Monday, May 27, 2013

Ender's Game - Perfect Timing

 Ender's Game the movie is coming out this November. This is a book I teach in my Humanities class because it draws in the male readers, and it's a big hit with science fiction and fantasy fans, and also those who don't normally appreciate this genre (including me!).

The characters and themes in Ender's Game are classic and compelling, making this novel a good choice any year, but since the movie will generate excitement, using it this fall in the classroom makes sense. You could also assign it or suggest it for summer reading.

A movie/book comparison is perfect for the common core standards that ask for comparisons between books and other mediums. (CCS RL; R17)

 My current class is about 1/3 of the way through the novel. I showed them the trailer for the movie, and the discussion afterward was amazing. I can't wait until they've read the whole book, then watched the movie. Here is the trailer:

I have heard that the reason is took so long for Ender's Game to be made into a movie was because Orson Scott Card didn't want to give up creative control, and he wanted the integrity of his story and characters to stand. Let's hope he got what he wanted with this film. So often a movie is far removed from its roots, and usually not for the better. I have high hopes for this one.

If you choose to teach Ender's Game, I've put together a packet you might be interested in. It's got quizzes, discussion questions, graphic organizers, etc....everything I use in my classroom. Click on the image to get to the packet.  It will save you a lot of preparation time!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Calming the Chaos

I like to use engaging, small group activities toward the end of the year as opposed to individual work. Let's face it - the students have ants in their pants and engaging socially in a worthwhile activity can settle things down. Here's an activity that I can't take credit for creating, but have been using for a few years. I've found it several places on the internet, and I can't nail down the original creator, so if you know who it is (or if it's you!) please let me know so I can give credit. It's become a favorite, and I look forward to it every year.

The exercise is meant to help students understand that although we may all read the same text, we all react differently, based on our experience, culture, perceptions, emotions etc...Pass out Pablo Neruda's "Ode to My Socks" (link here), divide the students into groups of three or four, and pass out paper and markers. Have the group read the poem, and then create an artistic rendition of the socks. Post each piece of art on the board and have the groups explain why they made the decisions they made and which images spoke to them. A great discussion generator!

FREEBIE! Here is a link to an SQ3R note-taking freebie that will help your students study their textbooks for finals. 
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