Saturday, September 26, 2015

Into the Wild Unit Plan

One thing I've noticed from teaching Into the Wild the past three years is that if I can keep my students on track with the complicated plot, then they absolutely adore this nonfiction novel. However, if they get lost in the flashbacks and changing settings, then I've lost them forever. To ensure that all students are able to keep up with and connect to this beautiful story, I have designed a flipbook that will keep ALL of their novel activities, notes, and evidence in one nicely organized location. 

As an added bonus, I channeled the teachings of nature lovers like McCandless and Thoreau and designed this flipbook to be double-sided. It uses EVERY inch of both sides of copy paper and requires NO cutting. It only took me about a 100 tries to get the fonts turned the correct way to accomplish this feat. Ha ;) 

You can find this Common Core-Aligned unit plan (includes activities for EACH chapter, teacher unit notes, answer keys, and final unit test with answer key) in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store: Into the Wild Unit Plan 

If you would prefer to watch a Youtube video giving instructions on how to put this flipbook together, follow this link: Into the Wild Flipbook . I got into greater detail in the video, so I suggest watching it at least once! 

Updated: I have now added in a regular handout option to my unit for those who prefer to use the activities as individual activities rather than in a flipbook format! 

Here are the written instructions for the flipbook:
1. Fold each sheet of paper on the "fold" line provided. Each fold line is numbered so that they are easier to keep organized in case papers go awry.  Please make sure to fold to where the "fold here" words appear on the top, visible crease. 

2. Slide each newly folded paper into the one before it 

Keep going until you are out of papers (there are 9 double-sided pages for each student)
Once you get to the last page, you should be able to flip that page up and see 9 new (once hidden) tabs. The first one will say "Into the Wild Continued" 

 If it looks like the photos above, then you have it right. Once you are certain everything is in the right location, straighten your flipbook ensuring each page is tucked tightly into the others. Then, put two staples one the first tab where it says "Staple, Staple." 

Here is what the finished product will look like: 

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Technology-Based Poetry Activities for Poetry Centers and Poetry Stations

Digital Blackout Poem 

I just finished up a new lesson, and I'm so pumped about it! I've never been one to really get into poetry, so I wanted to design something that would help me and my students to have fun with comprehending and dissecting poetry. After months and months of trying out new apps and strategies, I've finally nailed down six technology-based activities that can be used as a close reading of the same poem, or as study six different poems with the same theme or author. As a bonus, the directions are written in a technical format with pictures and videos so as to promote workforce reading as well as save teacher voices. :)

Here is the 1st activity for all of my readers to try out! I hope that you and your students love it! 

How to create a digital blackout poem that helps struggling readers focus on the MOST important words in the poem to find the main idea/theme of the poem in a fun and artful way:

UPDATE: You can also create these digital blackout poems in Google Slides or PowerPoint. Find the directions here:
Or here: Google Slides Blackout Poem / PowerPoint Blackout Poem 

YouTube Video Link: How to create a  Digital Blackout Poem using You Doodle 
Want to take a peek at the other 5 activities in this lesson!? Download the preview here: 

Each activity has a corresponding technology-free option  in case devices aren't available. For example, in the activity above, the technology-free options is to put a copy of the poem in a sheet protector and black it out with a black dry erase marker. Or, students can simply draw directly on a photocopy of the poem. 

The activities are common-core-based and include: 
1.Closely read by creating a digital or print blackout poem using You Doodle, Paint, or a printed copy of a poem. 

2.Learn to summarize tone and pick out turns in poetry by using emojis on student phones or emoji cut-outs on a phone graphic. 

3.Work on denotation and connotation using the Word Transformation app for Ipad (can be done with only one classroom Ipad if using centers) or a tactile learning technique.

4.Learn to express mood through photos and illustrations using the Lark app by Storybird or a printed art lecture and drawing frame. 

5.Decipher standardized test questions and write ones to mimic your state's test style using standardized test examples. 

6.Learn to properly embed quotes via Twitter concepts

Here are some more examples that I did (because once you start it's hard to stop! ha) :

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