I have been teaching in a public high school for 8 years in all high school grade levels (Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors). My techniques and strategies have shown increases in the state assessment tests.
Take hard to read stories, like The Raven, A Rose for Emily or The Fall of the House of Usher, and break it down into managable chunks by using one of my worksheets. The worksheets that I created work. If you put one of these worksheets in front of the students, several things start to happen: 1) They start reading the story and answering the questions. 2) They now have knowledge of the story 3) They feel accomplished when they are done - and can now have intelligent conversations about the story they just read. The way I created these worksheets are unique. Here's an example... This excerpt is from "A Man to Send Rain Clouds" "The big cottonwood tree stood apart from a small grove of winterbare cottonwoods which grew in the wide, sandy, arroyo. He had been dead for a day or more, and the sheep had wandered and scattered up and down the arroyo." Question #1. ( T or F ) The old man Teofilo had been dead for a day or more, and the sheep he had been tending had wandered and scattered up and down the arroyo (i.e. a dry gully). The answer is TRUE. How many times have you assigned a reading passage for classwork or homework, only to find out the next day that no one read the story? Now what? You have a full lesson planned on discussing the story. Sure we all know that you can give the students an "F" and move on. Ive done it. But I also have seen positive results with these worksheets. As students read the story in class, questions like these pop up, in the order of the story. Students continue reading and boom, another question. Every couple of sentences, there is another question. Before you know it, the student is done, done with the worksheet and done with reading the story. They feel a sense of accomplishment, perhaps earned a grade (depending on your preference), and you are now ready to have a discussion about the story. Question types are T or F, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple choice. If the story says "I ran up the hill as fast as I could to get that bucket of water.", the question would be "I ran up the _______ as fast as I could to get that ________ of __________.". I like to call this "guided chunking". These questions are basically guided reading worksheets in disguise. Ive seen it time and time again. Student sits down to read "A Rose for Emily", 10 minutes later, their head is down, they stopped reading, they're looking around....bottom line - not learning/not reading. Put the worksheet for "A Rose for Emily" in front of them, in about an hour, the worksheet is done and they have read the story. They can now talk about how Emily was, why was she the way she was.. etc etc etc. And that is the goal.
Certified Princeton Review Instructor
BA in English Lit., Certified Princeton Review ACT Instructor, Cert. in English 6-12, Cert. in ESOL, Cert. in Reading.
Born in the 60's. I was the quintessential hyper-active boy/student from elementary school to high school. And now I am a teacher in public high school . Teaching for over 8 years, I take my secrets (what worked with me) and implement them in my teaching styles. And in a world where high stakes testing matters, these guided reading worksheets work! Don't believe me? Have any doubts? No problem. Download my free full samples "A Man to Send Rain Clouds" by Leslie Silko, "Between Heaven and Hell" and "Before the End of Summer".by Grant Moss Jr. - all come with full answer keys. And since some of these stories are public domain, you can find it online for free. You have nothing to lose Try them for free!