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September Classroom Connections

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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. 

https://newsela.com/read/black-panther-women/id/40896/

https://newsela.com/read/girl-scout-plastic-straws/id/44542/

https://newsela.com/units/214982/subtopics/215069/text-sets/215160

K-2 - Picture Book Selections

This month's picture books will offer the perfect starting point in nonfiction for K-2 students. The texts are short, accessible, and paired with beautiful illustrations throughout. As a teacher, I might choose a biography a day or per week to read aloud with my students and discuss. This would be a great opportunity for students to brainstorm traits to describe a person and practice explaining why they chose that trait (evidence!). Depending on the grade, students could also draw a picture of the woman and what makes her famous. It might be fun to keep a journal of all the strong women your class learns about. 

One of our members, Jeanell from @booksbeyondthenest, had a great idea to have students write one thing they learned after the read aloud on a post-it note and create a class collage for each woman. 

3-8 - Picture Book Selections

Claim and Evidence Acrostic Poem - I shared this activity last year, but it's one of my FAVORITES and works perfectly with the biographical reads this month. Students will choose one influential woman from the DBC picture books and create an acrostic poem for that woman. Students then provide evidence for each word/phrase they chose. Depending on the grade, you can adjust the amount of evidence needed to support the claim. 

High School - YA Selection: The Radical Element

Hallelujah for a book that portrays women as the heroine of a history story! While each story is fictional, they are each set during a historical time and feature the story of a fictional strong woman. What a great opportunity for students to research and/or read full biographies of real WOMEN during that time.

If you can get your hands on enough copies of the The Radical Element, it would be perfect for a lit circle option. Students could choose their favorite short story and create a one pager or write a research paper. If you're unfamiliar with a one pager, they are excellent ways for students to show deeper understanding of a text while also being creative. Using only 1 piece of paper, students decorate the page with words, pictures, and quotations to represent the theme, character's qualities, important quotes, elements of plot, etc. The key to a one pager is that there is very little blank space. A simple google search will give you TONS of inspiration. 

Speaking of rewriting history to include women, check out this article: 

http://time.com/4248910/women-in-history/?utm_source=time.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=social-button-sharing

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

This book is PERFECT for introducing the Supreme Court to your students. This could be used in any classroom from Kindergarten all the way through high school! Not only does it offer an opportunity to pair with nonfiction, this beautiful picture book also offers so much more.

Mini lessons could include:

  • analyzing the word choice the illustrator put in large, colorful font
  • discussing typography and how it was used effectively in the book
  • analyzing the illustration choices by the illustrator and how they convey meaning 

Graffiti Wall

I LOVE Graffiti walls! They build students' awareness of what is MOST important and provide positive messages in the classroom. Plus, kids love to use Sharpies, don't they!? A Graffiti Wall is simple to set up: get black construction paper and hang it up! I use gold and silver Sharpies on mine. Students are required to submit a quote and why they find it meaningful. I then approve and allow them to write the quote on the wall during independent time. How beautiful will a wall of quotes from strong women be?!