Biblical, Literary, Historical, and Mythical Allusions 

Mythical, Biblical, Literary, and Historical Allusions 

Have your students ever asked you about the meanings of mythical allusions such as these?

  • Resisting chocolate is my Achilles’s heel.
  • Cupid strikes again.
  • Money brings us happiness but sometimes it is a Pandora’s Box.
  • All his shops are extremely profitable. He has the Midas touch.
  • Is his plan a Trojan horse that will end the good life?

The Common Core State Standards states fourth graders need to be able to “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).” Continue Reading

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Strategies for Higher Order Thinking Skills

Strategies for Higher Order Thinking Skills

Educational trends seem to change almost yearly. One year ‘this method’ is the best thing ever invented. The next year ‘this method’ has lost its appeal, and a new idea is a must try. However, the one trend that has remained constant year after year is higher order thinking skills (HOTS). HOTS encourages learners to go far beyond the memorization of facts. Students analyze, evaluate, and create. So, where do you begin? First, help students understand what HOTS is.

What are Higher Order Thinking Skills?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is as popular today as it was when Benjamin Bloom created the method in 1965. Teach students the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Also, go over what each level means. Continue Reading

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Summarizing Strategies

Summarizing Strategies - Teaching Ideas + Free Printable Resources

Teaching students to summarize text can be one of the most difficult skills you tackle the during this school year. This post offers six summarizing strategies to try. It also contains some general rules for students to follow as well as stem questions to look for on tests.

Be sure to download the free printable resources to teach summarizing strategies. The link can be found at the bottom of the post.  Continue Reading

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Teaching with Animated Shorts Coin Operated

Teaching Reading and Writing with Animated Short Films - FREE Activities

The animated short Coin Operated spans 70 years in a man’s life in which he never gives up his dream to fly to the moon.

Coin Operated Story

A young boy wearing an astronaut’s helmet and jet pack on his back plays with his toy rocket ship as he and his mother walk down the street. The boy spots a coin operated rocket ship ride in front of the grocery store. The boy’s eyes widen with anticipation. His mother tries to pull him away, but the boy pulls out his own nickel, and his mom relents. Continue Reading

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Genre Flash Cards and Boom Decks

Recognizing Genres

Two great activities are provided to help students learn about genres. Genre Flash Cards contains 21 pairs (picture cards with matching fact cards) in a ready-to-use printable format. These are a free download at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Genres, a 40 card deck of interactive task cards from Boom Learning, is sure to be a hit with your students.  Continue Reading

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Children’s Books into Movies 2020


While watching a series of previews at the theater over the holiday, I thought…”This is based on a children’s book. Another children’s books. Can you believe it? Still another children’s book.” I began to get excited at the thought of so many children’s books becoming movies. So…I went home and did a little investigating. Book lovers are in for a real treat this 2020. Continue Reading

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Using Transition Words to Improve Writing

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities for Using Transition Words to Improve Writing from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Transition words and phrases improve the flow of writing by linking ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. They show relationships which helps readers understand thoughts and concepts. Transitions may connect, contrast, show cause/effect, indicate order, and a number of other relationships. Using transitions helps writing flow. Disconnected ideas are turned into a unified whole. They prepare readers for what is coming next.

Common Core

Common Core addresses transitional words in the writing standards. Continue Reading

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