The Hate U Give

Ever since I finished The Hate U Give, I’ve been meaning to write a post about it. This is an important novel recommended for 8th graders through adults. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, is a complex, relevant novel about 16-year-old Starr Carter who is living in two worlds…her home neighborhood of Garden Heights (mostly Black) and her school neighborhood at Williamson Prep (mostly White). Mimicking contemporary society, Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of unarmed Khalil, her childhood friend, by a white police officer. The media explodes however both the police and journalists lack the information necessary to give an honest portrayal of Khalil. Starr needs to decide if and how she will stand up against the systemic racism present in her life. Grounded in family, friendship, reality, humor, and enjoyable nods to Harry Potter, Angie Thomas gives readers an intimate look into an all-too-familiar reality for far-too-many Americans. Read the book and check out a few interviews with the author: NPR Interview School Library Journal Interview HarperStacks Interview The Booklist Reader After reading, I used TeachingBooks to see the Lexile level and what other resources were available to connect to the text. It may or may not surprise you to learn […]

Learning about the counties within Minnesota

As a native of Minnesota, I’m always interested in learning more about my home state. It was this that led me to create a new project for middle and junior high students (or younger if you want a challenge). Through a written report, poster, presentation, or brochure, your students will enjoy learning about Minnesota’s 87 counties via this new PBA (project-based assessment) and learning guide (found via the menu above). This PBA is multi-disciplinary as it involves reading, researching, writing, about a Minnesota county (and therefore includes social studies). Dependent on your needs and interests this project can easily be worked on independently or in a group setting. Each county has been formatted into the form of a bookmark.Simply print these pages and cut (there are four per page). To cut down on total pages, the listing of all 87 counties (designed to be the back of all bookmarks) precedes the individual pages. After learners have selected their county (via taking a bookmark or you have handed one to them), they will need to locate where their county is in the state of Minnesota. Have a Minnesota county map available at this time. You will see through the learner handout […]

Vocabulary Resources

I decided to post several resources I’ve made to assist in student’s learning of vocabulary. I’ll begin with Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Understanding by Marilee Sprenger. This became a useful book to me to think about ways to teach the words necessary in order for students to understand what was required of them. From this book, I formatted the synonyms, definitions, and jingles of the words used into small tables. This format allowed me to print and post the words in a more useful manner. The tables allowed me to create “lift the flap” cards to provide for better small group and individual learning. Plus, these tables provided a quick way to  assess student learning. They are available in the links below. The second resource within this post is to the cube vocabulary game. I feel this is a great compliment to the type of learning focused on in Sprenger’s book and simply a fun game overall. It would be a great addition to a center as well as partner or group learning. I would recommend printing on cardstock. Third is the vocabulary booklet. This 1/2 page booklet is designed for students to […]

Quality Resource: NewseumED

At least twice a month I will be posting about quality resources that I have either used or am interesting in using in the future related to recent posts. This is the first and features resources from the Newseum! It correlates with my previous post on The Fledgling. If you are looking for ways to enhance your instruction in history, media literacy, and civics, check out NewseumED! There are FREE learning tools on media literacy and our First Amendment freedoms for students in grade three through adults. As soon as you complete your free registration, all materials are ready and waiting to assist your instruction within five categories: ED Tools This section allows you to search hundreds of standards-aligned lesson plans, artifacts, case studies and more that bring the Newseum’s content and collection to you. ED Classes & Training This section helps you find information about free standards-aligned workshops for students visiting the Newseum, plus virtual classes, professional development for teachers and adult team building programs. (most of this section requires you to be in or planning to visit Washington, D.C.) ED Collections This section allows you to explore important topics in-depth using primary sources, artifacts from the Newseum’s collection and interactive learning tools. ED Ideas […]