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Nonfiction "level up" day




Many of you have asked about my Nonfiction Video Game Level Up day - all the details I have to give are below.  This will review text features, nonfiction comprehension, context clues and text structure.  Students will have to complete each level before moving on.

I was mainly inspired by this Periscope by Hope King - a Mario room that she used for reading! I watched the video to get some great ideas!  The only room items I purchased were some wall clings since I already had some tablecloths to hang up - just didn't have the funds for any other purchases.


We are using this day to wrap up our study of nonfiction which started at the beginning of the year.




Students will need to complete 4 levels to save Princess Peach!  Student will work in pairs and have a recording sheet (above) that needs to be complete.


Level 1:

Students will use this link to play the "Scatter" game on text features 3 times - teacher will initial after each time.  This will review definitions of text features.  We will see and use text features in more articles coming up on different levels.




Level 2:



Students needed to complete a context clues  sheet and check their answers with "magic" markers - color changing markers.   Here is the worksheet we used and the answer key - these are not made by me but resources I found.






Level 3:

Students will pick out of a "tunnel" an article in which they will analyze the text structure and defend it with evidence.  They will have to choose the articles randomly for this.  I created an answer key for the ones I chose.

***I picked articles specific to my students' interests and searched EBSCOHost Primary Search - most are Scholastic, Boy's Life, or Girl's Life***


I'll list some I chose but can't give out links to them - if your school has access ask your librarian to help you search:

  1. Fast Friends - Animal Companion Story
  2. Crayon Maker Job
  3. The Girl Who Discovered Dinosaurs
  4. Extreme Hotels
  5. Go Pro with Legos
  6. Gymnastics
  7. Meet the Cyber Chefs - a kid's online video cooking show
  8. Treehouse Masters
  9. The Perfect Pitch - analyzing a pitch
  10. Meet the Stars - video game characters introduction




Level 4:


the first group to reach level 4 will reach up and "punch" out the bottom of our box like on Mario and this article from Newsela like Hope mentioned will be inside.   You can choose the level of complexity depending on your grade level or to help differentiate!




I coded the answers to have numbers instead of letters and the numbers from the answers (just nonfiction comprehension) will unlock our Breakout Box!




The Breakout box will contain our Mario flag that the first group will get to raise and the save Princess Peach sign.  It will also have some Mario tattoos for us to wear in celebration!  I did print out small flags to write our names on and put in the hallway as well.  I plan to play Mario music while they are working.




Let's pretend this is a great picture of our makeshift flag pole - right now it is in mystery mode:


Here is a link to some of the printables with levels and the recording sheets for each level for students and the flag and signs.

Mario had to have some chocolate on plan time after all the excitement :)



Analyzing Media!

Do your students struggle with evaluating sources to use for research? Mine certainly do.  When our state standards changed this year, and this was added I knew I needed to beef up my game.

One of my favorite resources to use is Into the Book: Evaluating!  We do the book resources as a class and they do the web evaluating on their own in the computer lab.  Because it offers lots of guidance and help the students usually can navigate and I'm there to help as well.

It truly is a resource they NEED to see before researching! Just great overall!! and FREE can't beat that.  Just hit skip login to make it even easier!



choose either books or websites to evaluate!



look at specific parts of site to know if it is relevant and what each part does!



Where do you find information and is it helpful for your research?

Also this year because it is highlighted in our new standards I created a resource to help analyze media in different aspect as well.  This resource explores websites, videos, articles all about a topic and students rate how relevant it would be for research while analyzing if the site/video is accurate. 

This is such a tricky topic for most- I plan on doing some of this together as a class and some in small groups and reporting findings together, especially before any big research projects we have! Click on any of the pictures to learn more!




 You can see the goals of the project! Definitely critically thinking which students need to be doing!

















Positive Notes - Building Classroom Community!

This year I knew I wanted to start focused morning meetings with my students.  Once I try them out I'll write more about ideas I plan to use but this one is something that can be done in any classroom and I know for SURE will be something I use this year to promote our classroom community!

Positive Notes in the Classroom!


These notes are B/W just printed on colored paper! The plan is to hand out about 5 a day in our morning meeting from either myself or other students.  

I used my sense of humor to keep these light but also focused to give my students a prompt versus their normal generic statements.  These fit perfectly in adhesive sleeves available in the Target dollar spot but you could keep them in many different ways in your classroom!

I have some for teachers to give to students: 























or I have some for students to give to each other:


I have them printed and ready to go for our classroom this year! You can see them up close in this video: 






Both the teacher and student versions can be bought together in a money saving bundle:







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