My students come from a very small rural community with varying backgrounds. I teach Language Arts to between 80-100 kids per day. My classroom focuses on teaching students skills to be well-informed readers and writers. In today's society, it is very important to be able to read information and actually understand what it means and how it applies to our lives and others. It is equally as important to be able to describe our thoughts, feelings, and knowledge in a mature fashion.
Middle school students are a very interesting group of individuals.
They have so much room to learn and grow at this age, it is vital to make their learning experiences worthwhile. My students are on the path to gain relevant skills that they will utilize in high school, and hopefully beyond that whether it be in the work field or for some college.
I currently see 80 students a day and do my best to utilize the resources that the school provides to give students an exceptional education. While textbooks contain wonderful information, reading a novel presents even more opportunities. In 7th grade history, students learn about WWII and the Holocaust. I have selected the novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, due to its content being appropriate for middle school students and on an average level that all of my students have the ability to understand.
Reading allows us to travel through time, to imagine and has the power to shape the future.
With each student in a class period able to follow along and participate in reading during the class period they understand much better than just hearing the text read to them. This also allows students to go back into the book and review parts of the story at their own pace to ensure that they understand the story and the words being used. Students are able to make ties to what they are learning in their history class and it makes them more excited to see how different subjects can tie together to really have an impact.
Students will not only be doing a thorough examination of this novel. They will be creating a project that requires them to summarize each chapter and provide a visual within a file folder to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the novel. This address skills in language arts and history, as well as allowing students to have some choice in displaying their learning. The hope is that all of this learning will lead them to see the importance of being a caring and responsible adult in the future and to treat others, no matter their differences, with respect.
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