Integrating the teaching of reading and writing is a challenge for any new English teacher, especially for teaching adolescents. Here’s where I have compiled websites and resources that I have used or find really fruitful for ways to think about how to model reading and comprehension strategies in the classroom.
Reader-Response Scrapbook Project (useful lesson for scrapbook assignment, includes helpful Powerpoint information, could be adapted for any text– I’m planning to have students create a character’s scrapbook from The Secret Life of Bees)
Teaching Student Annotation: Annotating is one of the most important reading-based skills I teach, and I’m intrigued by this four-session unit on modeling and teaching annotation.
Resources and Websites:
The grandaddy of them all, of course, is ReadWriteThink. This site is a partnership with Verizon, NCTE and the IRA to supply free online teaching and student materials. These lesson plans can be sorted by grade and are not tied to any major works of literature, but do have a lot of good thematic content and activities you could modify to suit a particular book or author. Also, they are amazingly well-planned and do a great job of being innovative while also integrating the classics of reading and composition. I’ve pulled out a bunch of them in my pages on teaching literature and poetry too.
This Reading Strategies Index, from the Greece, NY, School District, is a list of different strategies complete with explanations, examples, and suggestions on using the strategy in the classroom. Right now, I’m especially excited by the idea of anticipation guides for my ninth graders, but there’s a wealth of pre- and post-reading strategies here, as well as note-taking and annotating strategies.
Adolescent Literacy, funded by foundations and the DC-area WETA public television station–ever-revolving content both timely and expert, tied to psychology and with plenty of room for adaptation.
AdLit’s strategy library, full of helpful documents sorted by “before,” “during” and “after” reading ideas. I have found that some students really respond well to graphic organizers, so it’s good to have some on hand. Here are 58 more graphic organizers too.
The English Companion Ning, an incredible resource full of English teachers talking to each other about teaching. Try eavesdropping in any of the organized discussion rooms, and I’m sure you’ll glean something useful.
A to Z Literacy Strategies: this is a longish document chock-full of capsule-size tips and tricks. While many are first modeled for middle-school classrooms, if you teach ninth grade like I do, you will probably find useful ways to scaffold onto these techniques and make them appropriately advanced for your students.
Still interested? Check out my pages on poetry, literature, and online archives and WebQuests.