It's never to early to begin training in finding the main idea of a passage. It can be somewhat tricky for young readers. One way to build this skill is to practice identifying a topic. This fun and interactive game asks readers to look at several words and decide which word represents the topic of the group. Players will also sort words into categories and practice labeling categories for a group of words. Finally, players will read three different paragraphs and choose a topic for each that is not too narrow and not too broad. Students can practice main idea skills while having fun!
Are your students mixing up the sounds for short /i/ with the short /e/? Do your students get motivated whenever they are allowed to use electronic devices? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, let the animated character named Roy the Zebra join your students. Roy the Zebra will help your students improve their phonemic awareness and decoding skills as they review short vowel sounds in the context of rhyming word families. When given a phonetic rule, students will drag a word that matches the rule provided. For each correct answer, students will enjoy seeing an animated rhino roller skate down a series of hills.
Are you looking for ways to connect abstract ideas and writing? Do the terms “tone” and “voice” need a boost in your students’ writing pieces? Help your students translate the writing styles of Markus Zusak’s in the Book Thief and John Donne’s poem entitled “Death Be Not Proud” into the authoring of their own poems. During this lesson, each student will write a poem with poetic devices such as personification, tone, and metaphorical language. Each student will analyze his/her topic, an abstract idea or object that is personally important. Students will also delve deeply into themselves to search for deeper ways to clearly convey a message that the reader of the poem will understand.
Pair the reading of Washington Irving's delighfully scary tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with fine art - John Quidor's "The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane." Using the rollovers provided with the artwork, analyze how the painter portrayed the writer's words and discuss whether Quidor was successful in representing the meaning and the mood that Irving created in his story. What does a study of the painting add to an understanding of the text? Are there ways in which pairing the painting and the story detract from the effect of the story on its own?Using this site, students can examine ways in which pictures are text and can sometimes tell stories.
Reading and writing are essentially thinking. This site examines the aspects of critical thinking, including rationality, self-awareness, honesty, open-mindedness, discipline, and judgment. While teaching or learning how to think critically is a difficult task, understanding what the components of critical thinking are makes it more likely that we will recognize when we are NOT thinking critically. As students work to develop the skills described here, they will begin to read and write with more discernment, and will be more aware of the ways media, from ads to political rhetoric, seek to persuade them to buy products or positions.
Students will learn more about the elements of a story with this fun and interactive website. They'll start by listening to an animated version of Cinderella, and then break the story down to learn more about its elements. Information and activities on setting, characters, sequence, exposition, conflict, climax, and resolution show how the elements work together to form a story. Use details from the story to answer interactive questions and demonstrate an understanding of each element. An online quiz over the story elements in Cinderella will help to assess learning.
Are you looking for ways to revamp your short story unit so that students will see new meaning to some old favorites? In the Better Lesson: Reading Short Stories for Plot, Character & Author's Purpose Unit, students will improve their reading comprehension skills. Students will practice fluency skills, and they will deconstruct a story to understand the character's motivation, the plot, and the reason why an author chooses to use a certain point of view or setting. This unit uses the following short stories to explore these themes: “Flowers of Algernon,” “Tell Tale Heart,” “The Lottery,” “The Landlady,” “The Treasures of Lemon Brown,” “Raymond’s Run,” “A Rose for Emily,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “Cora Unashamed.”
Need a book for silent reading time? Like to read on your tablet or computer? Then this site has you in mind. Classic Reader is a searchable website offering over 3000 unabridged public domain texts. Search from the following categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Young Readers, Poetry, Shakespeare, Short Stories, Drama, Classical, or browse authors or titles. Free registration allows free access to download these primarily 19th and early 20th century works including such authors as Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe and even Abraham Lincoln. There are books for all ages, and biographies and pictures are available for some authors.
Newspapers are supposed to present unbiased information, but the truth is, news articles are often subtly biased.
This site explores various techniques that cause bias within news stories, including: Word Choice, Omissions, Limiting Debate, Story Framing, and Sources. Students read information, examples, and comics to learn about each of these techniques. They can also learn about social concerns that influence bias within the news. Finally, they can see these techniques within news articles and practice their new skills with activities such as Word Choice Buffet, Head-Up Headlines, and Image Bias Activities. Students need to learn to recognize bias in the world around them, even in the news.
Communication is important in everything we do, have your students try this fun, interactive site to learn about communicating via posters, newspapers, or comics. In the Poster section, they'll watch a movie trailer, learn the about the parts of a poster, and then create their own poster for the movie. In the Newspaper section, they'l watch a news broadcast, learn the parts of a newspaper, and create their own newspaper. In the Comics section, kids view three examples of comic strips, learn about the parts of a comic strip, and create their own comic strip. Projects can be previewed and printed when done.
Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.