Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Twain’s Satire in “Advice to Youth” Speech

    on Aug 3, 15 • in Featured, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Middle School • with Comments

    Mark Twain

    Students have  regular exposure to forms of mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, or caricature on social media, on TV, on film, or Youtube, yet many still do not understand satire. Despite living in an atmosphere saturated 24/7 with “humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule that exposes and criticizes people’s stupidity or vices,” when students read satire, they say they just don’t “get it.” Perhaps teachers help improve student understanding with lessons on satire that have students read the speech “Advice to Youth”  by Mark Twain (1905). This speech was given by Twain (Samuel Clemens) on the occasion of his 7oth birthday, and is an example of a great short literary

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  • Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech-“the Word is with Men”

    on Jul 31, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    John Steinbeck & his Nobel

    When American authors are studied in the secondary English Language Arts classroom for their short stories and their novels, John Steinbeck is usually featured. Students, however, may not have read a speech he penned or listened to him read these words aloud. There is such a speech that allows students this opportunity. Steinbeck was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature for his “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.” Steinbeck had been nominated numerous times for his body of work: Of Mice and Men (1937),The Red Pony (1945), The

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  • Ursula Le Guin’s Speech as Literary Informational Text

    on Jul 29, 15 • in Current Events in Education, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    Ursula Le Guin

    Science fiction and fantasy are among the most popular genres in both film and book publishing, but they are often underrepresented in the English Language Arts offerings in the secondary classroom.  There are a few exceptions, and on occasion, an Ursula Le Guin short story such as “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973) may be included in an anthology. Students who discover Le Guin on their own may be familiar with her novels and novel series: The Lathe of Heaven, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, or  The Dispossessed Le Guin uses science fiction and fantasy

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  • Give Students What They Want to Read for Reading Practice

    on Jul 27, 15 • in Current Events in Education, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Middle School • with Comments

    Give Students What They Want to Read for

    The middle school or high school classroom library can be an important tool in making students life-long readers, but how to choose what goes into a classroom library for independent reading? Providing the books that student want to read is different than pre-selecting books that students should read. Yes, educators believe that students should read selections from the literary canon, for example, those written by Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and the Brontë sisters. Students should read titles such as The Crucible, Tom Sawyer, and The Odyssey. These selections from the literary canon are often assigned in middle or high school classes, but these are not the only titles that

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  • Engaging Students In Spelling List Studying

    on Jul 24, 15 • in Elementary Classrooms, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Kindergarten, Literacy, Parents • with Comments

    Stewart the Spelling Minion

    I am proud to announce that Stewart the Spelling Minion will join our classroom this year. I’ve already introduced Gilligan in a previous piece, who helps with social studies retention. Gus the Gator used to be part of our class and travelled around with students, helping them with their journaling, sentence structure and grammar. Stewart the Minion will be our spelling helper this year. Stewart will travel home with a different student each day, as encouragement with spelling words. Since I teach a multi-level classroom, my younger kids will focus on sentences about Stewart the

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