For all teachers of literature and reading, PBS is preparing a series called The Great American Read that will give us a sense of the books that Americans young and old love. There are a lot of great, reading-oriented images that you can peruse with your class on the website. You can also participate in the series by having your class vote for their favorite books from the list starting May 22. This is a great way to encourage independent and in-depth reading of great works.
Have your students expressed an interest in the new movie Black Panther? Not only is the movie a great action movie, but there are many curriculum connections to be made particularly at the middle levels for World History, Geography, Social Studies, Economics, and Literature. A teacher from the Chicago Public Schools (Tess Raser) created this set of lesson plans and activities for middle school students to go along with a viewing of Black Panther. If you have students who have been engaged in the themes and topics brought up in the movie, I highly encourage you to look at and adapt these resources for your use. Here's an article in EdWeek about Raser's plans and the importance of connecting cultural moments to our students' lives and the daily experience of the classroom.
Check out this link to the PBS POV ("Point of View") website devoted to films relevant for Black History Month. Each film contains a viewing guide and lesson plans appropriate for middle school and high school students. If you are an English Language Arts, Humanities, Social Studies, or Homeroom teacher at the middle or high school level looking for ways to engage your students during Black History Month, these documentaries and films may be a great resources for you.
Here's a recently posted article from the "Shanahan on Literacy" blog about what to do when going through the "growing pains" of a new literacy series. Several of our schools have considered or recently adopted new literacy programs. This question-and-answer post will help you consider some questions related to the tensions between whole group and small group literacy instruction, as well as what it takes to find balance and manage the change of adopting a new literacy program.
EdWeek put together the following short suggestions as quick interventions (that cost little-to-nothing) that you could use to re-engage students in your school community.
News and Resources
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