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Topics - agreenf2

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Comics are a great way to help students build literacy, particularly for students that are less interested in the types of materials that are presented in typical reading and writing classes.

The website below provides some ways that comics help build literacy along with some activities to help students read comic books and build literacy through the use of comic books. Below I have also listed a few of my own suggestions to add to these suggestions.

Drawing Inferences

The article mentions that in comic books readers are expected to draw inferences about what has happened between each picture. For this activity, teachers should choose two consecutive comic squares between which some time has elapsed. Teachers should then instruct students to draw comic books squares or write a a brief description of what has happened between the two consecutive squares.Descriptive Writing and/or Genre AnalysisTeachers can instruct students to write a comic in prose. In other words, the students looks at the comic and then uses descriptive writing techniques to write the story. The following day the teacher and students could talk about the two different styles of literature and what makes each one effective and how the mode of a text effects the narrative. Style
For more advanced students, teachers could encourage students to pay attention to individual authors' styles both in drawing and in writing. After reading several authors, the teacher could have students try to identify pictures and dialogues by author. This can help them be more aware of their own style in their writing as well.

Other thought: Also to get students reading, many comics called webtoons are available on phones via easy to use apps. They are very popular in East Asia, but are now available in English as well.( [size=78%][/size]) They are a great way for learners to practice reading in another language without spending a long amount of time. Pictures also help when a learner does not have strong vocabulary skills.  And unlike novels, many webtoons use more colloquial forms of speech, which students may not encounter frequently in the classroom.

This is a syllabus that I created for an undergrad writing class adopted from one of the U of I's syllabi to include a focus on writing in the disciplines. (I made this for a job application  :D .) It include a project that I created to help students learn more about writing styles within a discipline (hopefully their major). In this project, students must interview a teacher within their discipline or a discipline in which they have interest. They then use summary and paraphrasing skills that they have learned in the class to write a report on this interview. This is followed by a day in which all the students have a group discussion about writing styles in their disciplines to take note of some of the differences that occur in writing styles.

As almost any writing teacher knows, writing is an integral part of many people's daily lives and therefore, to view writing as something that should solely be taught and practiced in writing class. Writing across the curriculum is a movement that promotes the teaching and the use of writing to learn in all areas of education. Often these types of programs provide support to teachers who are not writing teachers and aid them in finding new ways in which they can use writing in their class to promote students learning. This movement has been focused mostly on K-12 classrooms, but that does not mean it couldn't apply to higher level students as well.  The Writing Across the Curriculum Clearing House website provides a lot of information and answers for teachers who want to learn more about writing across the curriculum and how they can implement writing in their own classes. It also provides long list of helpful links for more material and information about writing across the curriculum.

One of the most frustrating things for language learners who already love to read or even for ones that don't is not being to understand enough words in the text. To read the books that you really want to read, you either have to look up so many words that the reading process becomes very tedious or you have to accept the fact that you will not understand the story well. Or finally you could just look for a graded read, which may not always be the most exciting thing to read.

I think one viable option for solving this dilemma (one that I practice frequently myself) is reading books that you have already read in your first language and know the story well. For example, my knowledge of vocabulary in Korean is low, far too low for me to read a novel even a young adult's novel comfortable. Therefore, I have elected to reread Harry Potter in Korean. Since I know the story well, I can read without having to look up all the words I don't know and still understand what is happening. I also even pick up new words as I read.

This may seems like a one person example, but I think it fits well with what research states about schema helping people comprehend reading better.
If I had chosen to read a book that I was unfamiliar with and particularly one from Korean culture. I would be fighting against more things than just the language. I would be struggling with a new story and new storytelling conventions. Rereading can help focus on just the language.

Some ideas for implementing this as teachers:

Choose a very popular book that most students would have read in the past.

Have students watch a movie before they read the book (oh the horror! :o ). This could provide motivation to read the book and help with understanding. This also could lead to interesting discussions about books vs. movies and could tie into discussion of what is important to read and what is not description vs. narrative.

In EFL setting, assign students to read a book, article or story in their own language first. Then have them read it again in the language they are learning. This could lead to great discussion about translations, storytelling conventions, and writing structure.

Getting to Know You Activities / A Long List of Icebreakers
« on: March 12, 2020, 11:40:48 PM »
Introduction Hot Potato
Explain that whoever has the ball gets to ask a question and toss the ball to a classmate, who answers the question about themselves. For example, if you start with the ball you could ask "What is your favorite movie?" and toss the ball to whomever you want to answer. After answering, the second student asks a question and throws the ball to another classmate.

Establish a collaborative, cooperative learning environment on the first day of school with Marooned. Place students into groups of five and tell them that they are stranded on a deserted island. Explain that they must select five items from their personal belongings to help them survive and that each member of their group must contribute one thing. Give them about ten minutes to dig through their book bags, purses, or pockets to select necessary items. Then, have each group stand and explain what they selected and how each object is essential to their survival.

Two Truths and a Lie
Here’s any easy way to do that: once gathered, have everyone come up with two things that are true about themselves and another thing that's false. Then have each person present what they came up with.
Everyone tries to guess the right answer, which leads to stories about past life experiences and facilitates engaging and enjoyable conversation.
Find 10 things in common
Task groups with finding 10 things that all of them share in common (besides the obvious, e.g., that they are human). You might find out that a bizarre number of employees have all been to Keokuk, Iowa even though your office is based on the West Coast.

Split up your employees into groups (or pairs if you have a small company).
Have each person write down something interesting they've done on a note card (e.g. skydiving, have lived in ten different states, drank a gallon of milk in five minutes — the sillier the better).
Put the note cards into a hat, give it a nice shake, and have each person drawn a note card they will then read aloud.
The reader must then try to guess "who done it" and why they came to that conclusion.

The Personality Quiz Icebreaker
Make sure everyone has their smartphones. (We doubt this will be a problem.) Send everyone a link to a personality quiz you think they would like. Since there are probably over a million quizzes circulating, we know there will be one to pique your interest.
Everyone can take the quiz and then reveal their results to the group. Have everyone explain why they agree or disagree with the results.

The Movie Pitch Icebreaker
Split people into groups and have each group come up with a movie they want to make. Everyone should have a short pitch prepared within 10 minutes. (This film is The Avengers meets My Little Pony.)
Let everyone make their pitch, and then have all meeting attendees vote on which idea deserves “funding.” The winners won’t immediately move to pre-production, but they might get a healthy snack for their creativity.

Speed “Dating” Icebreaker
Have everyone sit near people they don’t work with. Tell everyone to look to their right and announce that they’ll be spending the next 5 minutes speed networking with the person next to them. The goal: 5 conversations in 5 minutes. Set a timer; every time the buzzer goes off, it’s time for people to find a new conversational partner.

The Instagram Icebreaker
To conduct this idea from William Joseph, just give employees a few minutes to scroll through their Instagram photos and pick a snapshot they want to share with the group. They can share the photo and explain why they picked it. This will help some personality shine through, especially if people on your team need to get to know each other. If you were looking for some team icebreakers – this would be the one.

The Friendly Debate Icebreaker
Use this student-centric icebreaker idea from the Cult of Pedagogy in your next meeting.
Start out by posing a harmless question that prompts people to choose a side. Here are some examples:
•   Which food is better: pizza or tacos?
•   Would you rather go on a hike or to a movie?
•   What skill is more valuable: creativity or logic?
•   Which is worse: being bored or being too busy?
Have everyone physically divide into sides—pro pizza to the right; pro taco to the left. Let all the like-minded people discuss the virtues of their position for awhile, and then have a representative try to sell the other side of the room.
This will give everyone a chance to see things from different perspectives. It will open everyone’s minds for a productive meeting.

Never Have I Ever
Everyone holds up five fingers. Students take turns saying one thing that they have not done. For example, I have never gone skiing. Any student who has done the activity (who has gone skiing) puts one finger down. Whoever puts down all their fingers is out.
Who am I?

Place a Post-It note with the name of a famous person on the forehead of each person. Everyone must discover the name of the person on their forehead by asking their classmates yes/no questions.

What’s Your Theme Song?
Ask the team to imagine they’re in a movie. What song would play when they walk into a scene? Would it be a rousing number like in Rocky or maybe something more somber? You can use that information throughout the project to, say, play music when a milestone has been completed.

Paper Airplane Game
I love this icebreaker because it is more hands-on. Pass out different colored sheets of paper to each person attending the meeting. Then ask everyone to write an interesting fact about themselves on the piece of paper and fold it into a paper airplane. Then everyone launches their paper airplane to somewhere around the room. Then everyone retrieves one of the paper airplanes, reads the fact, and guesses whose paper airplane they got. It’s fun to guess and you learn new things about each other.

As someone who regularly reads in a second language, I think one of the most difficulty parts of reading in a second language is that it is very time consuming. Particularly, when I started reading in Spanish for the first time, I thought that I had to look up every word that I didn't know. This made reading take an extraordinarily long time, and even though I loved to read in my first language, English, I disliked reading in my second language.

One during reading activity that could help students is introducing them to descriptive language, and as they read, instruct them to underline the descriptive portions of the book. Tell them that these are the portions they can skim and do not have to fully understand in order to understand the story line.

One way to introduce this activity may be to give half of the students a story without the descriptive portions and the other half of the students a story with only the descriptive paragraphs. Ask each group of students whether they can tell the story. Only the students without the descriptions should be able to tell the story. Then students could analyze the descriptive portions to find the characteristics of these passages. The teacher could then teach students how to skim these portions of the text.

This could the be followed by the during reading activity where students read a novel of their choice, underlining and skimming the descriptive parts and carefully reading the action line of the story.

Descriptive Writing / Telephone Pictionary
« on: March 12, 2020, 10:28:33 PM »
This is a game that works well for beginning writers, but could also be modified for my advanced writers. This would be a good activity to follow a short lesson on descriptive writing. It could also be modified to be used with certain grammar features such as adjectives, present tense or past tense verbs.

Before starting the game, the teacher should prepare small booklets with the same number of papers in them as the number of students there are in the class.

First, have students write a sentence description of something, someone, or some event. If the students are more advanced, they could write a paragraph.

The students should then pass their booklet to the next student, who must draw a picture of the description that the previous student wrote.

The booklet is then passed to the next student, who can only see the page with picture. This student must write a descriptive sentence or paragraph about the picture they see.

The booklet continues to travel around the class until it reaches the original author. The original author can then see how the message has changed, which is usually quite fun!

I have used this activity with elementary and middle school students in Korea. It works really well with groups of students who like to draw. Students have fun with the drawing and have a chance to practice writing. The teacher should make sure though that students are actually fully engaged in the writing portion because they can get caught up with the drawing. One suggestion I would make to help would be to set a timer and only allow a certain time to draw and require them to write a certain amount of time.

The Hobbit stuff / An Academic Journal Devoted to.... Tolkien!
« on: February 05, 2020, 11:05:59 PM »

One article was just not enough! Here is a link to a whole devoted to Tolkien! This journal has many interesting article about themes to explore in Tolkien's work. I was particularly drawn to an article called The Shell-shocked Hobbit: The First World War and Tolkien's Trauma of the Rings. (Love the title!) This article looks at the role that the author things Tolkien's World War 1 experience played in LOTR, particularly in Frodo's PTSD. I was originally just going to post this article, but it is more about LOTR. Instead, there is this whole amazing site with tons of lit crit articles on all things Tolkien!

The Hobbit stuff / The Tolkein Library
« on: February 05, 2020, 10:48:32 PM »
Another great source for background information. This site even has a very interesting recording of an interview with Tolkien (not recommended for students! Very difficult to understand! but a transcript is provided). I think that teachers could find this site very helpful to find background information. It has lots of information about Tolkien research. Sad news though- it doesn't look like it has been updated since 2015 :'(

The Hobbit stuff / The Tolkien Society
« on: February 05, 2020, 10:02:25 PM »
Where better to look for information about the author than his own society? This website had a lot of information about Tolkien himself that could serve as good background for the book as well as some ideas for teaching Tolkien. Teachers could also have students participate in events such as Tolkien Reading Day on March 25th, the fall of Sauron. Extra credit points for students who join the society!

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