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
 Teaching Ideas to use withe the Book Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rules Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

May 04

Teaching Person vs. Person Conflict with Movie Clips

 

Person vs. Person ConflictIn a person vs. person conflict, the conflict is between two forms of like beings. This is often the protagonist versus the antagonist. The conflict may be verbal, physical, or emotional.

Examples from Person vs. Person from Literature

Picture Books

  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Angel Child, Dragon Child
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Harriet and the Promised Land
  • The Hundred Penny Box

Children’s Literature

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Westing Game
  • Out of my Mind
  • Shiloh
  • From Where the Red Fern Grows
    Billy and his dogs are attacked by a mountain lion, and they must do everything they can to survive.
  • From Weasel
    Nathan is captured by Weasel, an Indian fighter. Earlier in the book, Weasel had attacked Nathan’s pa, had taken away Pa’s riffle, and had killed the farm animals.

Teaching Person vs. Person Conflict with Movie Trailers

Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians

Cruella is is married to a furrier who she claims has never made her a fur coat from dog pelts. She becomes enemies with the Radcliffes when she they refuse to sell their puppies. 

Shere Khan and Kaa from The Jungle Book

Shere Khan, a Bengal tiger, is the main antagonist of Disney’s 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book. Shere orders Kaa to act as an informant.

 

Gaston and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast

Gaston wants to marry Belle because she is the most beautiful girl in the village. He becomes upset that Belle does not show and interest in him and instead likes the Beast.

Jafar from Aladdin

Jafar is the Royal Vizier of Agrabah who plans to overtake the kingdom through the power of a genie.

Hades vs Hercules

Hades is the antagonist of Hercules in the Disney version of the story. 

 

Captain Hook and Peter Pan

Captain Hook is a pirate who repeated fights Peter Pan. 

Teaching Person vs. Person Conflict
FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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 house the crumbling stone school that was once an asylum for the terrible thing he did. Just a few chapters into the book, a lightning strike kills all the adults. The boys struggle for leadership roles as a hurricane hits the island.

This page-turner contains chapter-after-chapter ending in cliffhangers. I found myself not being able to put the book down.

Activities for the Book

Activity #1 ~ Book Trailer

Activity #2~ Parallel Classics 

Jonathan goes to the library four times during the novel. Each time the librarian gives Jonathan a book to read that in some way parallels the events that are taking place on the island. Have students watch summaries of these classics and compare them to the events that are taking place in Jonathan’s life.

Robinson Crusoe

Treasure Island

Lord of the Flies

Moby-Dick

This student created video is a little difficult to understand.

Activity #3 ~ Anti-Bullying Campaign

Sebastian and Benny become extremely abusive when they decide to become the leaders. Have students make a list of how they abuse power.

Have students create a poster, skit, video, and so on that shows the effects of bullying. Students can research statistical information to add to their campaigns.

Activity #4 ~ Letter Writing

Each day the boys at Slabhenge write letters home. Have students write letters to friends or family. These letters could include book summaries.

 

Free Samples from Scar Island Book Unit

Scar Island Book Unit Free Samples

If you would like to try out the Scar Island Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Setting
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Scar Island Book Unit

Scar Island Book Unit

Scar Island Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Apr 27

Person vs. Self Conflict

 

Person vs. Self ConflictIn a person vs. self conflict, the main character has a problem within him/herself. This type of struggle takes place in the character’s mind. The character has to make a choice between doing something that is right or wrong. The character may also have to overcome emotions.

Examples for Teaching Person vs. Self from Literature

Picture Books

  • The Dog who Cried Wolf
  • Dogzilla
  • Edward the Emu
  • My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother
  • Owl Babies
  • Ira Sleeps Over
  • Hey, Al

Children’s Literature

  • Pinocchio
  • Stargirl
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Chocolate Fever
  • From Weasel
    Nathan spends the winter months struggling with his conscious. Should he go back to Weasel’s cabin to seek revenge or forget about Weasel?

Teaching Person vs. Self Conflict with Movie Trailers

Almost Famous

A teenage rock star journalist goes on the road with and up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. 

Toy Story

Andy gives Woody to Bonnie.

Inside Out

Riley moves from a Midwestern town to San Francisco. She struggles to adjust to her new  life.  

Tangled

Rapunzel struggles with the idea of freedom vs breaking her mother’s heart.

Luke Skywalker Surrenders to Darth Vader

Aladdin and the Genie

Aladdin needs to tell Jasmine the truth about who he really is.

 

The Grinch

The Grinch struggles with finding something nice to wear.

Teaching Person vs. Self Conflict using Movie Trailers

FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

Apr 24

Teaching Ideas to Use with Pax

 

Pax is a wonderful novel by Sara Pennypacker. In the book, Peter and his much loved pet fox named Pax are separated because of war. The book contains chapters alternating between Peter’s and Pax’s perspectives as they make their way back to each other

Teaching Idea for the Book

Father and Son Relationships

Peter has a difficult relationship with his father. Explore different father and son relationships by having students listen to songs. 

Videos

Cat Stevens “Father and Son”

In this song by Cat Stevens, the father tries to give his son advice about how to live his life. The son is tired of being ordered to listen. He needs to go out on his own and make his own decisions; he can’t just simply follow his dad’s advice.

Dan Fogelberg “Leader of the Band”

Dan Fogelberg is honoring his father in this song. He tells a little about his father’s life. He thanks him for giving him the talent of music.

Neil Young “Old Man”

The video with this song is super powerful in its message. It will help the students understand the meaning of the song. The son realizes that he is very much like his father.

 

Harry Chapin “Cat’s in the Cradle”

The father is super busy working and doesn’t spend time with his son. The son grows up to be just like his father. 

 

Brad Paisley “He Didn’t Have to Be”

This is a son/stepfather relationship. The son loves his stepfather. The son hopes “He is at least half the man that he didn’t have to be.”  

Bruce Springsteen “My Father’s House”

The son returns to his father’s house. The house is still there, but his father isn’t. The implied message is that the son and father separated after a disagreement. The son waited a long time to make amends, too long; his father is no longer there. 

Will Smith “Just the Two of Us”

The father tells his son how much he loves him. He gives advice to his son about how to be good.

Rodney Atkins “Watching You”

The father tells the story of his small son. The son watches his dad and imitates his father’s actions.

Free Samples from Pax Book Unit

FREE Samples from Pax Book Unit

If you would like to try out the book unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Character Traits
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Pax Book Unit

Pax Book Unit

 

Pax Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Apr 21

The Wild Robot Writing Activities

 

Teaching Ideas to Use with The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown combines a science fiction story involving a robot of the future with a fantasy in which animals talk. The outcome is a book that is both charming and exciting. There is no question about it; your students will love this book!

Writing Ideas for the Book

CHARTING THE STORY 

Compare and Contrast Printables for The Wild RobotThis free printable with answer key included helps students keep track of the story. Students use the chart to write details about how Roz helps the animals on the island and then how they in return help her. After students complete the chart, it may be used create a T-Chart to compare and contrast the animals to Roz.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST WRITING IDEA

The Wild Robot Comparing Characters Anchor Chart

Have students write a compare and contrast essay using the information on the chart. Students can compare how different animals helped Roz by detailing which animals made the most impact on saving Roz’s life.

EVALUATING THE IMAGES WRITING IDEA

Peter Brown not only wrote The Wild Robot but illustrated it as well. Visit his website to learn about the process he went through in creating the story as well as the illustrations.

Have students write an essay explaining how the illustrations in The Wild Robot help the reader better understand the story.

SEQUENCING WRITING IDEA

These two videos show how to create robots from common household items. Cardboard boxes and plastic cups are painted and glued together. The robots are decorated with buttons, pipe cleaners, and various other materials.

After creating a robot from recycled materials, have students write instructions for how to build a robot.

 

The Wild Robot Book Unit

If you would like to try out the The Wild Robot Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Point of View
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

The Wild Robot Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.The Wild Robot Book Unit is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.


Teaching Ideas to use with The Wild RobotGay Miller

Apr 17

A Long Walk to Water Activities

 

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on a true story. The book tells the stories of Nya who lives in Southern Sudan in 2008 and Salva who lived in Southern Sudan in 1985. Each chapter begins with Nya’s story and jumps to Salva’s story.

Ten-year old Nya spends her days walking from home to the pond to fetch water.

When the Sudanese Civil War came to 11-year old Salva’s village, he became separated from his family. He eventually became one of the “lost boys” of Sudan. These were refugees who walked miles across Africa from Sudan to Ethiopia and then to Kenya searching for safety. 

Teaching Ideas for the Book

Water Facts

Have students complete a small research project to learn about water. Here are some good places to start:

Word Cloud

Word Cloud with Water Facts

Have each student take one or two interesting facts about water and turn them into a word cloud. 

Sites for Creating Word Clouds

The example pictured above was created using Tagul. This site has the water drop shape as one of its built in options. The site also allows users to place quotation marks around words to keep phrases together.

Videos

Book Trailer: A Long Walk to Water

This short video [1:29] plays music while you view a collage of images with some overlaid text. The video would make a good introduction to the book.

An Interview with Salva Dut

While this is an excellent video, I would not show it until the end of the book. It contains photos of Salva building wells. This might spoil the surprise ending of the book for your students who are super observant.

More Teaching Ideas

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Parks: With Lesson Plans

 

Free Samples from A Long Walk to Water Unit

Free Samples from A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

If you would like to try out the A Long Walk to Water Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Character Traits
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit

A Long Walk to Water Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

Apr 13

Person vs. Technology Conflict

 

Person vs. Technology ConflictIn a person vs. technology/machine conflict, a character has a problem with robots or machines. This type of conflict is often found in science fiction.

Book Examples to use for Teaching Conflict in Literature

Picture Books

  • The Legend of John Henry 
  • Comic Book – Iron Man
  • Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Children’s Literature

  • From Hatchet –
    Brian flying the airplane after the pilot dies
  • The City of Ember –
    Lina and Doon must find a way out of Ember before the generator dies and the city is in total darkness.
  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox –
    The foxes must dig faster than Boggis, Beans, and Bunce on their tractors.

Teaching Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

Steve Jobs

This biographical movie covers 14 years of the life of  Steve Jobs, personal computing innovator and Apple Inc. co-founder.

 

2001: A Space Odyssey

While on a mysterious mission, the ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display strange behavior. This leads to a showdown between man and machine.

I, Robot

In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been committed by a robot.

 

Transcendence

Dr. Will Caster, the world’s authority on artificial intelligence, develops a computer to upload himself into a computerized form as he dies.

Transformers

Two races of robots, the Autobots and the Decepticons, bring their war to Earth. The good Autobots help Earthlings. The villainous Decepticons bring war. Only a human youth named Sam can save the world.

Teaching Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers

 

FREE Conflicts in Literature Organizer
Additional Conflicts in Literature Posts
Environment Conflict – publishing 3/30/2017
Society Conflict – publishing 4/6/2017
Technology Conflict – publishing 4/13/2017
Self Conflict – publishing 4/27/2017
Person Conflict – publishing 5/4/2017
Supernatural Conflict – publishing 5/11/2017
Gay Miller

 

Apr 10

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

 

In Among the Hidden, twelve year old Luke lives in a future dystonia society where the government has passed a law banning parents from having more than two children. The story opens with Luke, an illegal third child, enjoying his last minutes of freedom outdoors. The government has bought the woods behind Luke’s house to build a neighborhood of mansions. Without the woods as cover and with neighbors living so close, Luke must hide indoors. 

Writing Prompts for the Book

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

What is it like to be a shadow child?

Imagine you are a third child. What would your life be like? Would your family be more like Jen’s who don’t believe the government has the power to monitor citizen’s lives through the telephone, television, or computer? Does your home have technology? If so, what types? Would your family be more like Luke’s who completely believes the government has the power to practically read the minds of its citizens? Where would you spend your days? Would you hide in an attic room the way Luke does, or would you have the freedom to move around the house? How would you spend your time? Would you read quietly or play computer games?

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat are the pros and cons of having a third child law?

Imagine your country is facing a major population explosion. People are starving. This could be because the food is not distributed correctly or simple not available. You are on a panel of government officials having to make some tough decisions about whether or not a third family law should go into effect. Make a T-chart and list the pros and cons of having a third child law. You may wish to read up on the laws that China created to get some background information for your T-chart. Here some good sites:

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat is the city like?

Haddix tells the reader that Among the Hidden is set in the future. When you read about Luke’s and Jen’s lives, no mention of any advanced technology is mentioned. Could their society be like The Hunger Games where advanced technology is owned by a few wealthy citizens living in the capitol city? Write a description of the advancements that the futuristic society has created. 

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat is a totalitarian government?

Luke lives under a totalitarian government. His parents worry about having enough money to pay the bills especially after the government tells his family they must sell their hogs. Jen says the government wants everyone to be vegetarians. Just how much control does a totalitarian government have? Can they dictate what people eat? Research what a totalitarian government can do and how they keep their citizens from disobeying the strict rules. You may wish to begin with Hitler’s Nazi Government.

Among the Hidden Writing PromptsWhat types of propaganda could the government use to keep its citizens under control?

A number of propaganda techniques can be uses to convince people to think a specific way:

  • bandwagon
  • loaded terms
  • testimonial
  • name-calling

Research each of these types and decide which would be the most successful for a totalitarian government to use to control its citizens.

Create a one of the following:

BILLBOARD (picture and words) Billboards must be read by drivers as they are quickly driving down the highway.Your drawing must be large and simple. Your words must be quickly read.

MAGAZINE LAYOUT (picture and words) A magazine illustration uses details. Your writing may be a paragraph.

RADIO SPOT (words only) You will need to persuasive your listeners with vivid descriptions, slogans, or a creative story.

TELEVISION NEWSCAST (story map – series of at least 4 pictures with words for each) You will draw a series of pictures with words depicting what the actors will be saying under each drawing.

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

Free Samples from Among the Hidden Book Unit

Among the Hidden Book Unit Samples

If you would like to try out the Among the Hidden Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructive Response Question – Course of Action
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Among the Hidden Book Unit

Among the Hidden Book Unit

 

Among the Hidden Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

 

Gay Miller

 

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