I have two resources to share. (1) A book titled The Best Lesson Series: Literature, edited by Brian Sztabnik (ISBN – 978-0692531556). This book is available on Amazon. There are fifteen different, detailed lessons for making literature connections with your students. Near the beginning of the school year, I tried the first lesson about “Interpreting Icarus,” which uses Bruegel’s painting “The Fall of Icarus” as a text and then uses companion poetry. Students really enjoyed the lesson and were able to make cross-curricular connections as well as identifying multiple types of texts. I have a lesson from this book upcoming as well, the “Ignite Talks,” which is a different way for students to do presentations by creating a PowerPoint but they are limited to visual texts only on their Pp, no words. As many students simply want to put paragraphs of text on their Pp, this is an interesting new take to get them to focus more on the actual presentation part. My students will be doing these next week, and I’m looking forward to how they turn out. Sztabnik has a second volume of the Best Lesson Series out based on Writing (ISBN 978-1726265621). I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
(2) My second resource is the site http://www.commonlit.org. This site has a multitude of texts for teachers to use. They’ve just expanded it to go as low as 3rd grade, and it goes through 12th. Texts are labeled by complexity and grade level. Searches can be conducted based on genre, theme, etc. Texts are paired as well so you can do text sets. The site has multiple choice and short answer questions, with each question connected to a standard. There are lots of questions to practice central idea, theme, vocabulary, and text evidence. Teachers can create free accounts and assign texts. Students can login with their Google accounts or by using a pass code the teacher gives them. Teachers only have to grade the short answer, and then the site calculates the score. Teachers can easily track the data for each text assigned. This is a great site to use to supplement other in-class texts or for use on a sub day.