It's such a joy to scroll through Twitter and see photos of you and your students in action. From colorful sticky-note museums and creative posters to dramatic classroom performances of plays, your creativity and passion is inspiring! Here are some of my recent favorites.
Follow me on Twitter: @KELewis
A Critical-Thinking Poster Museum
Jennifer Stahl gets her students up and moving to create a "Poster Museum." Students use sticky notes to reply to critical-thinking questions about Scope's nonfiction article "From War to America." Check out Jennifer's step-by-step lesson plan here.
Posters to Inspire Courage
Here at Scope, we're making this the year of courage. So we love that Scope teacher-advisor Tony Wilson had his students create courage-themed posters to hang around the school. Check out other courage poster ideas for your classroom here.
Exploring Character with a Scope Play
Elizabeth Raff's class explores character by getting into character while reading Scope's play Hercules the Mighty.
Teresa Gross has her students answer questions before and after watching Scope's behind the scenes video for "From War to America."
A Writing Strategy for Constructed Response
Jennifer Stahl uses this writing strategy with her students to practice answering constructed response questions about Scope's food waste story "This Apple Could Have Been Saved."
Don’t dye a baby chicken blue, don’t lie down on a sidewalk in Reno, and PLEASE don’t try to sell a love potion in Pennsylvania. Why? Because it's all illegal!
In truth, while such laws are still on the books, they aren't enforced because they violate the U.S. Constitution—as explained in the Scope article "The Weirdest Laws in America." This article is a great way to kick off a discussion about the Constitution in celebration of Constitution Day (September 17). Bonus? The article is also a great editing activity! It's full of grammar mistakes for your students to find and fix.
Here are some additional resources for your Constitution Day discussion:
Every year, the Scope team chooses a word of the year. The idea is that this word will guide our story selection, our conversations, and perhaps even our lives.
This year, the word is courage. Courage takes many forms, and you will find a number of stories that can be explored through the lens of courage in each issue of Scope.
To inspire myself and my team, I put together a courage quote board. You might enjoy creating something similar for your classroom using the quotes below or others that you find yourself. To use the quotes in a bell ringer or do-now, have each student choose one quote and write one to three sentences explaining why he or she agrees or disagrees with it.
Click on each image to download and print, then display them in your classroom.
I find these quotes remind me to be brave, that it’s OK to be a little bit afraid, and that each of us has the potential for greatness. I hope they inspire you and your students too. Please share what inspires you to be courageous in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
I have been thinking a lot about courage lately—courage to introduce myself to a newcomer at work (I can be shy), courage to express an unpopular opinion (we all have them), courage to try something new (like the trapeze—a personal goal of mine). I have also been thinking about your students and how courage can be a powerful tool to get through the sometimes challenging years of middle school.
So I have decided that this will be the Year of Courage. Summoning courage can be a tough thing, but my hope is that the stories in Scope will help your students understand that courage comes in many forms.
Here are a few of my favorite stories of courage from our upcoming September issue:
- “From War to America” centers on two brothers who escaped war-torn Syria to build new lives in America.
- “They Failed. (And So Can You.)” is all about having the courage to make mistakes—and to learn from them.
- In our fiction story “Into the Storm,” a boy puts his courage to the test when faced with saving a drowning man.
- Our mythology play Hercules the Mighty presents Hercules not only as a demigod famous for his strength but also as a regular human being searching for the courage to be himself.
Here’s to a year of living courageously!
The fall may seem like miles away, but here at Scope, we're already busy cooking up all sorts of stories for you and your students. Here are just four of the many stories we're so excited about sharing with you next year. Check back in each week for another “Tuesday Teaser” of Scope stories in 2017-2018.
#1 Paired Texts: "Smile!"
In this paired texts package, we explore the fascinating (and slightly gross) story of dentistry—past and present. Fun fact: In ancient times, people believed cavities were caused by worms. Ew!
#2 Debate: "Should You Ditch Your Smartphone?"
A growing number of kids and adults are choosing to use flip phones instead of smartphones. This debate is sure to spark lively discussion in your classroom.
#3 Narrative Nonfiction: "We Escaped a War Zone"
This powerful nonfiction article tells the incredible story of two brothers who escaped war-torn Syria to build a new life in America.
#4 History Play: Army of Two
Your students will learn the amazing true story of two girls in Scituate, Massachusetts (shown above), who tricked the British Navy and saved their town during the War of 1812.
Do you want to know what one of the highlights of my day is? Checking Twitter to see all the fantastic and creative ways that you and your students are using Scope. The photos and videos that you share make me smile from ear to ear as few things do. Your Tweets are so joyful and inspiring that I had to share a few of them here.
A Live-Action Play (With Sound Effects)!
The same class of budding actors really did nail the Scope version of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart—ravens and all!
These students created their very own slime after reading our article "How Slime Took Over the World."
Reviewing a Play in Tweets
This class live-tweeted their reviews of our play The Fire-Breather based on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. #medeatotherescue!
A Maze Comes to Life
Exploring a Shared Theme
In Research Mode
I love seeing students totally absorbed in their work. This class is doing research on the Hindenburg and the Titanic after reading Scope's article "The Flaming Sky."
We know your students can't get enough practice with inference. That's why we include an inference activity which every issue of Scope as part of the Core Skills Workout—a collection of eight skill-based activities designed to help students "bulk up" in the skills they need most to become strong, analytical readers.
You'll love this inference activity
Check out our inference handout
And don't miss the reference handout for more inference practice. You can find it and dozens of other fabulous handouts and use-it-anytime activities on everything from identifying mood to using text evidence in the Activity Library at Scope Online.
These activities are great test-readiness tools and provide a simple way to refresh key skills any time of year.
Click the image to download.
TIP! After students complete the activity on the handout, have them work in groups to create their own questions, modeled on the questions in the activity. Then have students trade with their classmates.
Are there teachers (or administrators) in your life who don't quite get what Scope is all about? Here's a great way to familiarize them with it. In this fun, short video, editor Kristin Lewis walks you through our offerings, including the teacher's guide, activity sheets, videos, and website. Share this video with your colleagues and invite them to explore what Scope can do for their classrooms. Check it out now!
Scope's glossary academic terms is a great way to introduce your students to the instructional language they will encounter in activities, classroom discussions, and directions as well as on assessments.
There are lots of ways to use this glossary:
- Project it on your whiteboard.
- Upload it to Google Classroom.
- Print it for students to keep in their binders.
- Cut up the terms and use them as note cards.
- Create posters to display around your classroom.
Find our other glossaries here.