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Article of the Week

The Life of an English Teacher
You may recall me mentioning Kelly Gallagher, my celebrity crush, in previous posts.  Well, I guess he's not exactly a celebrity but in my mind, he's a superstar! I stumbled across one of his ideas on Pinterest this summer.  This led me to purchase every single one of his books, which, in my opinion, has transformed, rejuvenated, and inspired me as a teacher!  
One of his ideas that I implemented this year is the Article of the Week! Each week I assign students an article to read and annotate. They must also write a summary of the article (I provide a template), as well as a personal response.  For the latter part of the assignment, students have numerous choices.  
Sometimes I choose articles from Gallagher's website, and other times I choose my own articles that complement what we are reading in class.  Here is a partial list of what we've read so far:

"That Flinty Taste"-about the lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan
"Teenagers, Friends, and Bad Decisions"-this worked well with The Outsiders
"The Wonder of the Teen Brain"
"The Distracted Teenage Brain"
"The 750 Dollar Pill"-about the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States
"Workplace Spying"
"The Frightening Truth about the Future of Driverless Cars"
"8 Reasons Europe's Refugee Crisis is Happening Now"
"Soccer's Corrupt Soul"
"How to be Loved by Everyone: 6 Powerful Secrets"-hint, be quiet and LISTEN
Meaningful Annotations-Summarizing and defining unknown words

Love how this student uses both drawings and words in her annotations

My students have learned to read critically.  They are now experts at identifying the author's central argument and writing accurate summaries using academic language.  Most importantly, they are learning about the world around them!  I believe that acquiring background knowledge on a variety of topics helps students become better readers and writers!  Plus, it makes them more interesting people!

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