Fun Fall Finds Blog Hop and Giveaway
Sometimes it seems as though the elementary teachers have all the fun when it comes to celebrating holidays and seasons. However, I know my high school students are just as excited for apple stickers, monsters, and candy as my own third grader. Secondary teachers can join in the holiday fun too, and here are three ways to do that in your classroom.
1) Organize your texts to coincide with the seasons
Over the past six years at my current position, I have worked to make my sequence of texts in an order that works for my students and makes sense. I now teach British Literature backwards starting with modern literature and ending with Beowulf. Through this process I was able to arrange my texts to coincide with the seasons and holidays, so we now read Frankenstein during October. This allows plentiful opportunities to tie our classwork into the events surrounding Halloween including Frankenstein Movies, short stories, history, and non fiction works.
In my American Literature classes I now use The Crucible as our first common text, which we work through in October. I have created a full set of products to go along with this unit.
Just the thought of witches and evil magic is enough to get most of my students engaged in the text.
2) Hero Writing Assignment
When I find that I have students that are in need of some basic essay skills, I always turn to my Hero Writing Assignment. This assignment is perfect for Halloween season because of all the super heroes that are plastered on so many items.
It also works well for Thanksgiving season because students can choose to write about a hero in their own life. I always start with a Traits of a Hero Graphic organizer to get students started.
The essay itself can focus on any essay skill that the students need. This year it for my students it is thesis writing and adding evidence. Students then develop an essay in which they detail why the person or character they chose to write about is a hero.
3) Throw a holiday event as a reward
Our school is working towards fully implementing PBIS. One of the pieces we are still working on is rewards for our classrooms, grade levels, and school. One of the rewards that I am currently trying out is themed parties as a reward for completion of a unit of study. As I said above, I plan my texts and writing assignments out to match the holidays and seasons; this allows me to tie in holiday event rewards with my texts and writing assignments.
Check out how I am doing this for my Frankenstein Halloween Party
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