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October Classroom Connections

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Newsela Articles to Pair

I love Newsela for relevant, nonfiction text. Each article can be changed to accommodate reading levels from 2nd grade to high school. Articles can be printed in different Lexiles or students can create accounts and read online. This month’s articles are all related to language and translation.

Found in Translation

Learning a New Language Helps Birds Stay out of Danger

What is Language

Ya Selection: Persepolis

The DBC recommends using Part 1 of Persepolis in the classroom.

One of our young adult selections this month is diverse in that it is translated from French, but it’s also a graphic novel! This resource from is an excellent tool for helping high school students analyze the story using its unique format, while also providing students with the language necessary to discuss the layout and art of a graphic novel.

Picture Books Selections

All of our picture book selections this month lend themselves greatly to analyzing theme and character. In addition to theme and character, the follow lessons would be fun as well:

Me Tall, You Small - This book is great for comparing and contrasting point of view (a child to an adult).

The World is a Second - This book would be an excellent way to bring in current events and examine what major events are happening in different parts of the world TODAY. Would also be a great discussion starter on perspective.

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy - This book would be a fun to introduce adjectives.

Helping English Language Learners learn Idioms

As a middle school teacher, I’ve learned that one of the hardest parts of language for a student to learn in English are idioms. I dedicate every October to teaching idioms and we do so by using an interactive whiteboard! Each day, there is a new idiom and definition on the board with an accompanying question. Students have the opportunity during bell work or independent work time to answer the question on the whiteboard.

I also provide the following books as references (the kids LOVE them):

There’s a Front in my Throat

In a Pickle