#COOLKIDSREAD - Making a READ poster

I love those "Read" posters of celebrities holding up or reading a book that you see plastered around bookstores and libraries. I decided to use some local celebrities, namely my 8th graders, to pose for a READ poster which we proudly hang at the entrance of our school library. Each year, I create a new poster.

Why? Well, why not? Younger students love seeing the older students they recognize as siblings or safety members in the photos. The older students look like "celebrities" to them, and turn out to be great role models when it comes to stressing the importance of reading to all students.

How do I do it? I just pose the students reading some books and come up with a catchy theme. This year, we chose #COOLKIDSREAD. I add text using a photo editing tool online, and enlarge the photo to 16x20. Once it arrives printed, I mount it onto a 16x20 mounting or poster board for strength, and hang it.  It's an inexpensive way to remind all students about the importance of reading. How cool is that?



Metaphorically Speaking....

Ask any grade school student what a simile is, and they will tell you it's a comparison using "like" or "as". Somehow, they all memorize that definition, and can easily identify one.  Ask any grade school student what a metaphor is, and somehow, they get tongue-tied and confused. Metaphors are just more difficult for kids to understand. Both make comparisons, but the use of "like" or "as" make them more easily identifiable.

I tried to find an easy activity for my 7th grade Language Arts Lab classes of both general and special needs kids to do to tune them into the difference between the simile and metaphor. I came up with "Metaphorically Speaking".  I had them compare themselves to 4 non-human things by looking at the traits of that item. Then, they wrote out the statement for the comparison and illustrated it.

The results were funny. Some of the students came up with some great comparisons. One of my favorites was a very quiet young lady who compared herself to a taco, because she was "spicy".  The posters hanging in the hallway gave a chuckle to the teachers walking by, for sure.  Here are some of the posters from the classes:

metaphor 1 metaphor 2 metaphor 3 metaphor 4

I'd have to say that the students definitely understood the difference between a simile and metaphor once they did this activity. I asked a few of them to reword their statements to make similes of them, and they were able to do it. "I am as fast as Sonic." "I smell as nice as a flower."   The weekly Lab class was one of my favorite classes to teach because of activities that allowed the student's creativity to shine.