Category: Lesson Plan

Malaprops – Humor in Mistakes (A Mini Lesson)

Malapropism - Mini-Lesson including Activities

In 1874, Knowles Shaw wrote the famous hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves.” It was inspired by a verse in Psalm 126. “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Most adults know that sheaves are bundles of cereal plants such as wheat or rye. A youngster, however, has never heard the word sheaves. SO, just imagine the youngster singing this hymn in church bellowing out “Bringing in the sheets.” Smiles, chuckles, and out and out laughs can be heard in the church. This is an example of a malaprop.

A malaprop is a mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect. The term came from the eighteenth-century play The Rivals by Richard Sheridan. Throughout the play, Mrs. Malaprop purposely made blunders by mixing up similar sounding words for humor. From this came the new words: malaprop and malproposims. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Rebirth

Booker's Rebirth

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Rebirth.’In the beginning of the ‘Rebirth’ plot, a hero falls under a shadow of dark power. This may be caused by an outside source such as imprisonment, kidnapping, magic spells, illness, and so on. It may also be caused by a character flaw such as greed or addiction. Over the course of the story, the character changes. He redeems himself in the eyes of others.

Plot Description

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Ways to Teach Students to Follow Directions

Procedures and Activities to Help Students Follow Directions

Teaching students to listen carefully to instructions can be a real challenge. Below you will find some procedures for following directions that require practice for students to understand and know what is expected.

Following the procedures is a list of activities including printables to use to help improve following instructions skills. 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 Structure – Tragedy

Booker's Tragedy

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Tragedy.’ Opposite of ‘Overcoming the Monster,’ the hero does not reach his goal. The inner conflict is not solved. The story ends unhappily.

To begin with, the hero is part of a community. He has connections and relationships. This may be friendships, family, or marriage. A fatal flaw in the hero’s nature causes good intentions to fail. The hero breaks the bonds of loyalty with others. He makes a great mistake. Step by step the hero is separated from others. When the hero becomes aware of the mistake, his life is basically destroyed. This results in a fall of a good character. The final result is frequently death. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Comedy

Booker's Comedy

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Comedy.’ Booker explains comedy as a specific series of events. Not everything that is funny fits into this category.

The ‘Comedy” plot begins with a large group of characters. The hero and the heroine can’t get together. Everyone else thinks that they should be together. Unfortunately, something foolish keeps them apart.  Misunderstandings cause a series of humorous situations. Sometimes the problem is one person’s fault such as one of the characters is in a relationship with someone else. Other times, the problem is no one’s fault. Either way, there is confusion, miscommunication, and frustration. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Voyage and Return

Booker's Voyage and Return

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Voyage and Return.’ In this type of plot, the main character enters another land where normal rules don’t apply. This ‘dream world’ is often very different from his own home. The character must overcome threats. He conquers or escapes the world before returning home a more mature person.

In the new land, logic and common sense don’t apply. The hero must ask for advice from allies. Unfortunately, these are often tricksters that lead the character into deeper trouble. Continue Reading

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