How to Teach Perspective

Check out these ways to teach perspective in literature including free downloadable activities.

Although teachers often use the terms point of view and perspective interchangeably, there are differences.

The point of view focuses on who is the narrator of the story. Continue Reading

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Dear Mr Henshaw

Teaching Ideas to use with Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr Henshaw uses a unique storytelling method. The entire book is a series of letters and diary entries. This means the main character tells his deepest emotions to the reader through a ‘personal means’ creating a close connection to the reader.

The book begins when Leigh is in 2nd grade. He writes a letter to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw for a class assignment. A new letter to Mr Henshaw follows each year until Leigh becomes a 6th grader. Leigh’s 6th-grade year is the focus of the majority of the novel. Continue Reading

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Story Mapping

Learn about story mapping. Check out several teaching ideas. Download this free activity for students.

Story mapping is a strategy that uses graphic organizers to help students break down the text of a novel or short story. These visual representations help students examine different components of the story. Creating a story map improves students’ comprehension because they can more easily visualize the framework of a story.

Common Core

Creating a story map helps students practice a large number of Common Core skills as well. Continue Reading

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Essay Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies

Essay tests are a great way to evaluate student knowledge through all levels of thinking skills from What is…? to Interpret this. or Criticize that. Students will practice essay test-taking strategies using Boom Learning. 

Like all test types, essay questions have advantages as well as disadvantages. One advantage is students are less likely to guess. Another advantage is that students must study more to take this type of test. Students can also demonstrate their ability to organize thoughts, express opinions, and show creativity. Disadvantages for essay tests include they take a long time to grade plus grading is subjective. Another disadvantage is that essay tests cover only a small amount of content compared to selection types of tests. Continue Reading

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Fill-in-the-Blanks Test Taking Tips

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for Fill-in-the-Blanks Quizzes


Teaching Fill-in-the-Blanks Test Taking Tips can improve student performance on quizzes.

Giving Completion or Fill-in-the-Blanks tests is a great way to test knowledge level questions including recalling details. This type of test question is especially helpful for testing who, what, where, and when content. Another advantage is completion test questions minimizes guessing. Students who know they will be tested with completion questions are encouraged to spend more time studying because they have to come up with answers from memory in place of merely recognizing a correct answer that is presented. Continue Reading

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Brian’s Winter Figurative Language

Free Figurative Language Activity to use with Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

Brian’s Winter tells the story of what would have happened to Brian Robeson if the rescue plane had not come at the end of the book Hatchet. Author Gary Paulsen received hundreds of letters from readers who thought Brian had been rescued too soon. He should experience living in the Canadian wilderness during the winter months. Brian’s Winter is Paulsen’s alternate ending to Hatchet.

Using Gary Paulsen’s Writing as a Mentor Text

Gary Paulsen’s writing is a gold mine when it comes to teaching students how to enhance their narrative writings. Paulsen uses a lot of detail to take the reader into the character’s world. Rich descriptions, backstories, and character motives weave together pulling the reader into the story. Continue Reading

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Matching Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for Matching Quizzes

Matching tests are extremely popular. Matching questions work well for terms and definitions, phrases with other phrases, causes with effects, parts with larger units, and problems with solutions. Teaching students about matching test-taking strategies can greatly improve their performance on these tests.

One advantage of matching test items is students can show their knowledge of a lot of material in a short amount of time. Matching test questions are easy for teachers to create. Their biggest disadvantage is the questions are mostly knowledge level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Continue Reading

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