Those of you who have read my previous posts know that I am a huge fan of Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. I started using it in my sixth grade English classes and saw levels of analysis I had never achieved when using traditional methods of close reading. Their concrete, user-friendly strategy made even the most difficult texts accessible to all.
For the last two years, I have used a combination of the examples given in the book and short stories to teach each signpost before we applied them to whole class novels. (See previous posts.) This year, I decided to add picture books and video clips to the mix. Because my classes are only 45 minutes long and I have to teach all of ELA in that time, I don’t use as many books and videos and I would like (or as are available), but the addition of these two things made the signposts even more valuable to my class. They had no trouble finding them when we read our first novel, Walk Two Moons.
Below are the resources I used this year. I always began and ended with a short story and showed the video and read the picture books in between. After we had learned all of them, I had them search in my many picture books for more.
(NOTES: I currently teach at an all-girls’ school, so the short stories reflect that. See my previous posts for more examples of stories to use. There are also numerous other picture books that have great examples of signposts. Also, I purchased the Pixar shorts DVDs.)
CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS
- Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes
- Priscilla and the Wimps by Richard Peck
- My Teachers is a Monster (No, I am Not) by Peter Brown
- Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
- Tin Toy – Pixar Shorts Vol 1
WORDS OF THE WISER
- Tuesday of the Other June by Norma Fox Mazer
- Who Are You Today, Maria? by Judith Ortiz Cofer
- Flowers and Freckle Cream by Elizabeth Ellis
- That Is Not A Good Idea by Mo Willems
- One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
- Boundin – Pixar Shorts Vol 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfsyrNKhNTE
- The Richer, The Poorer by Dorothy West
- A-Ha Moment by Julia Alvarez (from Oprah Magazine)
- My Rotten, Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco
- Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown (he’s a class favorite author)
- Cooler Self: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFhLU7ULTtA
- Day & Night – Pixar Shorts Vol. 2
- clip from Tangled: realization scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlb0D9YHR7Y
AGAIN AND AGAIN
- Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
- Charles by Shirley Jackson (also has a good A-Ha moment)
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
- Destiny — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEKLEeY_WeQ
- Dug’s Special Mission – Pixar shorts vol. 2
- My Grandmother’s Hair by Cynthia Rylant
- Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
- Time Travel Mater – Pixar Shorts vol 2
- The Third Wish by Joan Aiken
- Bully by Patricia Polacco
- The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth (based on a story by Tolstoy)
- La Luna – Pixar Shorts vol 2
- Partly Cloudy – Pixar Shorts vol 2
Many of the other Pixar shorts would be great to use as well, but in the interest of time, these are all I had the opportunity to use this year.
Presto for AGAIN AND AGAIN
For the Birds for A-HA MOMENT
George and AJ for CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS
There are also numerous collections of award-winning shorts available on YouTube.
My goals for next summer are to find some more animated shorts and also add in songs, poetry, and art. I am also going to ask the students to find some examples of these themselves this spring when we do more literary analysis.
Do you use any drama in your class when you teach these? I have to teach a play, and I’d love to able to the strategies for a play. Do you have any good ideas for a play to use for the 8th grade level?
I LOVE using Pixar shorts during mini lessons to get students talking/thinking about concepts like theme, character motivation, conflict, etc.!
This is amazing!! Thanks for putting these resources together.
I would love to get your notice & note ideas that you are creating next!
Thank you. I’ve been using it for several years, but I have definitely added and changed things up. I will update when I get time.