Teaching Iroquois Folktales in Middle School – common core aligned

Teaching literature, including myths and legends, are a part of the Common Core curriculum, as well as in numerous state standards for English Language Arts in upper elementary and middle school students.  In my seventh grade classroom, I use “Legends of the Iroquois” as a resource for teaching folktales to my students.  Click here to check out all the free and paid materials available.

I have created a two-week unit which is aligned to the New York State Common Core Standards in English Language Arts.  It is aligned in chronological order of the book and uses some additional resources as well.  It can be found here:

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This unit also uses the children’s book, “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky”.  This is a book with rich illustrations by Susan Jeffers.  This book can be used individually or as a part of the unit above.

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Implementing children’s literature is a great way to increase interest in a middle school lesson.   This is why so many of my units have children’s literature embedded within them.  To check out the quality of my work, click here view a free product! 

I love Paul Goble’s literature to reinforce my middle school unit.  I use his books as read alouds with my students and in jigsaw learning!  Here is a product of extensive reading comprehension questions to correspond with his books:

Paul Goble Children’s literature questions.  Check our all Paul Goble has to offer, check out his materials available on Amazon.

We practice picture writing using the book as a guide.  I let the students create stories on the chalkboard and using an app called my popplet!  It’s very fun and engaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to teach “The Outsiders”

The Outsiders – Mega Bundle

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**individually these products total over $75 $$ SAVE $$
PDF Files:
Section 1: Interactive Learning – This first section includes interactive learning. This is 5 “Reader’s Theater”, a Mock Trial, and a game; Greasers vs. Socs
Section 2: Chapter Activities, vocabulary, journal entries, reading calendar, FB activity
Section 3: Poetry Connection – lessons and handouts to correspond with the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.
Section 4: PowerPoint Presentations
Section 5: Assessments

Section 1: Interactive Learning
1. 5 Interactive Role Play – Reader’s Theater
This product is 5 reader’s theaters that corresponds with Chapter 2, 3, 4, 7, & 11 of “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. It includes teacher instructions. There is an exit activity attached to each of the reader’s theater for a summative assessment. The exit activities are visually appealing. Chapter 11 lesson also includes 8 task cards. The document is 32 pages.

The product is 5 different scripts for the above mentioned chapters in the novel. Each chapter includes teacher instructions. Students will assume the role of characters from the novel and perform the chapters in a dramatic fashion. The dialogue in the scripts is taken exactly from the novel. The reader’s theater is active learning and dramatic in flare. It is very appealing to reluctant and struggling readers. It can be used as an introduction to the chapter, as a practice for close reading strategies, or as a review. Just print, copy, and use!

I conduct these types of reader’s theater frequently in my seventh grade classroom. The students are always engaged and excited about the day. When the students come into my classroom and see it is set up for a reader’s theater, they often come in requesting roles and ready to learn.
What people have said about this product:
On October 2, 2016, KATHRYN D. said:
This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much. Excellent product, worth every penny.

On August 24, 2016, Michelle Sharp (TpT Seller) said:
Awesome!!! My 7th graders love this

On June 30, 2016, Linda L. said:
This reader’s theater will certainly engage my students – thanks!

On November 6, 2015, Barbara Ann M. said:
I love having a premade script for readers theater!
2. Mock Trial: The People vs. Johnny Cade
Handouts for implementing a Mock Trial
Classroom simulations/role plays are excellent tools to enhance student achievement and increase classroom motivation. As educators, we believe in the power of active learning in the classroom. As a result, we have spent many years creating activities that require active learning in the classroom and have had incredible results. Students come back year after year and always remember the skits, mock trials, reader’s theaters, games, and simulations that have occurred within our classroom.

Image a fictional world where Johnny Cade survived the fire and is now facing murder and must stand trial. This productl is 73 documents to implement a cross curricular mock trial. We conducted this mock trial at the seventh and eighth grade level. While Social Studies taught government, ELA taught “The Outsiders”. There are activities to be completed before, during, and after the trial. The trial can be modified to your preference. Use some or all of the activities. It is truly AWESOME and one of my favorite units of all time. Please check out the table of contents below to see in its entirety.

Table of Contents:
Pages 4 – 8: Teacher Directions and Handouts:
Teacher Overview
Teaching Timeline
Pre Trial Activity A & B
Role Assignments

Pages 9-68: Student Handouts:
Student Handout 1 – Introduction and Overview
Student Handout 2 – Strategy & Outline
Student Handout 3 – The Facts, Timeline, and Twist
Student Handout 4 – History of Johnny Cade – to be completed while reading chapter 2
Student Handout 5 – Affidavit – to be completed while reading chapter 4
Student Handout 6 – Arrest Report – to be completed by Starsky and Hutch
Student Handout 7 – Legal Terms
Student Handout 8 – Legal Terms Practice Sheet A
Student Handout 9 – Legal Terms Practice Sheet B
Student Handout 910 – Legal Terms Quiz
Student Handout 11 – Roles Request Sheet
Student Handout 12 – Role-Play: Opening Statement
Student Handout 13 – Role-Play: Objections
Student Handout 14 – Role-Play: Closing Statement
Student Handout 15 – Lawyer’s Roles and Responsibilities
Student Handout 16 – Mock Trial Procedures (Evidence and Forgetful Witnesses)
Student Handout 17 – Objections
Student Handout 18– Roles and Responsibilities: Judge/Bailiff
Student Handout 19 – Roles and Responsibilities: Lawyers
Student Handout 20– Roles and Responsibilities: Witnesses
Student Handout 21– Roles and Responsibilities: News Media
Student Handout 22– Witness Biographies:
Includes Officer Starsky, Sergeant Hutch, Dr. Perri-Medic, Randy, David, Johnny, Ponyboy, Darry, Soda, Steve, Two-Bit, and Cherry. If there are not enough students for roles, eliminate David and Steve first.
Student Handout 23– Graphic Organizer: Witness Biography
Student Handout 24– Opening Remarks
Student Handout 25– Charges and Objections
Student Handout 26– Closing Remarks
Student Handout 27– Jurors’ Handbook
Student Handout 28– Jurors’ Outline

Pages 69-73: Answer Keys
Legal Terms Practice Sheet A
Legal Terms Practice Sheet B
Legal Terms Quiz
We will be adding more simulation and active learning activities on this store in the future. Please “follow” us and keep an eye out for exciting activities.
What people have said about this product:
On January 21, 2016, Bridgette Murray (TpT Seller) said:
Excellent resource! It worked great with my 8th grade class!

On August 10, 2016, Chelsea W. said:
My students absolutely loved doing this last year. Great materials and character bios.

3. Greasers vs. Socs
Two page PDF File. First page is teacher instructions for a game of Greaser vs. Soc and a second page is a “Ticket Out the Door” for student assessment.

Section 2: Chapter Activities
1. Journal Writing Responses by chapter
This product is a 12 page packet with one journal prompt to follow each chapter in “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. It is an activity planned to be an individual reflection of the actions of the characters and how to use these situations as teachable moments and spark writing prompts geared towards character education. Each page is identical in design and contain a graphic to coincide with the theme of the passage.

There is a one page instructional handout for the writing packet which follows the wording below:
“The Outsiders”, by S. E. Hinton, is a novel full of teachable moments that help the student understand how the protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis, grows and matures. Students are able to gain knowledge about Ponyboy to critique and understand his actions and feelings. Then, students can use these experiences as an opportunity for personal growth.

As students read the novel, they will take a break at the end of each chapter to think about the moral and ethical actions presented to them. They will take all of the situations that are dealt to Ponyboy and try and relate them to their own life. Students will ask themselves some tough questions and answer honestly. This is a good time to reflect on personal integrity, which includes having responsibility for your actions and showing respect to yourself and those around you. Students will think about these questions: Are you trustworthy? Are you fair? What makes you a good friend?

The students will take each learning experiences presented to Ponyboy in each chapter as a way to practice moral and ethical behavior in their life. They will think about moments from their past when they made a great decision. Then, they will think about those times when they could have chosen better. Students will think about: How does learning from past mistakes help build character? How does is show courage?

Students will: Use the writing prompts at the end of each chapter to analyze character development (the character of the character) to think about values; respect, responsibility, and citizenship. Answer all the writing prompts in complete sentences. Please use additional paper if needed.

The document is a PDF file. It is ready to print and copy for student use.
What people have said about this product:
On November 10, 2015, Abby B. said:
Great independent product for students!

2. Literature Based Vocabulary
This is a 32 pdf file, PRINTABLE and ready to use. This directly corresponds with the novel, “The Outsiders”.
This product is for two literature based vocabulary lists (18 and 21 words) found in the novel, “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton. The product includes a list of the words with its part of speech, page number from the text, definition, and a fill-in-the-blank sentence.
Also, it includes a reinforcement activity for each word. All of the activities are different so students are able to try different strategies to see what works for them. Strategies include, but are not limited to, completing a Frayer model, writing a journal entry, drawing an illustration, finding synonyms, etc. There is a text-based example for each word.
In addition, the packet includes a synonyms worksheet with a key and an assessment with key for each list. The synonyms worksheets ask students to work in groups with their lists to match words with their synonyms. The assessment instructs the teacher to dictate the words, like a spelling test, then the students match them with their definition.
I try to introduce a “Word of the Day” as bell work for each lesson. Then, we are always looking for the words embedded within the text.
Research continues to point to vocabulary development as essential to reading comprehension. By consistently introducing and mastering higher level vocabulary, students’ comprehension will increase as a result. Display the words in your classroom. Look for meaningful and relevant opportunities to include this language in your reading and writing. I hope you find this extremely helpful!

3. Chapter 2 – The History of Johnny Cade
This is a one page PDF handout, ready to print, intended to give students background information on Johnny Cade. The flashback in Chapter 2 helps the reader to understand why Johnny is the way he is. It is important information to have as the novel develops.
4. Chapter 4 – Affidavit
This is a one page PDF handout, ready to print, and intended to use as the police report for the murder scene in Chapter 4. It begins with fill in the blanks where students use the chapter to complete. Then, it gives questions that get students thinking about motive and the events leading up to murder.
5. Reading calendar
One page editable calendar with reading assignments, words of the day, activities, quizzes and tests.
6. Ponyboy’s Facebook Page
This is a PDF file to complete a Facebook page for Ponyboy Curtis. It can be used throughout the novel or as an independent assessment.
7. Short Response Writing
This activity asks students to describe if Johnny Cade is tough or sensitive using specific text-based details to support their response. It works best as an activity to complete about mid-way through the book or as an assessment tool.

Section 4: Pre-Reading Activities
“The Outsiders” Pre-Reading Activities
This product is for one week of classroom activities (31 pages) that serve as pre-reading activities for the novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. This includes cooperative learning tasks, expository writing based from nonfiction text, and vocabulary. I use the vocabulary as the introduction (bell work) activity each day.

Day 1 –
Vocabulary: Read through list of 10 words and fill in the blanks.
Introduction to Stereotypes:
There is a one page lesson procedure and three pages of images to use under a document camera. There are discussion prompts to discuss general, gender, and teenage stereotypes. Then, there is a cooperative learning group activity that discusses stereotypes in school. The purpose of this lesson is to lead to uncovering the stereotypes given to Greasers and Socs.

Day 2 –
Vocabulary: Crossword puzzle
“The Life of Reilly”:
This lesson includes a link to a website about an article on ESPN dealing with stereotypes. The lesson requires students to complete a close read on the article and answer questions dealing with the stereotypes given within the article. I put the article under the document camera and model highlighting and annotation techniques. Students then answer the questions with their group. The lesson includes a Ticket out the Door for individual assessment.

Day 3 –
Vocabulary: make flashcards of each of the words using index cards
Questionnaire:
The students are each given a series of questions that they have to answer individually about issues that will arise in the novel. Then, they circulate the classroom and tally their classmate’s responses. The teacher will conduct a discussion about the experience and students will complete a Ticket out the Door for immediate feedback.

Day 4 –
Vocabulary: Game (laminate pictures for game pages.
S.E. Hinton: Expository Writing
This activity requires the students to read a brief article about author S. E. Hinton. Then, students complete an expository writing task where they are required to use evidence based details from the text to answer questions. This is one of the first times I introduce using text-based details to enhance student responses (a common task required in CCLS)

Day 5 –
Vocabulary: assessment
Would you ever…..
This is a cooperative learning activity where students will circulate the room and discuss eight task cards about issues from “The Outsiders”. Students will move through each of the stations and spend about 2 minutes discussing each of the topics. (I laminate the task cards and place them around the room so students are able to move about the classroom). As we read the novel, I always refer back to these discussion prompts so the students see their relevance.
What people have said about this product:
On August 21, 2016, Sydney Y. said:
This is perfect! I needed something to get them ready that wasn’t the norm.
On January 2, 2016, Rebecka Durflinger (TpT Seller) said:
Great thanks!

Section 4: Poetry Connection
1. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Persuasive Essay
This product is a 9 page packet in PDF format ready to print and use. I use this lesson with my seventh grade students when we read the novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The assignment is a persuasive essay in response to the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” as found in the novel.

It begins with a warm up activity (aka “Sponge” activity) where the teacher would read the children’s book, ‘I Wanna Iguana” and students would record evidence and reasons on a graphic organizer. Please note, this product does NOT come with this book. I use a Youtube.com free video of the book in my classroom.

Then, the student receive the essential question: Do you agree with Robert Frost that gold can stay?

There is a two page outline which guides the students as to the information to include in each of the four paragraphs which will make their essay. There are two pieces of lined paper to write the final copy. There is also a rubric attached which assesses students on the information in the essay on the bases of “below, at, or above grade level”. Lastly, there is a sample essay.

Again, I use this with seventh graders but could be used with any grade level reading “The Outsiders”.
2. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Literal and Figurative Meaning
This product is a 5 page PDF file exploring Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. I use it in a seventh grade class with the novel, “The Outsiders”.

I have a hyperlink giving the exact location of the poem, as it is still under copyright.

The handout goes through each line of the poem twice. First, it explains and has fill in the blank spots for discovering literal meaning of each line. Poetic elements (alliteration, assonance, metaphor, and personification are noted). A punctuation tip is included. Students read through each individual line to answer the literal questions. After the first reading, student define gold in terms of its denotation and literal meaning.

The second reading requires more inference. There are sentence stems here to give students writing ideas. There are also places to fill in the blank as they try to interpret the meaning. It concludes with students defining the connotation of gold and describing the poem’s figurative meaning. This is a five page document with a “sunrise” clipart on each page.

The product includes a 5 page key. However, answers are very interpretive so it is really just a suggestion for teachers or a guide. I use the key for students who need a copy of notes as per their IEP or for absent students.

The activity can be teacher directed or student led. My students always love this poem and find a lot of connection to their own lives. Again, I use it with “The Outsiders”, but there are only two questions directly related to the text within the handouts.
What people have said about this product:
On September 27, 2016, Buyer said:
Super helpful

3. Writing a Couplet Poem –

This is a one page PDF handout for students to write a couplet poem following the same pattern as Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Section 4 – PowerPoint Presentations:
1. What Makes You, YOU!
Each slide contains a personal connection type of question (7 in all) that relates to the novel. The PowerPoint could be used in three ways:

First, it could simply be used as an activity (to be used with the novel within the first few chapters). The teacher could use each slide as a discussion point.

Second, the teacher could laminate each slide and place them around the classroom. The students could break into small groups and circulate the classroom reporting to each station for a minute or two to discuss the topic on the task card.

Third, these topics could be used as writing prompts for a journal to be completed while reading the novel.

The PowerPoint has an introduction slide explaining the procedure. Each slide is created with a “denim” background to relate to a Greaser.

2. Cause and Effect – Chapters 1-4
6 slides that will be printed and cut into quarters. Make a few class sets and allow students to match the causes with the effects. It’s quick 10-15 minute review activity.

3. Would You Ever? A Pre-reading activity
8 slides with pre-reading questions to evoke conversations about pertinent themes that will be uncovered in the novel. Download a this free here: Would You Ever?

Section 5 – Assessments
1. Chapter 1 Characterization Quiz
This product is a three page quiz to be used after reading Chapter 1 in the novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. The quiz is ready to print and use. It includes a key.

The first 20 questions are matching the character with an exact quotation from the novel. Then, there are three questions based from a short, nonfiction excerpt about S.E. Hinton. Lastly, there are two short response questions that require students to read a short passage from Chapter 1 of the novel and use a text-based detail (textual evidence) to support their answer to the question. Both short responses give prompts to assist the students.

This is an excellent quiz to review characters, but also to re-read text for greater comprehension. “Stay Gold”!

2. Chapter 2 – Quiz
This is one writing prompt to use with chapter 2 of “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. It requires the student to use the text to find a text based detail (evidence based detail) to answer a questions about Chapter 2 of the novel. I used it as an open book quiz. The task includes the NYS short response writing rubric for assessment.
3. Chapter 3-5 – Quiz
This is a one page PDF file. The quiz is one short response question (students choose), a fill-in the blank sentence and one bonus question.
4. Chapter 6 – Quiz
One-page short response quiz. There are one short response question, one cause and effect question and two quotation identification and explanation questions.

5. Chapters 8 & 9 – Quiz
PDF file with five and six multiple choice questions for Chapters 8 & 9. There is writing prompts. Key included
6. Chapter 12 – Quiz
Two page PDF file including five, open-book, multiple choice questions. Three short response questions and three additional multiple choice questions asking about conflict. Key included.

7. 50 Multiple Choice Questions
The attached pdf is 50 multiple choice type questions for the young adult novel, “The Outsiders”. “The Outsiders” is a realistic fiction novel written by S. E. Hinton highlighting two rival gangs of teens during the 1960’s. Half of all the questions are “right there” type of questions and the other half of “inferential” type questions. The inferential questions are higher level thinking and deal with the figurative language, vocabulary and themes presented within the novel. These questions would be most useful for middle school aged children. The questions have four possible choices with the correct answer highlighted for each.

Reading literature and/or informational text and being able to answer questions based from text is central in today’s Common Core Learning Standards. Although the idea of formal testing can be intimidating, there are some benefits in improving measurable reading comprehension. There are even some fun ways to create better readers!

Reading Comprehension Questions in Education Island.

What skills are being mastered by answering questions?

Reading Comprehension:

One of the primary standards that needs to be addressed in the 21st century is teaching students to become efficient rigor. Reading comprehension is the foundation in developing literacy. Guided reading levels, or Lexile levels, have been created to meet a student’s individual need and build reading at their appropriate speed. This product is for comprehension questions to assess a student’s understanding of a piece literature at their specific reading level.

In addition, by answering the “right there” type of questions, students will need to recall information and use close reading skills to go back into the reading to find the details to answer the question. “Inferential” type of questions require students to read the material, arrive at a response, analyze their response, and draw a conclusion based from this multi-level thinking.

Close reading techniques are best to use when reading a piece of text for the first time. Close ( or sometimes Cloze reading) follows three basic steps:
Look over the text (book or article). Look at the title, any bold words or heading. Glance at the pictures, charts, graphs, etc. Make a prediction!
Read the text.
Re-read the text looking for specific details and mastery.
Complete the assessment task.
Assessment Strategies

By answering a variety of questions based from a piece of literature, student’s knowledge in finding answers by using close reading strategies will dramatically increase!

How can you use these questions in your classroom?
Upload questions into Powerpoint presentations or internet classroom games sites like com,Kahoot.it.com to create interactive classroom games.
Print out questions to use as a formal assessment for students when completing the book individually or as a class.
Send questions home as reading reinforcement when completing nightly reading assignments.
Print out questions and cut into individual pieces for differentiated instruction and use in many different classroom strategies to increase lesson rigor.
What are some instructional ideas to implement the use of these questions in my classroom?
Jigsaw – this is a strategy where students study chunks of content in expert groups, then teach their content to each other.

Divide students into groups of 4-6 people. These are called Jigsaw Groups. Jigsaw works best when you have the same number of students in each team; although this is rarely possible, try to get as close as you can.

Divide the questions into equal piles for each group. (If you have 4 students per group, give each student in their Jigsaw Group the SAME five questions). Then, give the students time to read and answer their five questions together. When the class seems finished, give each group the answers to their questions. Have the students discuss how they decided on their answers, where they found the answers, and how they will teach the questions.

Next, create new groups where there is one “expert” from each Jigsaw Group. Each Expert Group should have one student from each of the Jigsaw Groups. Distribute ALL the questions to each student. As the new groups go over the questions, each student will have the opportunity to be the “expert”. The reason this works: Cooperative learning has been identified as one of the nine instructional methods proven by research to make a significant difference in student performance (Marzano, Pickering & Pollock, 2001)

2. Reciprocal Learning is one of the driving instructional means. These are activities where students coach each other through exercises that apply to the content.

There are two types of Reciprocal Learning that could be used. The first is a “Think, Pair, Share” and the second is a “Back to Back and Front to Front”. In a “Think, Pair, Share”, students in pairs or small groups are given a question or topic. Then, they are given time to think about their response. Then, the partners share their thoughts with each other. Finally, they share their responses with the class. In the “Back to Back and Front to Front” method, students stand back to back with a partner. The same procedure is followed. Partners continually change throughout the unit.

The reason this works: Students who work in peer partnerships make measurable academic gains, develop more positive attitudes toward subject matter, become less dependent on the teacher, and spend more time on a task when working with a partner than when working independently (King-Sears & Bradley, 1995).

3. Flipped Learning is a strategy where the students complete the traditional instructional work at home and class time is used for reinforcement, clarifying and challenging learners.

Students will take home the book and questions. For “homework”, the students will read and answer the questions at an individual pace. Students will answer the questions.

During the next class period, class time can be used to dig further into the concepts for each question. The text can be reviewed and deeper connections made. With the shift to more learning outside of the classroom, the content moves from playing a “supporting” role to playing a central role.

The reason this works: “Class time is now maximized in order to adopt various methods of instruction such as active learning strategies, peer instruction, problem-based learning, or mastery or Socratic methods, depending on grade level and subject matter.” (http://www.flippedclassroomworkshop.com/the-4-pillars-of-flipped-learning-the-keys-to-successful-flipped-instruction/ 2014)

4. Mind’s Eye is a fourth strategy which could be implemented, however, it would require additional preparation by the classroom teacher.

How it works is that the teacher would choose 10-30 words from the text that evoke strong feelings or images in students’ minds.

Before starting the lesson, teachers give students a very limited overview of what they are about to read, so they have some content to build on.

Read the words slowly and dramatically. Instruct students to create movies in their minds of what they think will happen in the text. As each new word is read, students should try to incorporate it into their mental picture. Students can then draw a picture, write a questions, make a prediction, or describe a feeling the mental picture gives them.

Then, students will read the book and compare it with their initial thoughts. The questions will then serve as a formative assessment on the text.

The reason this works: The impact of Mind’e Eye is based on the principle of dual coding, the idea that storing information in two ways (through language and images) makes learning stick better. This has been shown to be especially true for reading (Sadoski and Paivio, 2001).

I have numerous reading comprehension bundles in my store. Here is a free sample of the quality of my work: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble. This is a Guided Reading Level N.

Here is a link to all the products I currently have available in my store: Reading Comprehension Questions in Education Island.

Please follow me at my TpT store: Education Island, to stay current as I have over a hundred book question bundles that I will be publishing in the next six months. I’m working on some larger bundles by Lexile Level that will be available soon.

This is a link to literature specific to winter.
Stay connected with me:

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People who have used my products have said:

“This question assessment is very well thought out and provides many ideas to incorporate into a Native American unit. Thank you for sharing!” Dana B.

“These are great questions! I am so happy with my purchase, Thank you :-)” Buyer

“This was a terrific list of questions, I was able to pick and choose for a variety of assessments as we read the book.” Amy D.