Category: Teaching Idea

Capitalizing Geographical Terms

The blog post offers helpful tips for teaching when to capitalize geographic terms including an anchor chart and free sorting activity.

Students often have difficulty determining when to capitalize direction words. This post includes an anchor chart plus a sorting activity to help teach students when to capitalize geographical terms.

Rules for Capitalizing Geographical Terms

Capitalize north, south, east, and west when an area of the country or specific region is named. Continue Reading

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The Dog Project

Great Dog Projects for the Classroom

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. – Man’s Best Friend. – Dogs come into out lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart. – Love is a four legged word. – The road to my heart is paved with paw prints. – If you’re lucky… A dog will come into your life, steal your heart and change everything! – The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

Mattel Foundation Grant

A few years back, a small group of teachers at our school were awarded a grant through the Mattel Foundation. The grant money promoted technology in the school including computers for a lab. The teachers involved in the grant shared the lab by taking students in 45 minute blocks each day. Continue Reading

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Collaborative Discussions

Teaching Students to Use Ground Rules During Classroom Discussions

Classroom discussions are an important part of learning. The Common Core State Standards, address discussions with under the Speaking & Listening strands. This list shows the main standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. Continue Reading

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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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Famous People Interviews

Famous People Intertervies

‘Famous People Interviews’ is a hugely successful activity to use in the classroom. During this activity, each student ‘becomes’ a famous person and is interviewed by another student in the class.

This activity not only teaches students to recognize many famous people, but also covers a large number of Common Core State Standards. Students must research, prepare a presentation, speak publicly, and so on. Continue Reading

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Ideas to Teach Appositives

 This blog post also includes a free printable organizer to help teach students appositive rules.

What is an appositive? An appositive is a word or group of words that explain or define a noun. Appositives follow the nouns they explain.

When to Use Commas

Appositives can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. I teach students to first locate the appositive by finding the phrase that describes the noun. Next, I ask students to read the sentence skipping the appositive. If the meaning of the sentence is clear without the appositive, then it is nonrestrictive [CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.2.A]. Use commas to separate nonrestrictive elements from the rest of the sentence.  Continue Reading

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Memorization Techniques

10 Memorization Techniques

Are your students having difficulty memorizing information for tests? Learning steps in a process, lists, or simple facts can be a challenge for most students. Try some of these memorization techniques. They will make a difference.

Some facts must be memorized in a specific order. Name mnemonics and acrostics as well as using the Method of Loci help students recall details in a specific sequence. Continue Reading

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