Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teach This Lesson Tomorrow - Writing a Parody

Hi Folks!!

Hope everyone is well. My family has been plagued with the stomach bug for almost two weeks now. We are just starting to emerge from the haze and put ourselves back together again. (I've had to miss two days of school, and as you know, there is nothing worse than unplanned sick days when you are a teacher!) Phew!! It was a tough one. I can't ever remember being THIS ready for spring to arrive!!

Anyway, I've got a quick one for you today, but trust me when I tell you that this lesson is a HOOT! This is second year that I've done this with my students and we all have such a blast.

The idea is for the students to write a parody of a song.

I start by showing Adele's "Hello."

Next, I show them this AMAZING parody done by third grade teacher, Mary Morris, from Tennessee.

Then, we discuss the meaning of "parody" (an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect) and I show BOTH videos again while we note the parts of the performance Mary Morris parodied.

Finally, the FUN part! The kids write and perform their own parodies! Now, you can allow them to select their own song, but in order to keep this lesson short (we spend three class periods total), I have them all use "Hello."

For students who struggle with this, have them select a topic and then brainstorm some vocabulary associated with their topic. In the picture above, the girls wanted to do a song about softball, so they made a list of words that go with sport to help them while the compose.

Last year, each and every kid SANG their parody to the class! This year, only about half sang... the other half read theirs like they were at a poetry reading while the "Hello" instrumental music played in the background.

Unfortunately, I didn't record our performances so I don't have any to show you (blogger FAIL!!) and I don't collect their papers because this is a speaking/listening grade (so I grade them on the spot while they perform). So, you are just going to have to trust me that this lesson is a blast! And it served as the perfect little "break" in between our compare/contrast and argument units :)

Let me know if you give this a try and how it works out! I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Get Your Shop On!!

TpT is having a sale and everything in my store is up to 28% off with promo code LOVETPT!

You can't beat these prices, Ladies and Gentlemen :)

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I've recently added some more units to my "Year of Writing Instruction" resources (Part 1 available here and Part 2 available here), so make sure if you already own this resource that you download it again to get the additions. If you don't already own this resource, now is the PERFECT time to purchase, as it is available for 28% off the cover price!

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Now is a great time to try out list writing in your classroom! This MEGA Bundle has everything you need to get your students excited about writing... and the price right now is AWESOME! Head on over to TpT and remember to use promo code LOVETPT at checkout!

Happy Teaching Shopping!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Big News!!

Hey Friends!!

I've been a bit quiet here on the good, ol' blog because I've been working a fun project :)

Musings from the Middle School Video!!

Yes, I've made a few (unbelievably simplistic!) videos using some cheap (unbelievably simplistic!) software in the past... but now, Friends? Hold on to your hats! I've gone total HD!!

I've got a fancy camera, a fancy microphone, fancy Adobe software, and I even hired an editor to make a fancy opener for my videos. I can't even tell you how excited I am for this! There have been so many times in the past when I'd be typing a blog post and I'd think, "Agh! I wish I could just bring you all into my classroom to show you what I'm talking about!!" And now.I.can.

The thing is... "vlogging" is kinda hard... especially if you are a super-type-A-perfection-demanding-mortified-that-I-never-lost-the-baby-weight-everything-must-always-be-just-right sort of girl :) I have a whole new respect for professional YouTubers and now some for-real advice I can give to my students whose only goal in life is to be "a YouTuber." It's not easy, folks. Not easy at all!

Anyway, I'm working on a whole bunch of video stuff. I've got some writing videos in the works, as well a series on reader's workshop. I'm sure once I get better at working the editing software and more comfortable behind the camera, I'll be pumping them out, but for now, it might be a little slow-going on the blog! Hang tight... I've got great stuff coming your way!

For now, I'll leave you with my first "new and improved" video. It took me five, yes FIVE, hours to get this very simple teacher tip from my brain to your screen.

I'd love some feedback! Also, let me know what you like to see/hear more about!

Happy Teaching!!