Top Critical Reading Lessons of 2019-20: Home Themes

In today’s environment with the COVID-19 crisis, teachers and parents need more distance learning tools for teaching upper elementary and middle school students about critical reading, writing, and thinking. You’re about to discover a versatile solution called XTRA Weekly that can be used in the classroom, in after-school programs, or with distance learning. The successful method uses a recent newspaper article along with engaging activities to challenge students with higher-order thinking. In addition, XTRA Weekly provides step-by-step directions for the instructor to deliver the lesson plan—saving time for the educator or parent!

BENEFITS OF OUR 5-WEEK SERIES

To help educators explore better solutions for teaching critical reading skills, we’ve created a five-week series to highlight our favorite lessons from the 2019-20 school year. Best of all, access to these sample lessons are free! In this third of five articles, we’ve provided examples of lessons with home themes engage students by teaching about fun and interesting home-related issues!

The key benefits of investing time to review our lessons include:

  • Discovering a time-saving weekly guided lesson plan that you can subscribe to next school year.
  • Learning how XTRA Weekly is aligned to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
  • Examining how this ELA resource will help with teaching critical reading, writing, and thinking.
  • Sampling how you can enhance students’ knowledge of current events on a weekly basis.

Our 5-week series will feature the following themes:

  1. FOOD (published 7/6/20) – Includes the articles “How to Carve a Spooky Pineapple Jack-O-Lantern”, “5 of the Least Healthy Holiday Dishes”, and “Quinn on Nutrition: An Apple a Day”
  2. HEALTH (published 7/18/20) – Includes the articles “Mayo Clinic Minute: Why scary movies make your heart race”, “Does the coronavirus have you worried about toilet paper?”, and “Tired of self-isolating? Astronauts are used to it.”
  3. HOME (this article, published 8/2/20) – Includes the articles “Study: A lot of good food goes into the fridge to die”, “Stuck at home? Now is the perfect time to learn the language of birds”, and “Ask Mr. Dad: When Enough is Too Much”
  4. SCIENCE (published 8/13/20) – Includes the articles “These students are learning how to fly drones — and they’re only in middle school”, “The dirtiest things you touch”, and “NC man sets his 7th Guinness World Record. This one took giant soap bubbles.”
  5. PETS (published 9/1/20) – Includes the articles “Joan Morris: Should we let our pets lick us on the lips”, “Florida man and his dogs visited 25 nursing homes in cross-country trek for pet therapy cause”, and “You got your flu shot; You also should protect your dogs with the canine flu vaccine”

HOW XTRA WEEKLY WORKS

  • Start a subscription to access a new issue each week during the school year, which contains two weekly lessons.
  • Download the weekly issue via the Internet with 24/7 accessibility.
  • Each lesson contains a current Newspaper Article, brief For the Instructor lesson plan, Questions and Extension Activities for the student, and Answer Key for the teacher.
  • Choose an integrated curriculum geared for your students in either Grades 3-5 (Level 1) or 6-8 (Level 2), or use both levels.
  • Share each lesson with your students, which uses current nonfiction articles from national newspapers to engage students in reading, writing, and critical thinking.
  • Repeat the process weekly during each school year — you’ll get 32 lessons (actually, 64 lessons since each lesson contains both Level 1 and 2 activities).

Now, let’s get started exploring some home-related lessons that we created for students and educators during the 2019-20 school year involving why good food dies in the fridge, taking the opportunity to learn the language of birds, and why certain extra curricular activities may be too much.

HOME THEME: SAMPLE A

“Study: A lot of good food goes into the fridge to die” (Level 2, Lesson 2 — 2019-20)

girl with food in refrigerator

Click to view the NEWSPAPER ARTICLE Click to view FOR THE INSTRUCTOR Click to view the QUESTIONS Click to view the ANSWERS Click to view the EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

 

HOME THEME: SAMPLE B

“Stuck at home? Now is the perfect time to learn the language of birds” (Level 1, Lesson 29 — 2019-20)

family bird watching

Click to view the NEWSPAPER ARTICLE Click to view FOR THE INSTRUCTOR Click to view the QUESTIONS Click to view the ANSWERS Click to view the EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

 

HOME THEME: SAMPLE C

“Ask Mr. Dad: When Enough is Too Much” (Level 2, Lesson 23 — 2019-20)

kids exercising

Click to view the NEWSPAPER ARTICLE Click to view the FOR THE INSTRUCTOR Click to view the QUESTIONS Click to view the ANSWERS Click to view the EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

NEXT STEPS

Now that you’ve discovered why educators love XTRA Weekly, here are the next steps:

  • Join our mailing list to be notified when the subscription for the 2020-21 school year is available for purchase (Annual cost: $500 per school for all teachers or $200 per individual teacher)
  • For the 2020-21 school year, Lesson 1 (Levels 1 and 2) will be published September 14. You’ll be notified at a later date on how to login to XTRAWeekly.com to access the weekly lessons.
Click to JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

 

 

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