Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You are Invited to an ELA Activity Party

Students love parties! And who couldn't use a party to add some sunshine and excitement to these January days? Here is a project that ties in with any reading. Although a novel or novelette works best because of the abundance of details and information, short stories can work, too. For the latter type of reading, students might have to dive into their imaginations to create specifics that will match up with the text, though. But that's a good thing since higher-order thinking skills love to be exercised along with concrete reasoning. A non-fiction personal narrative is also chock full of the elements of literature (characters, plot, conflict, setting, themes, symbols) and would be a good alternative choice. Besides, the Common Core Standards are looking for more non-fiction in the classrooms.

This Common Core Standards-based activity, You are Invited!, is 16-pages long.  Students will choose the type of party, the guest list, and more  using the information they have gleaned from a novel (or short story) that they have been studying in class or reading independently. They will showcase their knowledge and comprehension through the invitation they design, the people they invite (as well as the reasons for their choices), five conversation topics that would occur during the party, who would be a part of these discussions and why, and their choices and reasons for the food, drink, music and entertainment.

Two pages of Teacher Notes are included as well as notes for the students to clarify what is required on various segments of the project. Students can use the method of their choice to create and design the invitation and other graphic elements. Three examples of sites with invitation templates are included.

This project allows students the opportunity to showcase their understanding of any text and the role that the elements of literature play in its structure by combining their creative and design skills with their understanding of the reading material. The activity handout is 16-pages; two blank slides for text and two for graphics are included so students can add any other elements teachers might require or that they choose to include on their own. Although I created this as an individual project, teachers can choose to use this as a group assignment. In that case, though, they will have to alter the requirements to fit this type of activity.

Isn't it time to party?

Enjoy the party,


Note: The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald) is used only as a sample to depict what type of information should be revealed in the various project segments. Images and references to this book are merely for example purposes.

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