8.28.2011

Cute Halloween Clip Art for Commercial Use!

Halloween Clip Art Graphics Commercial Use

I just posted my Halloween clip art package. :) I was pleasantly surprised with my drawing ability...thankfully my Mac is able to make my crooked lines much smoother.

These images can be used for commercial use, including free downloads. So, if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative or supplement to your favorite clip art company, check out my cute Halloween package. It contains over 25 graphics (individual files in a zipped folder) in PNG format. I made the background transparent so these can be placed on any of your patterned or colored backgrounds without the white showing up.

Check them out in my TeachersPayTeachers Clip Art Store: Halloween Clip Art Package

8.24.2011

It's a Free For All!

Today is the official launch of The Lesson Cloud, so head on over there to find oodles of free downloads for teachers! Whatever you teach, it'll be represented. Plus, the lessons will be archived so you can always go back and find them. Support your fellow teachers today & don't forget to comment or leave feedback for them! :)

8.23.2011

Offering Choices for your Readers: Comic-Book Craze!

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Suzanne Collins biography, graphic novel style!
Students should enjoy reading, right!? And there's a reason why young children love picture books: images are appealing. Do I prefer reading a graphic novel version of my favorite books? Not really. But, that doesn't mean none of my students do.
In fact, I would say quite a few of them would prefer it.

If I want my students to enjoy reading, I need to offer plenty of choices. The same with writing. Some kids are happy to write a classic book report. But some aren't. So why not give them choices?

With the recent announcement on the Hunger Games Fireside Chat of Sara Gundell's comic-style biography of Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games), (see picture) this reminds me that there are so many appealing ways to entice students to read rather than the traditionally printed book. I offer loads of choices in my high school classroom because we all have different tastes. I do love reading comics and have Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Close to Home, and Frazz books for students to read. Of course I offer the classics along side them, but I would much rather have a student read something over nothing. We need to admit that it is OK to allow these choices in our classroom. Students DO learn from reading non-academia texts! Reading the Guiness Book of World Records is still helping my students' reading skills. How? Because they are reading! It doesn't matter what they are reading. The act alone and repetition of it makes them better readers.

It is the same with writing. The more they write, the better writer they become. So why do we assign the boring 5-paragraph essay over and over again so they learn to hate writing? I don't know (well I do...because we are forced to). It's crazy. I would rather assign them more relevant and personally-connected pieces because 1. they will enjoy it, and 2. the chances of them copying & pasting text from the internet is less likely.

Here's a free download for you: comic strip panels to use to assign a comic bio or book report. (Click on the images below to print or drag to your desktop to save. I created them using Pasq.com's Comic Life program.) You can head to my teacher store to find additional ideas for literature- and history-based learning.







8.10.2011

Get to Know Your Students with a Creative Project

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One of my favorite assignments to give my students at the beginning of the year is to create a collage mobile. They are required to fill out a questionnaire of their interests, then based on those answers, create a collage mobile that will hang in the classroom. The third step is to write about the items they chose to include in their collage and why those things are special, or represent who they are.

I like this activity because I'm able to find out the interests of my students and get some classroom decoration up. The 3D effects of a collage adds interest, then hanging them as mobiles make them even more fun. Are they distracting? A little at first. I do give students time to look at them when they first go up. They love seeing what their classmates have created. They stay up most the year and we've even added smaller collages to the originals for true mobiles.

The picture shows how you can assign an addition to the mobile at the end of a novel unit. Have students find images, favorite quotes, and artifacts that relate to the novel.

If you would like the handouts and extensive lesson plan for this project, check here.


Hunger Games Lessons: Are You Ready for the First Day of School?

Hunger Games Lessons: Are You Ready for the First Day of School?

8.09.2011

New Graphics Clip Art Product

Download this preview of my new product: Stripes and Polka Dots!  Your purchase includes the PNG & JPG graphics for commercial use.

Stripes & Polka Dots Labels Frames Borders Name Plates

Need Graphics for Commercial Use?


  Are you looking for affordable graphics, art, images for commercial use? You can find them in my teacher store!

I love designing backgrounds, borders, frames, buttons, and other odds and ends for my own documents. I have a degree in journalism and years of hands-on experience in graphic design. I just recently realized there was a need for commercial-use clip art.

Check out my online store to find graphics that you can use for your personal or professional use. Enjoy!

8.02.2011

Use Popular Music to Teach Poetic Devices & Figurative Language

Use Song Lyrics to Teach Figurative Language & Poetry Terms www.traceeorman.com
Song lyrics are perfect for teaching figurative language!
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To engage your students, you need to know what they like. What books do they like to read? What movies do they like to see? What do they do in their free time? What kind of music do they like?

Having a questionnaire at the beginning of the school year is a great way to find out more about them. I like to have them create a collage mobile with their answers (more on that in another post). But this allows me to gauge what their interests are so I can create lessons that will, hopefully, engage them.

One of my favorite lessons for teaching figurative language & poetry devices is using popular song lyrics. I play the song for them in class & let them listen to the lyrics. Then I give them the handout and play the song again. As they listen, they pick out the devices they see and hear. I have been known to play a song three or four times (with all apologies to my nearest colleagues) so students can find all the "sound" devices.

I use this lesson for Katy Perry's "Firework" as one example. Depending on the level of your students, you may want them to find additional devices/examples or fewer. I use this with grade 10 and most were able to find at least 80 percent of the devices. What they couldn't find, I prompted with hints, then pointed out to them.


The copy on TPT has recent updates. You may download there free. If you like this lesson, please take a moment to leave positive feedback: Tracee's Firework Lesson Feedback

If you like this activity, check out ALL my lessons that incorporate popular music!

Use Katy Perry's "Roar" to Review Figurative Language & Poetry Devices
  - NEW! Roar by Katy Perry Figurative Language & Poetry Devices Review Activity

Use songs by One Direction to compare with classic poetry.


  - One Direction Song Lyrics Poetry Activity

  - Poetry Terms Presentation Using Song Lyrics
  - Poetry & Song Lyrics Comparison Activity
  - Domino by Jessie J Figurative Language & Poetic Devices Activity (9-12--use your own discretion)
  - We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel Art Prints & Activity

ANOTHER NEW ACTIVITY:
"Wake Me Up" by Avicii and Alow Blacc - Use song lyrics in poetry unit

Comparing "Wake Me Up" (Avicii and Aloe Blacc) and Carpe Diem poems

...more coming soon!


Using Katy Perry's "Firework" to Identify Figurative Language & Poetry Devices



Classroom Freebies Manic Monday