12.30.2012

Creative Writing "Happy New Year" Activities

2013 Creative Activities for the New Year www.traceeorman.com

Happy New Year! I know it's been some time since I've blogged, but we've been traveling to see family, creating new lessons, relaxing, and enjoying the holidays. I hope that you, too, have been able to enjoy this time with family and friends.

I wanted to let you know about a free download I have for teachers to use this new year. It's my "2013 New Year Creative Writing Activities." Hopefully this will help with your lesson planning when you return to school after break.

It includes four short writing activities for students that also practice critical-thinking skills.


2013 New Year Resolution Activity - Creative Writing Activities www.traceeorman.com

The first is writing a new-year resolution. I defined a resolution for the students and prompted them to think about what they wish to achieve and HOW they will go about obtaining that goal. I think it's important to include the "how" because some may resolve to do things that they could not possibly achieve. On the last page of this packet is a variation of his writing exercise that can be used for the first day of school or first day of the semester with a new group of students.

After your students finish writing about their goals, file them away for the rest of the year. Bring them back out on the last day of school and let them see how much they have achieved over the past few months. Students love looking back at things they've written.

2013 List Activity - Creative Writing Activities www.traceeorman.com

The next activity is writing a list of the top 20 things they want to do in 2013 and the top 13 things they hope to avoid or not do. An example might be "Earn an A in class" for top 20 and "Turn in late work" for bottom 13.
2013 Acrostic Poem - Creative Writing Activities www.traceeorman.com

Another activity is writing an acrostic poem using the numbers 2-0-1-3. It forces the students to think of the number as separate words. An example might be:
  Two months of searching
  Zero purchases
  One goal
  Three prospects for the perfect prom dress.

2013 Scavenger Hunt Activity - Creative Activities for the New Year www.traceeorman.com

The final activity is a classroom scavenger hunt. Students are prompted to find certain things based on the numbers 2-0-1-3. Then they have to create their own clues for their classmates.

These activities could be a nice addition to a time capsule or writing portfolio. I hope you and your students enjoy them. If you do, please consider checking out my other creative writing and critical-thinking activities:

Creative Writing Activities www.traceeorman.com


These new products are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. Please see their product descriptions for the full list of standards alignment.
Character Cell Phone Activity http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Cell-Phone-Activity-Common-Core-Aligned

Character Trading Cards Activity http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Trading-Cards-Common-Core-Activity

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12.17.2012

Coping with Tragedy

On my Hunger Games Lessons blog, I've written about my free Mockingjay Acts of Goodness download, which has students recording random acts of kindness they see around them each day. It seemed appropriate in light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

For older students, we've discussed gun control and teen violence many times at school. In fact, we have a Friends of Rachel club and I have shown the movie "Bowling for Columbine" to my upperclassmen. Michael Moore is encouraging people to watch it–free–through his link via Twitter here: Bowling For Columbine


Several years ago I created a "Bowling for Columbine" handout for my classroom. I uploaded it to TpT and promptly forgot about it. Yesterday I downloaded it and was a little embarrassed at the quality; it was an older version and I had since updated my personal file. I added my improvements and then additional information about donating to Sandy Hook School Support Fund. I decided to donate 100% of all proceeds toward the Sandy Hook Fund.

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12.14.2012

I can't imagine what the people of Newtown are going through, but it breaks my heart as both a teacher and a parent. Please keep the community in your thoughts and prayers as they try to cope and recover from this tragedy.



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12.12.2012

12 Great Books for Gift-Giving (12/12/12)

12 Great Books for Gift-Giving

Happy holidays! Have you finished your holiday shopping? Or started it? I have to admit we have no presents under the tree yet. This is a busy time at school (as you all know) so I'm always one of those last-minute shoppers. If you have any book-lovers on your list, here's some great books for gift-giving. I included a mix of young adult, contemporary, and a classic thrown in, as well. (Images courtesy of www.Amazon.com)

For The Hunger Games fan:
1. The Panem Companion by V. Arrow

For anyone (especially those that like tear-jerkers):
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

For females who enjoy dystopia love-triangles:
3. The Matched Trilogy Box Set by Ally Condie

For the conspiracy-theory fan:
4. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

For fans of The Giver:
5. Son by Lois Lowry

For those who love suspense-thrillers, with some twisted reality thrown in:
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

For Gary Paulsen (a.k.a. adventure, survival) fans:
7. The River by Gary Paulsen

More for The Hunger Games fans:
8. Blood Red Road (Dustlands, book 1) by Moira Young

and the sequel to Blood Red Road:
9. Rebel Heart (Dustlands, book 2) by Moira Young

For the Divergent fan:
10. Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Story (Kindle edition) by Veronica Roth

For Stephanie Plum fans:
11. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

For anyone (especially those who appreciate the timeless classics):
12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Worth mentioning:


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (This deluxe pocket edition is so cute.)

The Chaos Walking Trilogy (Kindle edition) by Patrick Ness (Includes The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Don't expect a book like Harry Potter, though!)

Threat Vector by Tom Clancy

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson

The Mortal Instruments Box Set: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Finale (Hush, Hush series) by Becca Fitzpatrick 

For more suggestions, check out my pinboards on Pinterest for book lovers:

Do you have book suggestions? PLEASE post them below! :)
Happy Holidays, Friends!


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12.04.2012

Day 4 of The Twelve Days of Gift-mas for Teachers

Four Calling Birds: Free Teaching Lessons & Activities for the 4th day of Christmas

Welcome to The Twelve Days of Gift-mas blog hop for secondary teachers! Each day you'll find a fantastic freebie that can be used in a middle or high school classroom. Thanks for coming by to Mrs. Orman's Classroom and Hunger Games Lessons for Day 4 (I run both blogs, so decided to post both places.)

"Four Calling Birds" is appropriate for my free gifts to you because I have FOUR priced items to fit that theme that will be FREE for 24 hours only, beginning at 6 a.m. (CST) today (Tuesday, Dec. 4th) until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5th.
Four Calling Birds: To Kill a Mockingbird - Free Activities for Teachers for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Gift-mas

I teach English/Language Arts, so my special gifts are the following (click on the images of the products to get the free download):

To Kill a Mockingbird Introduction KWL Activity

To Kill a Mockingbird Trial Organizer and Inferencing Activity for Chapters 17-19

Four Calling Birds - The Hunger Games Trilogy...activities for the 4th day of Christmas
One mockingbird + three mockingjays = four calling birds!
Another "bird" related activity is my review activities for The Hunger Games characters, setting, and events in preparation of Catching Fire (you can also use it as an alternative final assessment of The Hunger Games, though it is just a simple review of characters and plot): 

The Hunger Games Review Activities

And...
The Hunger Games Meaning of Panem Activity

fifth calling bird?? What?
Finally, here's a BONUS freebie that can be used with any book or story (fiction or non-fiction), any time! It's my Twitter Tweet Chapter or Lesson Review Activity. Use it with any content area to review a reading passage or lesson for the day!

Twitter Tweet Summary or Review Activity

Tomorrow you'll be heading to Liz's Lessons for the 5th day of Gift-mas! You can check out all the pages in the link-up (below).

Happy Holidays and THANK YOU for all you do each and every day. You are appreciated! :)

Special thanks to Michelle Lundy from Making It as a Middle School Teacher for organizing and facilitating this blog hop!


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12.01.2012

Happy Holidays From Your Favorite TpT Teachers!

Happy Holidays from your favorite TpT sellers! www.traceeorman.com
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Last year Rachel Lynette from Minds in Bloom started a wonderful holiday tradition to thank the supporters of TeachersPayTeachers: a free holiday eBook filled with free holiday tips and links to free teaching downloads from TpT teacher authors.

This year the book has been split up into separate books based on grade level. The grades 7-12 was compiled by Addie Williams of Addie Education and can be downloaded here:

My page from the book looks like this:
Free Downloads for the Holidays! Grades 7-12  www.traceeorman.com
 There is one broken link to my Common Core Writing PEEL Chart and Graphic Organizer. Sorry about that!

Rachel Lynette compiled the grades 3-6 book, which can be found here:

My page from the 3-6 book is for a free clipart download:
Free Downloads for the Holidays! Grades 3-6  www.traceeorman.com

Here are the other Holiday eBooks:

And from all the contributors and myself, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and fantastic winter break!