ELA

How Harry Potter Changed Children’s Literature

No one can deny the concrete and long-lasting effect the Harry Potter series has had on the world of children’s literature. Last summer marked the 25th anniversary of the release of the famous books in the United States. The first book of the series was released in England in June 1997 under the title “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” and on Sept. 1, 1998, Scholastic published the first book in the U.S., renamed “Harry…

Read More »

American Library Association Summer Reading Lists

Summer is finally here, and so are the American Library Association summer reading lists. The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Four summer reading lists are available for birth-preschool and grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. Each list is available to download for free. Titles on the 2023 Summer Reading Lists were compiled and annotated by members of American Library Association’s Quicklists Consulting Committee. American Library Association…

Read More »

Teaching Poetry Creatively and Strategically

Poetry is a mindfulness practice for award-winning author and poet Clint Smith, but as a young person, Smith felt that poetry wasn’t for people like him. Smith said that teaching poetry can feel intimidating when presented as if it’s a “geometric proof or a code that students are supposed to unlock.” He recommends that teachers instead emphasize that no interpretation is wrong. Online resources for teaching poetry can show young learners “that there are poets…

Read More »

Teaching Kids Literacy From Birth

Reading is taught, not caught. This phrase has been in circulation for decades, but it bears repeating with each new generation of parents, and it has never been more fully supported by compelling evidence. Learning to read is a complex, unnatural, years-long odyssey, and parents should bear no illusions that their kids will pick it up merely by watching other people read or being surrounded by books. Kids literacy is more complicated than that. Parents…

Read More »

Sentence Stems for Critical Reading

Sentence stems are great for many reasons, not the least of which is their ability to function as cognitive training wheels for developing minds. Like journal response prompts, the stems below are created to help students better understand what they’re reading, and as the focus is on critical thinking rather than mere ‘talking,’ we’ve left out more obvious stems like ‘I agree…’ or ‘I disagree…’ or ‘I like…’ or ‘I dislike…’, etc. Opinions are useful…

Read More »

Clubs for Elementary School Students

From field trips and retreats to special assemblies and holiday celebrations, children should enjoy an enriching classroom experience, both during the school day and after school. These memorable events and enrichment programs make learning fun and build a sense of community among students. Here are twenty ideas for elementary school clubs, ranging from standard to out of the box. 1. Culture club. This is a multicultural association for students. At meetings, members can share their…

Read More »

The Best Poetry Books for Children

Children’s poetry books are a rich way for kids to enjoy limericks, poetic stanzas, tongue twisters, and rhymes. Through poetry, they learn the joy of play on words, puns, and metaphors all while using their imaginations. Here are some fantastic, highly rated poetry books for children. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko – This book is bright and cheerful. Plus, it offers 36 short poems to coincide with the…

Read More »

Our Top Ten Grammar Tips for Kids

There’s no doubt that grammar can be a challenging topic for kids to get excited about. But with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible to make learning grammar fun and engaging for kids. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to get kids interested in grammar. By following these simple tips, you can help your child develop a strong understanding of the principles and improve their writing skills. 1. Start with…

Read More »

Poetry 180 Brings the Love of Language to High School Classrooms

When the Covid-19 pandemic took off in March, the poet and creator of Poetry 180 Billy Collins started reading a poem every weekday on Facebook Live. The readings—mostly of contemporary poems, peppered with the occasional classic by Shakespeare or John Donne—have been a surprise hit, with 47,000 followers. One woman in Paris left a comment saying that she listens in bed before she goes to sleep, while another in Australia joins with her morning coffee.…

Read More »

These Button Poetry Slam Poets Light Up Classrooms

If you ask the average person what they learned about poetry in school, they might remember suffering through a few 17th-century English poets, but poetry in the classroom doesn’t have to be stuffy. Modern poetry can give students a chance to be creative, break the rules, and express themselves. In a fun and open environment, students can think of poetry as an art class with words. They can get creative with language, rhyme, and meter;…

Read More »