Teaching about Author's Perspective

Hello! Welcome to our mentor text link up! The book I chose to feature this time is A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech. I have found that this book is an ideal mentor text to use when teaching students about identifying the author's perspective. Full disclosure: this blog post contains affiliate links. :)


A Fine, Fine School- Mentor Text for teaching about identifying an author's perspective or an author's point of view! Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!

A quick summary: Tillie enjoys school, but she also enjoys being a kid. One day, the principal at Tillie's school, Mr. Keene, decides that the teachers and students at his school are doing so well, that he wants them to have school on weekends. The teachers and students didn't want to go school on the weekend, but no one knew how to tell Mr. Keene that. Mr. Keene is so proud of his school, that he decides to have school on holidays, too. A few months later, he cancels summer break. Finally, Tillie speaks up. She explains to Mr. Keene that although the kids are learning a lot, there are also many learning opportunities that have to be missed, like learning how to climb trees. Mr. Keene realizes that Tillie is right, and he changes the schedule back to the normal Monday-through-Friday schedule. The teachers and children are ecstatic! 

I LOVE THIS BOOK for so many reasons!! First, the author finds a subtle way to express her views on the current state of our educational system, with its overabundance of testing and procedures that are not in the best interest of our students. Along with that, the illustrations by Harry Bliss are fun to look at, but also quite profound. He further emphasizes the author's viewpoint with his illustrations. When I read this book with students, we have fun looking at the details in each illustration.
A Fine, Fine School- Mentor Text for teaching about identifying an author's perspective or an author's point of view! Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!
Notice the banner that is hanging in the lunchroom that reads "WHY NOT STUDY WHILE YOU CHEW?"!

A Fine, Fine School- Mentor Text for teaching about identifying an author's perspective or an author's point of view! Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!
The sticky notes on Tillie's suitcase say "HUGE TEST SUNDAY", "MASSIVE TEST SATURDAY", and "THE LARGEST TEST IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE NEXT WEEK!"

A Fine, Fine School- Mentor Text for teaching about identifying an author's perspective or an author's point of view! Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!
Notice the details in this illustration! The girl is putting a 10,000 count box of pencils in her locker! On the other side, a girl is carrying a backpack with a WIDE LOAD sign.

BEFORE READING

I'll begin this lesson with an anchor chart that explains author's perspective. (I will also take a moment to explain that some people also refer to this as author's point of view.)


Author's Perspective Anchor Chart- this blog post includes a mentor text activity plus a FREE followup independent practice worksheet!

After reviewing the information on the anchor chart, I'll tell my students that I am going to read aloud a book today, and I want them to try to figure out a belief of the author that is evident in this book. I'll show the cover to my students, and ask if anyone would care to share a prediction about the author's perspective, just based on the title and the cover illustration.

AFTER READING

After enjoying the book, we will use discuss each quadrant on the anchor chart. For example, we'll talk about the problem/conflict in A Fine, Fine School, and discuss how it helped us determine the author's beliefs about school. I'll record notes of our discussion on a sticky note, and add it to the anchor chart. After discussing each quadrant, we will ultimately determine that the author of the book believes that today's schools aren't as student-centered as they should be. Rather, most schools are test-centered... administrators are focused on making policies that will allow kids to test well. It's evident that the author believes administrators and policy-makers need to take a step back and realize that a lot of important learning happens outside of schools, too.

After this guided discussion, you can use the following worksheet as independent practice to determine which of your students can identify the author's perspective without your help, and which students need additional small group instruction. Just click on the image below to download the FREE worksheet!


FREE Author's Perspective (Point of View) worksheet! Determine whether your students can identify an author's perspective!

Also, if you are looking for additional resources that focus on the ability to identify the author's perspective, feel free to check out my PowerPoint and worksheet packet!
Perspective PowerPoint for intermediate level students! Includes many practice passages!


Author's Perspective Worksheet Packet- includes 6 practice worksheets!



Thanks for stopping by! Before you leave, be sure to enter the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive all of the books shared in this linkup!! By the way, MY MYSTERY WORD IS SPRING.


Also, be sure to hop around to my friends' blogs and check out the other books shared in this linkup!



A Fine, Fine School- Mentor Text for teaching about identifying an author's perspective or an author's point of view! Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!
 


Five FREE Idioms Activities

I've always love teaching kids about idioms... the majority of English speakers use them so often in conversational language, we often don't even realize we are using them! When we study them in school with our students, though, we take a good look at their literal AND figurative meanings, and we realize how entertaining these language features truly are.

When I took my ESL endorsement classes the summer after I began my teaching career, I remember thinking about how perplexing idioms must be to our English Language Learners. However, when I got a chance to teach idioms to my ELLs the following school year, I found that they enjoy learning about idioms just as much as native English speakers do. They just may need more repetition and practice opportunities before they memorize the meanings of the countless idioms in the English language.

Since repetition is key, I decided to compile a list of idiom activities you can use with your students!

1. Post an anchor chart in your classroom.

Write the idioms on the anchor chart before class begins. Then, enlist the help of your students by asking them to help you figure out the meaning of each idiom during class.
Idioms Anchor Chart- This blog post features Five FREE Idiom Activities!
This fun clip art  by Monster Wrangler Mike is available on TpT. Just click HERE to check it out.

2. Go through this {free} PowerPoint with your students.

FREE Idioms PowerPoint and companion handout when you sign up for my newsletter. 44-slide PowerPoint with many multiple choice practice questions!

This PowerPoint contains many direct teaching slides and multiple choice practice slides, like the ones below.
FREE Idioms PowerPoint and companion handout when you sign up for my newsletter. 44-slide PowerPoint with many multiple choice practice questions!

FREE Idioms PowerPoint and companion handout when you sign up for my newsletter. 44-slide PowerPoint with many multiple choice practice questions!

I also teach my students to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown idioms. Therefore, I included some of these practice slides, as well.
FREE Idioms PowerPoint and companion handout when you sign up for my newsletter. 44-slide PowerPoint with many multiple choice practice questions!

To access this free PowerPoint, just sign up for my newsletter, and this will be sent to you automatically. (There is a sign-up form directly above my photograph in the righthand corner of my blog.)

3.  Download this {free} "I Have, Who Has?" idiom game.

I found this free resource in Cassie Dahl's store! How awesome, huh? Cheers erupt any time I bring out one of these games, and this one looks super fun!
Free I Have Who Has Game... featuring idioms!

4.  Download this {free} set of idiom task cards.

I found this resource in the store of The Teacher Next Door.  32 idiom task cards are included!
Free School Idioms Task Cards


5.  Make a class idiom book!

Students seem to LOVE illustrating idioms because they are so zany! Your students will likely enjoy creating this class idiom book by Nicole from Learning Lab! (It includes a list of 50 idioms!) Plus, then it is complete, this will become a cherished addition to your classroom library.
Make a class Idioms Book!

My favorite idiom activity- Concentration!

Finally, I'd like to share my all-time favorite idiom activity! My students have always LOVED this game! After printing out the cards and cutting them apart, we turn them over and play Concentration. I am very purposeful when I play this game with students. When it is a student's turn, he turns over ONLY ONE CARD to begin. If he turns over a picture card, he reads the short passage aloud, identifies the idiom within the sentence, and guesses the meaning. If he flips the words-only card, he reads it aloud, and tries to recall an idiom that matches the definition. AFTER the student has completed that crucial step, he can turn over his second card, and determine if he has a match. 
Idioms Concentration-featuring 17 common idioms!

If you do some of these fun, engaging activities with your students, idioms will be a PIECE OF CAKE before you know it!