Reading

Looking for ways to teach critical thinking skills? Here are ways to use propaganda to help students practice. Free lesson plan included.

Propaganda and Critical Thinking

Propaganda surrounds us. And teaching our students to be critical thinkers is more important than ever.  One (fun!) way to do this is to teach about how propaganda is used in popular culture.  Examples are everywhere! Let’s get started: Start with propaganda they know Just by asking students to match the company and jingle or […] Read more…

How to run successful book talks

Book Talks in Middle School

Books talks are a great way to invigorate reading in your classroom.  Students enjoy talking about the books they’re reading, and this can create a reading “buzz” in your class. Here are the steps to creating successful book talks with your students: What are book talks? Before you launch into them, what are they? Book […] Read more…

Need mentor texts to help your students understand memoir writing? Here is a list of 13 texts you can share to get them started.

How to use memoirs as mentor texts

Memoirs mentor texts are perfect for teaching students this genre. The perfect place to start when you want them to write their own memoirs. What is a memoir? It’s important to understand the definition of a memoir. The root of the word sounds like “memory,” and that helps students understand what it is: The personal […] Read more…

Host a reading challenge with your students. Whether they read 4 or 40 books, you'll find tips here that will help you run a successful reading challenge.

15 Tips for a Reading Challenge

Ready to host a reading challenge with your class?  Whether you want your students to read 4 or 40 books this year, here are some ideas that will help you be successful. The Problem with a Reading Challenge It’s no secret that middle school students aren’t spending as much time reading as they are on […] Read more…

dystopia book clubs

7 Steps to Create Dystopia Literature Book Clubs

Ready to start using dystopia literature in your book clubs? Students LOVE it!  From The Hunger Games and beyond…the genre is popular! That’s why it is a perfect match for your book clubs. What are the best ways to get started? Let’s dig in: Students can’t seem to get enough of them, and there are so many great […] Read more…

dystopia novels that students will love

11 Dystopian Novels for Your Middle School Students

Dystopian literature remains popular with middle school students… and they can’t seem to get enough of this genre.  Why not use these popular titles to run your literature groups or reading challenges? Here’s how: Here are: eleven sure dystopian novels that your students will enjoy reading, discussing, debating, and analyzing! well-known and lesser-known titles for […] Read more…

classic texts for middle school students

5 Classic Books for Middle Schoolers

What’s a “classic” piece of literature?  Mark Twain defined it as “something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Those words might ring true when you sit down to read War and Peace  or Moby Dick, but what about middle school classics? Modern Classic Novels in Middle School A classic includes enduring themes, relatable […] Read more…

historical novels for middle school

5 Historical Fiction Titles for Middle Schoolers

How do you use historical fiction? If you’re in a self-contained classroom, using historical fiction is a natural connection with your social studies content.  It is an awesome way to build background knowledge and help students make strong connections. But what about me? I don’t teach social studies.  I do know what our social studies […] Read more…

Series students will love

5 Series With Characters Your Students will Love

There are so many wonderful series written for middle schoolers. Here are some favorites: Series are important business when it comes to keeping middle school students reading.  They are also great to add to your literature circle rotation since you can offer a “gateway” book. Reluctant readers love them because they are easy to slip […] Read more…

nonfiction for middle school

Nonfiction for Middle School

We all know the issues with middle school and reading.  Weaknesses in reading skills can take a toll on student achievement as we ask and expect them to read more — both in volume and depth.   But nonfiction is so tempting, so tantalizing, so dramatic…just dare your reluctant readers not to pick up a […] Read more…

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