Flashback Teacher Resources

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Why have your writers analyze the themes in literature in boring prose when you can have them practice their creativity and writing skills by producing an explication of a novel’s theme through verse? Start by explaining different types of poetry and poetic devices they can use, and discuss the most important parts of the novel that your readers can explore. They write, collaborate, revise, and submit their creation to the instructor. Modification can be made to have your students create a visual representation of their theme or, instead of a written assessment, the class can present their findings through a poetry slam.  
How can a scene from a novel be different when represented on film? After creating a timeline from the plot of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, kids watch the first or last fifteen minutes of the film version, produced by Oprah Winfrey. They address the changes in the adaptation, and why those changes were made by the screenwriter. Before they finish the last few chapters of the book for homework, have your class write their own conclusion and come up with an alternate title for the novel.
After completing The Call of the Wild, have your learners go over the plot. In small groups, pupils map the plot, making sure to include the important events listed on this page. Following this activity, individuals write about foreshadowing in the novel, taking note of specific textual evidence to support their ideas.
Read the included story Prometheus, and distribute the plot sheet (also included). It's an important skill to be able to understand the sequence of events while analyzing the text. Consider adding to this lesson by creating a class timeline of the story. 
 “Still I Rise,” is the focus of a two-day exercise that asks learners to trace the development of the theme of emotional opposites (hopelessness/rising above adversity) by highlighting details in Maya Angelou’s poem. They then craft their own antonym poem of negative and positive emotions (left out/chosen, ugly/beautiful) that shows how they feel. Links to the poem and a short biography of Angelou are included.
Reading The Pearl by John Steinbeck with your class and looking for an extension activity? Incorporate art and drama as a way of further exploring the themes presented in this work of literature. Start off in groups, each receiving a different piece of artwork to critique and discuss in light of the social issues depicted in The Pearl. Or if a dramatic activity sounds more appealing, use the Role Play Scenario worksheet include here to get students up from their seats and acting out how social issues may affect their own adolescent lives. Note: To complete the lesson as written, you will need several additional materials that are not included. 
The novel A Wizard of Earthsea follows Ged as he visits many places in the archipelago where the story is set. Examine the lessons he learns through his travels by compiling and discussing a list of lessons learned. Relate this discussion to the plot and then examine plot through another lens: the role of women. Class members construct a response to the provided prompt about how women contribute to the plot.
While music lyrics are often used to teach literary elements, the richness of this resource comes from the wealth of exercises, activities, and support materials provided in the packet.  Although designed for gifted learners, the activities would be great for the whole classroom, independent work, or homeschool settings. You need not be the walrus to enjoy these exercises in this magical musical tour.
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” Ambrose Bierce’s short story, is used to model how structural moves, the decisions an author makes about setting, point of view, time order, etc., can be examined to reveal an author’s purpose. Groups examine the three parts of the story and collect evidence to show how the point of view, tone, and mood change in each part. They then posit theories about why the author may have made these choices and share their ideas with the whole class.
"You're bound to get idears if you go thinkin' about stuff." Readers are asked to think about what they see as the important turning points in The Grapes of Wrath. Groups are then asked to think about what scenes could be eliminated if they were to produce a movie of this massive novel.
Discover how authors design narrative and thematic structure with these practice activities for McLaurin’s “The Rite Time of Night.” Learners are encouraged to track repeating patterns such as references to nature or types of conflicts experienced by the characters in the story, and annotate them by color. From their findings, pupils can create their own story with a narrative structure similar to structures used by a professional.  
Spend a productive hour in the classroom as your scholars develop their context clues skills by working with short newspaper or magazine articles. The exercise introduces these skills and allows time to practice and discuss the strategies that need to be taken in identifying the context of words in question. Practice begins with articles that are provided by the teacher and learners practice the newly learned context procedure. Modify the lesson with short fiction pieces and practice context clues in other genres of writing.     
Poetry is everywhere even when it is found in the words of picture books designed for young children. Your young poets continue their development in using and identifying literary devices, and the basic elements of story as they read and explore the words in storytelling. The first lesson demonstrates how to find poetry in picture books and progresses into small group collaboration where they search for the literary elements that create found poetry. The lesson concludes with the development of a rubric and poetry creation. You can also alot time for presentations of the final product.   
Drop everything and check out this amazing resource! It includes everything a teacher would need to teach a child how to summarize text and compose written summaries. It begins with goals and vocabulary and then provides page after page of research-based and evidence-based strategies that are proven to effectivly teach comprehension through summarization, sequencing, plot events, key details, and main ideas. Also included are graphic organizers, story maps, and worksheets that can be printed and used in conjunction with each outlined teaching strategy. Fantastic!
Teach your class the basics of narrative writing! The resource first describes the Common Core standard for narrative writing in-depth, and then moves into how to apply the standard. Show your class the example essay and quiz them briefly before moving on to explain their writing assignment. While an assignment is not included, you could easily figure one out by reading through the example and quiz.
Covering author's craft, literary devices, and figurative language, a 20-page resource on Barbara Park's The Kid in the Red Jacket is a great way to help your learners understand all elements of the book. Designed for an individual summer reading activity for incoming fourth graders, the resource could be useful for a class book report or group reading project.
Analyze and create a well-known, but little studied form of literature: the fable. After learning important vocabulary associated with this genre, use the well-known fable, The Hare and the Tortoise to illustrate the various parts of a fable. This collaborative work as a class should prepare your class for the next creative step: writing and performing their own fable! This resource is great because in addition to an easy-to-follow lesson plan, it provides all the worksheets, graphic organizers, and rubrics students need to feel supported. Note: You will need to provide fables for your class to work with, as this resource only contains the one.
The focus in this activity is on how carefully the plot of The Great Gatsby is structured. Learners identify what they see as the major turning points in the novel and the events that lead up to these points. Groups chart these events on a timeline and identify the major sections of the story.
What would happen if I structured this review by beginning in the middle of it? Or by flashing back to the dinner I had last night that gave me bad heartburn, and then transitioned into how the lingering burn of acid seeped into my ability to provide an effective review of this resource? You might say,"Just start at the beginning," which I will, four lines into the review (but I think you see what skill this resource addresses, and why our learners need to master it). The plan is conveniently broken down into three levels that help with differentiating the skill. The quiz is adequate, and can be used as is but should be modified with examples used from class.    
If a blue jay could talk, what would it say? Find out by reading Mark Twain's "Jim Baker's Blue-jay Yarn" with your class. Make sure to discuss dialect beforehand and adopt the accent while you read. Compare and contrast American English and dialect by examining quotes and filling out a Venn diagram. Once your learners have a grasp of dialect, and once you have modeled how to write in dialect, have pairs compose and perform brief fables that feature birds that speak in dialect. 

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