Students in my 7th and 8th grade Language Arts classes are developing their reading stamina in order to be able to engage with increasingly longer and more complex texts. This can only be accomplished through regular and continual reading. High interest, engaging stories are the best way to encourage middle school students to read.
Students at my school converge in the 6th grade from four different and socioeconomically distinct elementary schools of approximately 300 students, to a single middle school of about 1,000 students.
The variety of income levels, nationalities, home languages and cultures provides a rich daily dynamic within our student body.
This project leverages the instructional power of short videos and podcasts to teach writing traits. Students will wear headphones in order to be able to "self-pace" their listening and viewing, pausing and reviewing the content as need be. Specifically, during a narrative unit, students will listen to fictional podcasts such as Mars Patel and watch short videos such as "Anatomy of a Scene" from the New York Times looking for the genre specific traits authors use to craft narrative content for an audience. Similarly, during an expository unit, students will watch and listen to informational videos and podcasts listening and looking for the moves writers make to capture and hold audience attention with this genre. This activity will provide a "toolkit" when examining written works; the ultimate goal being students able to "see" and "hear" the writer's craft in texts they read.
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