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Topics - dunn10

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General Reading Links / Advanced Reading: Creating Imagery
« on: May 06, 2020, 10:12:13 PM »
I've used this article with advanced students in the past. I have them read the article for homework and highlight or take note of any of the unique methods or language the writer uses to create imagery or details within the story. During class, we have an open discussion about what the students think. Some common comments students make are the use of unique adjectives/ vocab, using -esque (dali-esque). Some questions to help guide the discussion are;

How would you describe the main character's personality? What in the text allowed you to form your opinion of his personality?

What feeling do you get when the author is describing the landscape?

What do you make of the writers questions and the main characters short answers? How does this Q&A help you conceptualize the main character? What are you learning about the main character?

Another idea I've had is to have the students write a short story based on the photos from the article (before reading the article). After they write their short story they can compare their story to the article. This activity could give the students a different perspective on their writing skills and identify some components they might want to develop for descriptive writing.

BBC Article The Dogged Old Man Of The Badlands. 

Intensive Reading / High Level ESL/EFL Learner
« on: March 10, 2020, 09:09:30 PM »
The Dogged Old Man of The Badlands by BBC journalist Chris Haslam can be used to introduce high level learners to descriptive writing. Students could take an intensive approach to the article by dissecting it. Students will use different colored highlighters to mark the different methods of description used by the journalist. In taking this intensive view of the article the students will see the different components that contribute to a descriptive writing.

Adjectives: blue
Word-play: green
metaphor: red
use of non-English language: yellow
units/numbers: purple

General Writing Resources / Short Reflective Writing Prompts
« on: March 10, 2020, 08:48:57 PM »
Story Corps offers a large collection of recorded stories that are short and thought provoking. In the past, I have used these audio stories as a prompt for students to write reflections in their journals. Many of the stories evoke an emotional or ethical response from the listener. Hence, the students often have thoughts that they can easily reply to. Depending on the story, Story Corps can be used for students from middle school to Adults. The learners would need to be higher intermediate or advanced in order to comprehend the stories.

Motivation / Before the Extensive Reading Begins
« on: March 01, 2020, 08:33:43 PM »
Children of all ages have preconceived ideas of different books and genres of books. If you have ever taught before, you know well, you will have some students moan and complain, as soon as you introduce the book to the class. From the very start of the book the student motivation is low. Even worse, their negativity can spread and lessen the motivation of the other students in the class.
 This is why I would not recommend introducing the text as a sudden announcement to the students. As the teacher, I would show a love and appreciation of the books and the book genres that will be used throughout the school year, long before the students ever realized they were in a reading class. I would like to share a few tips that I have learned from teaching.
 1. If you have a classroom that is yours, decorate it, better yet, plaster it. Are you going to read the Hobbit? put up movie posters of the Hobbit. If you were going to read Animal Farm, by George Orwell, consider some old government propaganda posters.
 2. If you don't have a classroom, get a tattoo of the book cover on your arm. Okay.... maybe a tattoo is a bit much. However, there are many clothing items that can show your enthusiasm for the books you will be reading. I have a coffee mug with famous lines from literature, and I have piqued my students interest several times, due to the mug; "Mr. Dunn why does your mug say "My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.""?
 3. Music can engage students and increase their interest. Especially if the book being read has been turned to a movie or was originally a screenplay. Simply by asking "do you want to hear the soundtrack to the Hobbit or to Star Wars?" 
Ultimately, when the teacher is enthusiastic about the book and reading, the students will often reciprocate that same enthusiasm, especially if you have time to build their interest. Teacher enthusiasm is essential for the initial motivation of the students.
 Please share any methods you have for engaging your studentsí interest before the reading begins.

The Hobbit stuff / Resources and Article
« on: February 05, 2020, 08:19:22 PM »
1) A nice brief article titled: Middle Earth in the Classroom: Studying J. R. R. Tolkien by Richard Roos. The article is nice in that it gives an overview of the various literary devices Tolkien utilizes. In particular, Roos focuses on the ballads that are found within the Hobbit, and brings to light how they can be understood by students. Overall, I would use this article to reflect and pull new information from the Hobbit to engage students thinking.

2) The Hobbit: How England inspired Tolkien's Middle Earth by Rumeana Jahangir Gives an overview of the various settings within the Hobbit and where they probably correspond to in England. A teacher could use this content to have their students fictionalize different places within their town/city. Students could see if they can properly identify the places their peers wrote about.

3) "The Hobbit" Full Cast Radio Drama by BBC Radio Group. I would consider using the audio of the Hobbit, for a guided reading during class time.

The Hobbit stuff / Guess Who the Hobbit
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:15:17 AM »

Guess Who based on Reading Text

Many of us have played the classic Guess Who game. For this game/activity students can create their own Guess Who game boards. The teacher can provide the students with a grid of 5x5 blank squares. As the students learn the descriptions of different characters within the book, they can draw the characters in each box (until they have 25). This activity will help students in remembering and identifying different characters, especially if there are numerous characters (such as the 13 dwarves in the Hobbit)

TO be continued

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