Stuff for the End of the Semester

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Tuck these in your seasonal folder and use as needed.

1. Apple Christmas Commercial

This apple commercial from 2013 gets me every time. Besides making you a little misty eyed, there’s a lot you can do with this 1:32 ad.  

  • Analyze message, audience, what do you see/hear/read that supports the message
  • Stop the commercial before the climax and make a prediction. Infer. Make a t-chart of clues and schema.
  • Pair with article on teen smartphone use like this one.
  • Follow-up writing assignment: 3 ways I will build stronger relationships over the winter break. I did this with a different text right before Thanksgiving break and treated it very seriously. Get personal and share your heart. Acknowledge to the class that some students will spend 2 weeks in not-so-happy homes while others will be lavished with extraordinary gifts and lavish vacations.

2. Close Reading of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Gather them around for storytime, share in the magic of Dr. Seuss with a red aloud, then unleash the close read! Find out what this teacher did on Scholastic’s blog.

3. Movies Based on Books

This isn’t a cop-out if you do it right. Viewing one of these films can be in response to the text they’re based on. Eight here to choose from!

4. Logic Puzzle

Just a worksheet? No. This is a chance for some of your more analytical students to shine! Others will be frustrated and want to give up. Everyone will exercise their logic with this free logic puzzle from TPT.

5. Twas the Night Before Christmas

What a versatile text! Four different ways to use this text with your readers. 

6. Macy’s letters to Santa

You’re never too old to write a letter to Santa! And this one contributes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each letter. Get started here.

7. Hopeful Images of 2017

The Atlantic shares their collection of hopeful images from this year. Let these pictures inspire your readers and writers!

  • Students choose an image and write a six-word-story about it.
  • Students choose an image and do further research into its context
  • Students search their phones for one picture taken in 2017 that they consider an image of hope. Have them share with you, print, and create a gallery of hope.

8. Self-Reflection

Don’t let students leave without reflecting on their first half of the year! What a vital exercise. Talk about being data-driver. There’s nothing like student self-reporting to help inform your plans for the new year.

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