Need nonfiction readings for HS ELA

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Tulipteacher, May 7, 2016.

  1. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    May 7, 2016

    Hi, I have been reading for a while and finally signed up. I teach high school ELA. By some miracle, I will have one week between when I finish my last unit with my sophomores and before exam review starts.

    I do not want to do a project or more exam review. The students don't do well with projects and I need to make good use of this time. So I am looking for texts that would be engaging or one longer text that would take several days. I see my students daily for 90 minutes. Ideally I am looking for nonfiction, so we can work more on author's perspective, claims, and/or central idea. I would prefer to have one text or one topic for the whole week to make it less disjointed.

    Any ideas? I wrote down all of the suggestions from the thread about short stories, so I am hoping someone has some advice for nonfiction! Thanks!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 7, 2016

    You may not consider this non-fiction, but how about reading a play in class? You could even get into a staged reading if you have enough brave students. A text with a large number of large and small parts like Our Town might do the trick. Students could write the biographies of the smaller characters and explain their back story that might not be seen in the original text (I'd love to know why Simon Stinson became such a drunk). There is an outstanding Great Performances video of the play if you cannot get them to act it out themselves.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    May 7, 2016

    Newsela is an excellent resource for nonfiction articles.
     
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  5. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 7, 2016

    Do you have access to laptops/Chromebooks/iPads for all of your students on a daily basis? If so, the site Newsela is a wonderful collection of nonfiction articles that deal with all aspects of the world. I teach 10th grade English as well, and though I haven't incorporated Newsela yet, I'm seriously planning on it next year. Each article has a writing assignment and quiz that goes with it. They are very interesting texts. You have to sign up (it's free) and I guess have to register your students (or have them sign up). I haven't gotten that far yet, but I've looked at the site and some of the articles and I like what I see.
    It would be good practice reading nonfiction and I've seen sample questions that definitely focus on central idea and author's purpose. Plus, there are so many articles you could let the kids choose which ones they want to read. Maybe just get them on the site and tell them that over the next week they have to read X number of articles, completing the writing assignments and quizzes for each.

    Are you guys allowed to show movies? Mine love to watch movies, but I always have some sort of assignment to accompany the movie. Maybe split the class between the Newsela stuff online and watching a movie. Have thought-provoking discussion questions for them to answer about the film, and then lead a class discussion about the film/questions.

    Their attention spans are about shot at this point, so splitting up the class between working on computers and watching a movie would probably help keep them at least somewhat engaged and manageable.

    ETA: dgpiaffeteach beat me to it!
     
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  6. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    May 13, 2016

    I just signed up with commonlit.org and it seems like it may be a good fit for what you need. It is aligned with Common Core standards too, but could really be used anywhere. They provide 5 close reading questions, short answer questions, paired readings, and associated media links. I haven't had much time since this morning to go through it, but it looks like a decent source at first blush.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 13, 2016

    I know I recommend these books a lot, but look at Texts and Lessons. There's a fiction version and a nonfiction version.
     
  8. Chinesa Rusch

    Chinesa Rusch New Member

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    Jun 3, 2016

    I'd do important American texts, maybe comparing and contrasting their messages or styles. The Decleration, the Constitution, Aint I A Woman, I Have A Dream, etc. all have a lot of classroom merit
     

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