Category: Teaching Idea

Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

Ideas to Help Motivate Students to Write

Are you looking for some writing prompts for upper elementary students? Motivating students to write daily can be a real challenge. Changing up prompts may be one solution to keep students excited about putting a pencil to paper. Check out these ideas. 

#1 – Inspirational Quotes

Quotes are great for not only inspiring students to work harder but to also think at a deeper level. Quotes make great discussion starters for students to think critically. Remind students that quotes may have different meanings for different people depending on life experiences. There are no wrong or right answers to what a quote means. Writing a paragraph about what a quote means is a great journal activity. If you need inspiration about where to begin, check out 50 of Our All-Time Favorite Classroom Quotes from We are Teachers.

#2 – Writing a Letter to My Future Self

Have students write letters to their future selves. At futureme.org students type letters. They select when they will be delivered: 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or a specific date. Students can select for their letters to be private or public. Be aware. Some of the public letters contain inappropriate material for students.  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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Five Ideas for Teaching Point of View

Five Ideas for Teaching Point of View with Free Printable Activities

Teaching point of view can be both challenging and fun. The Common Core State Standards includes a point of view standard at each grade level.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.6
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
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Snowball Technique – A Teaching Strategy

Free Printables to Practice using the Snowball Technique in Your Classroom

The Snowball Technique is a way for students to teach each other important concepts and information. Students begin by working alone. Next they collaborate with a partner. Partners form groups of four. Groups of four join together to form groups of eight. This snowballing effect continues until the entire class is working together as one large group.

Read these instructions to see if you would like try this teaching technique in your classroom. Continue Reading

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ACE – A Writing Strategy

Help students organize their writing by using the ACE Strategy. This teaching device helps organize the answers to short answer/constructive response questions. It prevents students from guessing the answers by providing a structured response to the question.

Help students organize their writing by using the ACE Writing Strategy. This teaching device helps organize the answers to short answer/constructive response questions. It prevents students from guessing the answers by providing a structured response to the question. The acronym stands for…

A – Answer all parts of the question in complete sentences. Continue Reading

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Quick and Easy to Make Pocket Chart

Quick and Easy Pocket Chart - Read how to make this simple pocket chart from materials you have around the house.

Creating pocket charts from wrapping paper and cardboard is quick and easy. Make individual pocket charts for students, a series of matching charts for a bulletin board, or even a large one to hang on the wall. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post to see some ideas for using these pocket charts. 

Instructions for Making the Pocket Charts

Pocket charts can be made in many sizes depending on how you plan to use them. These instructions show how to create a small pocket chart that holds twelve index cards. I used a department store shirt box that has the lid connected to the bottom along one side. When the box is closed flat, it is double in thickness making it sturdy. The flattened box is 11 ½ by 15 inches. This is the perfect size to wrap in standard sized wrapping paper. Corrugated cardboard also works well. Cut it to whatever size you need. Continue Reading

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