Mash Up March: To Kill a Mockingbird Alternative Assessment Playlist

This month I have been mashing a few ideas and technology tools to share with you different ways to present information and for students to showcase their learning. I have been playing with hyperdocs and playlists a lot this year and have produced a few as choice menus and game boards to help guide my students through a reading or writing unit. Hyperdocs are digital learning experiences where students use technology to create, communicate, and think critically about learning and understanding. Playlists are synonymous with hyperdocs and offer students the opportunity “to Engage • Explore • Explain • Apply • Share • Reflect • Extend the learning.” 

With these ideas in mind, I decided to offer my students a summative assessment choice for our reading of To Kill A Mockingbird. Students can either write an essay in class about their reading and understanding of the text OR complete the game board with ten smaller assessments to showcase their reading and learning. Below is the hyperdoc that includes students creating videos, writing short responses, making text to text connections. Students are utilizing Google Docs, Google Slides, iMovie, Edpuzzle, and Google Forms.


So, how are you going to mash up your lessons and assessments so that students are utilizing technology in thoughtful ways to showcase their learning?



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Mash Up March: Genius, Google Stop Motion Animations, & Screencasts

Kukimbia means running in Swahili. Kukimbia is also the name of a documentary directed by Spencer MacDonald and Eva Verbeek showcasing the dedication and culture of three Kenyan runners:

Paul Koech
Specialty: 3000 meters steeplechase
2004 Olympic bronze medalist
Three-time winner IAAF Diamond League
Personal Best of 7:54.31 minutes – third fastest of all-time

Micah Chemos
Specialty: 3000 meters steeplechase
2013 World Championships gold medalist
Four-time winner IAAF Diamond League

Leonard Komon
Specialty: long-distance road race
10K & 15K World Record Holder
Fastest half marathon debut ever

<p><a href=”″>KUKIMBIA: A Journey Through Kenyan Running Culture</a> from <a href=””>Ambedo</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What’s Your Vision? In the future what do you want to be? These two questions are asked of the runners presented in the documentary, and are also questions posed to viewers. The documentary showcases perseverance and dedication. It juxtaposes the landscape of Africa, animals in the wild, starry night skies, and lush greenery against the villages, people, and daily life for the runners. The colors throughout the films, the types of shots, transitions, symbolic pictures against the voice overs and music help to convey ideas about what makes the Kenyan running culture an international success.

This documentary gave me the idea to have my own students choose a visionary they are inspired by: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Coco Chanel, J.K. Rowling, Martin Luther King, Jr., Walt Disney, Taylor Swift, Malala, Gandhi, Shawn White. Once students choose a person they deem a genius and visionary, they will research to find out more about them, their education, their inspiration, telling quotes, and accomplishments.

Based on the information gathered on the biography note-taking organizer, students create a Google stop motion animation movie showcasing this person, this genius. To make animated movies in Google Slides, students make multiple slides and incorporate .gifs on the slides.

The following directions to making a Google Slides stop motion animation are from Eric Curts, Google Innovator and author of the blog Control Alt Achieve.

  1. Create your Google Slideshow as normal.
  2. Insert images, shapes, text, and other items as needed.
  3. To save time, make copies of slides and make small changes to the items on each slide to simulate movement.
  4. To make certain slides last longer, make multiple copies of the slide.
  5. When done, use “Publish to the web” option to get playable link for your slideshow.
  6. Adjust the “Publish to the web” link to shorten the time between the slides to make them appear animated (from 3000 to 2000 or 1000 – depending on which speed which works best).
  7. Share the link with others to view!

After students create their biographical Google Slides stop motion animation, students write a script to add a voice over describing the key quotes and accounts of this visionary. Using a screencasting tool like Screencast-O-Matic, students can blend their stop motion animation with their voice overs and musical interludes. Once the videos are completed post online to share with others.

Based on your content area, grade level, or unit of study, this activity can be adapted and revised to best meet student needs. This is a great activity to use as an introduction to Genius Hour and Passion Projects. Or can be completed for a biography projects for history, science, mathematics, or side quest about great writers. Teachers can create a checklist of items students should include in their video including a key quote, symbolic images, and music to convey the theme. Viewing Kukimbia with students can lead to a discussion how filmmakers use specific craft moves to support their purpose and message before identifying the project requirements.



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Mash Up March: The Anatomy of a Scene, Booksnaps, Screencasts, and Flipgrid

Each blog post this March I will mash up a few apps and technology tools to with teaching ideas that promote reading and writing. This week I am am blending #Booksnaps, Google Slides, screencasting and Flipgrid for a close reading activity.

The New York Times has a series online, Anatomy of a Scene, where the director of a current film describes and dissects for viewers a scene from his or her movie. A clip from the movie is shown while the a voice over of the director describes the setting, actions, and craft moves. All these elements together convey the story and the director’s purpose. Check out this one Anatomy of a Scene for the Black Panther.

To have the director or writer describe the choices he or she made allows the viewer and reader to learn about craft, structure, and author’s purpose.  Essentially these are videos showcasing a close readings with the director articulating his or her intentions as a storyteller. Similarly, when we ask students to closely read the text, we are asking them to dissect the author’s moves and intentions. Imagine if students were to create their own “anatomy of a scene” from a text like The Great Gatsby or George Orwell’s 1984.

To do this, students first create #BookSnaps – snapshots of reading responses, connections, questions, and reflections using Snapchat or Bitmojis, and Google Drawings. Created by Tara M. Martin, these are great ways for students to synthesize their reading and showcase their thinking while reading. To learn more how to create a #Booksnap, check out Tara’s blog post Snapping for Learning. When my students are creating their #Booksnaps they create a Google Slide Deck to showcase all their snaps documenting their reading.

Then, Tara gave me an awesome idea, what if students Screencast their #BookSnaps and describe highlight’s of their reading using a screen casting tool like Screencast-o-Matic?Check out how Tara uses the Screencast #Booksnaps for Learning in her Flipgrid video. When students are describing their #Booksnaps and close reading they might describe what the scene is about, the setting and the mood, the key characters and symbols. Students can identify the literacy devices, structure and author’s purpose. They might use this Anatomy of a Scene for Harry Potter as a model for their own close reading scenes.

Once the projects are complete students can upload their screencast videos of anatomy of a scene and close reading to Flipgrid for the rest of the class to view and share responses.

I cannot wait to share the Close Reading Scenes my students are currently creating.

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Hook ’em First: Best Suggestions for Walk-In or Do Now Activities

I recently sat down with Larry Ferlazzo, Nancy Sulla, and Matthew Homrich-Knieling to discuss the best suggestions for walk in and do-now activities. We are talking about the academic work before the bell rings and the teacher’s mini-lesson.

You can listen to our conversation from Larry’s podcast Classroom Q & A on BAM Radio here.

There is no one do now or hook that works for all teachers and students. Nancy spoke about offering choice activities in the learner active classroom. And choices for teachers and students are important to personalize learning for the diverse students in our classrooms. I tend to change up the hooks in my classroom so no one activity is the same. I also like the idea of putting do-nows on task cards so students can choose to complete or a teacher can have students choose a new task card each day from a set. There is no one correct way to start the class, teachers need to connect with their content and consider the learners in their classroom.

Here are ways that I have my students working before the bell rings:

Poem A Day – Everyday begin with a poem. It can be based on current events, content material, or beautiful language. The teacher can read aloud the poem, post on the SMARTboard, share a paper or digital copy, or show a video of performance poetry for students to read and respond.

Gallery Walk with Text or QR Code Links – During a dystopian unit we look at rebellion, revolt, and revolution. I begin the class with QR Codes around the room linking to videos from the news and popular movies like Hunger Games as well as images throughout history for students to identify as rebellions, revolts, or revolutions. Some of the pictures include Arab Spring, the Boston Tea Party, and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Viewing these images help students to create a definition of the three terms and help lead us to a discussion of these concepts and how they play out in the dystopian texts students are reading. You can also do this activity with excerpts from passages of a book students are reading or key quotes that students read and respond to.

Quick Writes and Journaling – Begin with a question or practice what Julia Cameron titled in her book, The Art’s Way (2016), morning pages. “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. – There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page.

Sentence Work – For more formal writing practice I reference these sentence activities in the podcast with Larry Ferlazzo. This is not something my students do everyday, but are grounded in the the reading students engaged in. You can read more about sentence work strategies in my blog post Building Better Sentences. When students were reading the short story Most Dangerous Game, students completed this sentence frame:

Internal &amp; External Conflict

Lastly, Do Nows and Walk in are Hooks. That means they are meant to hook the students into the lesson and excite them about learning in your classroom today. Engagement is key. Taking inspiration from Dave Burgess and his book Teach Like a Pirate, hooks can be  based on music, art, movement, games, play, involve the students, student choice, sensory. So, when thinking about your next lesson, how might you get your students thinking, engaged, and excited for today’s lesson?

Draw – A storyboard, a picture, sketch notes.

Taste – When we are reading about Scout and Jem finding Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum in To Kill a Mockingbird, I gave every student a piece of Wrigley’s Gum as they entered the classroom and we did some detective work in the text who might have left the gum in the Tree Knot.

Games – Take it digital or old school and have students answer questions, play Guess Who? or even design a quick review from yesterday’s lesson with Quizlet Live, QuizZ, or Kahoot.

Get Dramatic – Give small groups of students a scenario or props and they have to create a tableau (a frozen picture) or act out a key scene or potential scenarios presented in a text. Before reading Midsummer Night’s Dream and to introduce the play I give small groups of students different scenarios that take place in the play and students have to improvise a short scene how the situation plays out.

Music and Mozart – Bring in music, teach a song or play a song for students to listen to and make connections with. Have your students write a song or stanza to convey an idea or concept.

Get Crafty – Use legos, play dough, or any craft materials for students to create a 3-D image or representation of a concept, idea, or scene in a book.



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Are the Common Core Standards Dead? Advanced Literacy & Lifelong Learning

At the start of the semester, one of my graduate students told me, “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos declares the Common Core is dead, so why do I need to to include the standards in all of my lesson planning?”

Well, I didn’t expect that question the first day.

And I wanted to be positive and not political.

So, here is how I did respond.

Forty-two states have adopted the Common Core Standards to define literacy and academic success. The Common Core does not tell teachers how to teach or what to teach. Rather the standards were created to be learning targets to prepare students for life long learning. New York State, the state which we live in and teach in, the state which this pre-service teacher is obtaining certification, follow the Common Core Standards and since its adoption in 2011 have revised, added, deleted, and clarified the standards with the goal of developing students to “participate in academic, civic, and professional communities, where knowledge is shared and generated.”

How does one measure student success?

How do we develop literate students who are able to communication and navigate the world?

What are the most important practices that teachers can employ to support their students as literacy learners?

Now there are benefits and limitations to the standards, any standards. I choose to see them as a guide to help support our students as life long readers and writers. Do not allow standardized tests to define what the Common Core is and is not. “The New York Education Department remains committed to encouraging teachers and schools to choose the literature and informational texts they use as they detail their ELA curriculum or programs.” What are the lifelong practices of reading and writing that you hope to offer in your classroom? How do the CCSS support these practices and develop a love of reading, help develop strong and effective writers, and build effective speaking and communication skills? Tell me what you uncover.

After this discussion with the graduate student I attended a workshop on the revised New York State Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards and the integration of Advanced Literacy.

“Advanced literacies denote a set of skills and competencies that enable communication, spoken and written, in increasingly diverse ways and with increasingly diverse audiences. This requires writing with precision, reading with understanding, and speaking in ways that communicate thinking clearly. Advanced literacies also promote the understanding and use of texts for a variety of purposes” (2017).

So, before we “throw out the baby with the bathwater,” let’s examine what is working with Common Core, 21st Century realities, and guiding principles, continue to revise where there are limitations and gaps in order to support each student in this changing educational landscape.

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Young Adult Literature’s Obsession with Death: 10 YA Titles coping with the loss of a loved one

Death in young adult literature is not a new topic. I have found myself reading a number of ya titles that focus on the loss of siblings. In many cases, the protagonists feel as if they failed their parents some how for being the child who is still alive. Death is a scary topic for some and the idea of living when someone close to you is gone is challenging. Here are ten contemporary young adult titles that deal with moving on after the a sister, brother, friend and loved one passes away suddenly.


Not Your Perfect Mexican American Daughter (2017) by Erika L. Sánchez is about sixteen year old Julia who is coping with the loss of her older sister, Olga. Olga’s death was sudden and tragic. Julia compares herself to her “perfect” older sister and this causes much tension with her parents. Julia is funny and has high hopes for going to college to become a writer, but that is not what a perfect Mexican American daughter would do. 


In Love Letters to the Dead (2014) by Ava Dellaira, Laurel is assigned by her English teacher to write a letter to a dead person.  Although she never turns in the assignment. through her letters to Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse Laurel describes the events that led up to her sister’s death. 


Gae Polisner’s The Summer of Letting Go (2014) takes place four years after Francesca’s younger brother, Simon, drowned at the beach. Francesca blames herself for his death and is witness to her family falling apart after the tragedy. This particular summer she meets a young child the same age as her brother was when he died and Francesca believes this could be her brother’s reincarnation.


Anything by Jason Reynolds is poignant and powerful. His novel written in narrative verse, A Long Way Down (2017) takes place in 60 seconds on an elevator where 15 year old Will decides whether he will murder the guy who killed his brother. As the elevator stops at each floor, he is given time to contemplate his actions.


Neal Shusterman is a master storyteller and his new series Scythe (2016) will not disappoint. In this world where only Scythes can end a life, there is no hunger, disease, or war. Two teens are selected to be trained in the “art of killing.” Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. They must navigate this new world and new position that brings with it power, corruption for some, and a new way of seeing life. The next installment, Thunder Head was released early this year.


History is All You Left Me (2017) by Adam Silvera is a love story between Griffin and Theo. When Theo drowns in a freak accident or suicide, Griffin must go on but that seems impossible with his first love gone.


Jenifer Niven’s All the Bright Places (2015) takes place after Violet’s sister has died. She is obsessed with death and when she meets Finch – who is struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide – their friendship offers hope for both of them. Some times hope is not enough.


E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars (2014) is a puzzle that readers must piece together to understand the tragedy that shook a family and the narrator. A wealthy family, on a private island, teenagers frocking – but what happened in the past and what is the present?


Death is unexpected in The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (2016). Three friends are close and support systems for each other. This story shows readers that we do not have to turn out like our parents. This moving story shows how friendship sustain young people when family falls short.


Goodbye Days, also by Jeff Zentner (2017) is about celebrating life after your three best friends are killed in a car accident. When Carver Briggs sent a text message to his friends he did not think that text would kill them and he blames himself for the car accident and their deaths. It is his friend Blakes’s grandmother who helps him to make peace with their loss and his future.




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To Infinity & Beyond: Immersive Learning with Virtual Reality

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Franklin’s words resonate with the ISTE Standards for Educators. Particularly since Virtual Reality allows teachers to design “authentic learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability” (ISTE Standards for Educators 5). Virtual reality and augmented reality offer students an interactive, three dimensional learning experience that “maximize student learning” so “students can gain mastery of content area knowledge.”

Google describes Expeditions as a technology tool to, “enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions” (Google, 2016).  Within Google Expeditions the teacher is the guide and facilitator, and the students are the explorers. For historical artifacts, scientific unit of study covering marine life, space, and even geography. There are over 500 Google Expeditions that students can participate in to have a visual and experiential learning opportunity. Learning can happen beyond the walls of the classroom with AR and VR.

Google is not the only one to offer virtual, experiential learning. Additional VR experiences are available through Discovery Education and are categorized by themes, free on the website. Discovery Education also offers Educational Events, virtual tours and webinars to help teachers get started with Virtual Field Trips.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is one of many museums to offer virtual tours of their permanent exhibits. By downloading the The New York Times VR App, students can “stand alongside Iraqi forces during a battle with ISIS or walk on Mars.”  With virtual field trips there are no walls dividing learning spaces, VR allows students experience outer space, under water, and travel the world without leaving their seat.


The educational platform Nearpod has over 350 ready to teach VR lessons and 3D objects that don’t require VR Headsets. I observed a high school teacher use Nearpod’s Virtual Field trips with a classroom of 10th graders in AP Global Studies class where they virtually toured Angor Wat in Cambodia from their desks in Rye, New York using cell phones and crome books. Schools can pay for a subscription to access the virtual field trips and along with the VR aspect of Nearpod, school licenses give more options to teachers creating interactive lessons on this digital platform. Nearpod works with Google Classroom and works on any digital device. The self paced lessons or teacher led lessons allow students to work at their own speed and can offer scaffolded materials to support diverse student learners.

Timelooper is history based VR platform that allows students to have a first person account of history. The website states, “Empower your students to experience history, inspiring them to ask questions, fueling a desire to learn more. Through comprehensive primary source-based lesson plans and the immersive VR experience your students will journey through moments that bent history, all without leaving the classroom.” creates story based virtual reality like Clouds Over Sidra, a VR experience with twelve year old Syrain Refugee, Sidra taking you on a tour of the refugee camp she is living at with her family in Jordan.


Utilizing expeditions, promoting student talk and conversation, offering writing opportunities post expedition can help students build academic language proficiency and their knowledge of the content material. Expeditions and Virtual field trips are scaffolding opportunities to help make sense of larger concepts and ideas that might be difficult to read in a textbook or content specific texts.

What is engaging about virtual reality versus watching a video or slideshow, students are immersed in a learning experience. Museums have excellent resources to support teaching and learning but for a school unable to get there, VR is the next best thing. Virtual Reality and Augmented reality take global collaboration to the next level, connecting, engaging, exploring, and examining remote destinations from multiple viewpoints to broaden understanding and learning.

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Wise Words & Lessons From YA Authors

Check out YA author, Jason Reynold’s interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah from January 23, 2018. Jason Reynolds is one of the best young adult authors currently writing powerful and award winning novels. His comments about expanding (and reimagining) the literature canon and the importance of literacy to change the world are key.


f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fListening to The Yarn Podcast, by Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp on Apple Podcasts, listeners dive into young adult author’s adventures writing the books they do. Angie Thomas, author of one of the most powerful books of 2017, The Hate U Give, describes in episode #56 the extensive research she conducted and how current events, specifically The Black Lives Matter movement helped her to write, understand her frustrations and anger, but also convey hope, community and love. Thomas states, “empathy is more important than sympathy.”

I recently read, The 57 Bus, a nonfiction young adult book by Dashka Slater. This is based on the true events that happened on bus 57 in Oakland, California when an agender teenager, Sasha was set on fire by a sixteen year old African American young man, Richard in 2013. The YA book details the teens, their families, friends, and schools involved before and in the aftermath. The book takes a close up look of gender identity and the juvenile justice system in America. Author, Slater first wrote about this event for The New York Times Magazine in 2015 and now digs deeper into the events. From the adolescent brain to restorative justice, Slater tries to address all angles in this story to do exactly what Thomas stated in her podcast, to build empathy and expand our understanding of who we label as “others.” 9780374303235

After reading The 57 Bus, I was listening to Tim Ferriss interview Catherine Hoke. Catherine Hoke (@catherine_hoke) is the founder of the non-profit Defy Ventures. Defy’s vision is to end mass incarceration by using entrepreneurship as a tool to transform legacies and human potential. In the interview Hoke talks about looking at people, not their past actions and mistakes. She believes people can be rehabilitated. Cat is the author of the new book, A Second Chance: For You, For Me, and For the Rest of Us,

In the case of all of these texts that I share, it is not about people per say, but community. Building community and supporting everyone and making a difference.

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Group Work: Eliminating Dictators & Freeloaders When Doing Cooperative Group Work

A great classmate is . . . kind, helpful, friendly, nice, and respectful.

A great classmate does . . . help others, share, works hard, tries his or her best.

A great classmate says . . . please, thank you, I’m sorry, Let me help you, asks how are you.

A great classmate is not . . . rude, mean, impatient, a bully, a gossip, a tattletale.

The Declaration of Independence was a collaboration. Music and dance is collaboration. Google was created because two men collaborated on an idea. Wikipedia is all about collaboration.  Many great ideas and inventions happen because people got together to create and share. We need to make sure that our classrooms allow students to work independently, with partners, in small groups, and as a large group.

Collaboration plays a big part in school, sports, and at work.  Getting people to work together does not come naturally and as teachers we need to foster positive collaboration and group work in our classroom. Collaboration is part of building a community of learners. Here are some benefits to collaborating and working in small groups as identified by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels (2009):

  • Collaboration generates energy for challenging work.
  • In small groups we are smarter.
  • In small groups diversity is an asset.
  • Collaboration makes for engaged, interactive learning possible.
  • Collaboration allows teachers to differentiate instruction.
  • Well-structured group work enhances student achievement.

The important thing to note is that effective groups are made, not born. Collaboration doesn’t always work and as teachers, we need to help facilitate good group work so that it can be successful in all the ways described above. Collaborative skills need to be modeled and taught. Often times assigning group roles within a small group can hold students accountable but the challenge for teachers is always how to make sure that every contributes without one person feeling left out or another person taking total control.

Here are two collaborative group activities I utilize in my classroom to promote community and collaboration.

Jigsaw – Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece–each student’s part–is essential for the completion and full understanding of the final product. If each student’s part is essential, then each student is essential. The teacher breaks students up into a group and each student in the group has a specific reading or task which they are responsible for reporting back to their group members. has examples of different ways to jigsaw an activity across content areas and grade levels. 

Numbered Heads – Numbered Heads Together is a cooperative learning strategy that holds each student accountable for learning the material. Students are placed in groups and each person is given a number (from one to the maximum number in each group). The teacher poses a question and students “put their heads together” to figure out the answer. The teacher calls a specific number to respond as spokesperson for the group. By having students work together in a group, this strategy ensures that each member knows the answer to problems or questions asked by the teacher. Because no one knows which number will be called, all team members must be prepared.

What are you ideas and trustworthy strategies for effective group work?


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The Most Dangerous Games & Other Mini Games for Popular Short Stories

My middle school students are reading various short stories for a unit that focuses on author’s craft and structure. The three Common Core Learning Standards the overall unit addresses are:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
Mini games are a great way to infuse gamification into your lessons, work collaboratively, encourages students to make connections across texts to show their understanding.
The first short story students are reading is Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game about a hunter who becomes the huntee. Before students began reading, I created a game for them to play to initiate thinking about elements of the story. Students worked in teams to complete various tasks. Some of the specific questions led to deep questions about larger themes in the story: the relationship between people and animals, Violence can be psychological as well as physical, Fear brings out animal instincts in people, the ethics of hunting. 


After our close reading of The Most Dangerous Game we moved on to O’Henry’s The Rasom of the Red Chief, about a kidnapping gone wrong. O’Henry’s stories are filled with humor and irony so we focused on these aspects in our reading and discussion of the text. To spark our class activities I supplied each student with an O’Henry style mustache for inspiration and a little humor. Students visited different learning stations to play Roll the Dice, Think Tac Toe, and complete an irony maze created by Not Just Elementary.



Awesome Irony Maze created by Not Just for Elementary


Our next shorty story in the unit is Raymond’s Run by Toni Cade Bambara. As a check for understanding I created a Raymond’s Run Maze with comprehension questions for students to complete and the game Farkle to address figurative language in the story. Farkle is played by two or more players, with each player in succession having a turn at throwing the dice. Each player’s turn results in a score that equates with the number of questions to answer about Metaphors and Similies in the short story Raymond’s Run, and the player who accumulates 10,000 points earns additional XP.


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