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Posts Tagged ‘lesson plans for teachers’


Recently I was privileged to  do a Mystery Writers Workshop for a fifth grade class on Long Island. The students read my three Annie Tillery Mysteries, and  wrote me letters I will always cherish. The students are lucky enough to have a teacher who has developed a Literature Circle in her classroom. The school hosted an Author/Illustrator Night through Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and the students got to meet me. Later I visited the class and we did a mystery writeing workshop. See my previous blog. Here are some of the questions and comments from the students. What fun!

Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing

1. What does Annie, your main character look like. “I was wondering how you pictured Annie looking like and was it like the illustrations?”

2.”I love all these books because they have a lot of action.”

3.”I was wondering how you got the idea for mysteries.”

“The only way I can snap out of it (reading a good book) is if somebody takes the book, does something physical to me, or I simply look up to see what is going on.”

4. “I like the book because it reminds me of Indiana Jones and I also like how Annie has a lot of adventure.”

5. “Why do you have the same format for your book covers?’

6. “Why do you have the same characters in your books?”

7. “Why did you pick the name, Annie, for your main character?”

8. “Why did you choose the series to be mystery books?”

Whoops! I got an idea.

Whoops! I got an idea.

9. “Why did Annie not like her father?”

10, “I am reading your book, Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys, and I absolutely love it. The setting is fantastic, the plot is out of this world, and I can’t even tell you how good the characters are. I think the book has excitement, mystery, friendship, and romance all throughout the book. Where in the world did you think of such a good story?”

11. “I must ask you how you came up with he characters’ names? I myself am writing a story, and I am struggling with finding names for my characters. Are they based off of real people? Or did you just randomly pick names. My second question is did you include real facts about ghosts in the book? Or did you make them up? For example, in the story it said, ‘Don’t ghosts run on some sort of energy?’. When I read that, I felt more interested about ghosts. Also,k besides the questions I really admired how you put many advanced words. It helped me with my vocabulary, and it helps me become more of an advanced writer.”

12. “What inspired you to be an author?”

13. “Why do you write about ghosts?”

14.”I was wondering if you have any children, and what part do you live in?”

15. “When did you start being an author?”

Waiting for inspiration.

Waiting for inspiration.

16. How do you come up with your ideas for books?”
17. “What is your feeling about writing?”

18. “Is writing a story hard?”

Some of the questions were about specific plot choices I made.

I loved this comment too. “I think you chose the right job to be an author.” For those of you who write, it sometimes takes a long time to get that validation.

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.

An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.

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ANNIE TILLERY MYSTERIES MAKE IT TO THE SCHOOL ROOM

 

The gifts of reading and writing open the universe to those who use them.

The gifts of reading and writing open the universe to those who use them.

The gifts of reading and writing open the universe to those who use them.

Tapping into my belief that Exciting Appropriate Literaturelike mystery bookscan spur interest in reading, a Long Island fifth grade class learns the art of mystery solving and mystery writing. using the story of “The Skeleton in the Old Lighthouse”. The workshop hits those important ELA skills of listening, reading and writing, and challenges critical thinking skills used to conduct an investigation and draw conclusions while tapping the creative energy needed to write a story. I’m waiting for their stories which will come just before school ends this month.

Here are some quotes from the readers.

“I love all these books because they have a lot of action.”

“I like the book because it reminds me of Indiana Jones and I also like how Annie has a lot of adventure.”

“I am reading your book, Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys, and I absolutely love it. The setting is fantastic, the plot is out of this world, and I can’t even tell you how good the characters are. I think the book has excitement, mystery, friendship, and romance all throughout the book. Where in the world did you think of such a good story?”

I loved this comment too. “I think you chose the right job to be an author.” For those of you who write, it sometimes takes a long time to get that validation.

NOTE: Search for “The Skeleton in the Old Lighthouse” in past blogs.

What happens when a skeleton is found in the old lighthouse.

united states life saving service

This 1800’s Fire Island Lighthouse assisted the U.S.L.S.S.

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Resources4 Teaching is a website that all teachers can use. I have been a supervisor of science student teachers, and have urged my student teachers to build their own library of on-line resources to help them get great lessons. We have found Resources4Teaching to be The Source for ideas. New teachers need to see an abundance of ideas for lessons so they can formulate their own style. Experienced teachers need to find new ideas. I have also taught science on the college level, and have found some of the ideas on the Resources4Teaching website and inspiration for linking knowledge gained in pre-college education to the more advanced ideas I was teaching. I recommend this site as the number one “go-to” place for planning your lessons. And don’t forget, there is attention to the Common Core at this site.

r4t-banner-300x250

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My Services and Projects include lots of GOODIES for Readers, Writers, Listeners and Watchers.

  • FOR WATCHERS  – View The Writer’s Dream on YouTube. A platform for authors marketing their books.
  • FOR READERS AND WRITERS– Adults and Children  Contact me about my workshops. See facebook: Official Fans of The Madonna Ghost
  1. Self-publishing
  2. Mystery Writing
  3. How a Story becomes a Book
  • FOR EDUCATORS (Teachers and Parents)
  1. LESSON PLANS at www.annietillery.com
    1. Meeting the common core values
    2. Student centered
    3. Interactive
    4. Web-based
    5. Motivating students with exciting fiction
  • FOR READERS AND LISTENERS

AUTHOR of Annie Tillery Mysteries

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.

1.The Madonna Ghost  http://www.amazon.com/Madonna-Ghost-Annie-Tillery-Mystery/dp/1440190747/ref=la_B004XD6AOK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369581321&sr=1-1or

 http://www.audible.com/search/ref=hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=The+Madonna+Ghost&filterby=field-keywords&x=10&y=15

An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.

2. Girl with Pencil, Drawing 

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Pencil-Drawing-Linda-Frank/dp/1450285392/ref=la_B004XD6AOK_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369581321&sr=1-2 or

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=search_tseft?advsearchKeywords=girl+with+pencil+drawing&filterby=field-keywords&sprefix=Girl+with+penSecrets in the Fairy Chimneys – Coming soon.

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.

3. Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys – coming soon

 

 MAKE YOUR CHILD A LIFE TIME READER WITH GOOD FICTION

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TITLE: EXCITING LITERATURE INSPIRES INTEREST IN AMERICA’S EARLY HISTORY
INTRODUCTION: The Madonna Ghost is a mystery novel revolving around a local ghost on Fire Island, New York. As the mystery evolves, a terrorist plot is uncovered by the two main characters. Investigation of the back story of the ghost and the terrorist plot reveal some of Fire Island history, which can be used to motivate an understanding:
• the colonial history of the New York colony
• the history of East Coast lighthouses
• shipping on the East Coast in the early history of the United States including the effects of piracy, hurricanes, and shipwrecks on the local economy, and
• the geographic location and geological formations of Fire Island in relation to its role in crimes, especially smuggling.
The work is a fast moving adventure involving two main characters who are teens, appealing to middle school students. As the adventure unfolds, so do references and hits to the bulleted topics above, offering splendid opportunities to pose questions about the local history of Fire Island and its relationship to the colonial history of New York (8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum). The lesson plans provide a window into not only history, but the nature of historical research as well, referenced in the Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
• My rationale for the lessons I have created include:
1. The reading of materials that cause students to ask question pertinent to a curriculum area supports the teaching model, “Understanding by Design”. http://ubdexchange.org/
2. Reading for research is a skill necessary for the investigation of any curriculum topic, and is a skill that needs to be guided, practiced and reinforced. It can be best done when interest in the subject at hand has been stimulated by pertinent interesting media, in this case a mystery/adventure novel. See Filkin above.
3. Introducing students to curriculum/content knowledge through the reading of popular fiction exposes them to the value of having the ability to, not only garner knowledge from the fiction they read, fit the story they are reading into a broader context of science, history and the prevailing culture, but also to develop their interests as far as the type of literature they would like to read.
In “Alternative Book Reports” by Michael J. Vokoun, he quotes Busching and Slesinger.
“Students need to see their own lives interpreted and validated in the books they read, and they also need to see the wide panoply of humanity, not just to watch these characters enact their lives, but also to see into their lives, but also to see into their lives. Through books, students can develop strong bonds with diverse individuals they would be unlikely to meet in their actual lives, or could never know well” (146-7). Busching,B., & Slesinger, B.A. (2002). “It’s Our World Too”: Socially Responsive Learners in Middle School Language Arts. Urbans, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
4. Although popular fiction is not the source of content knowledge, students can appreciate that general knowledge can be increased by reading all kinds of literature.
5. Lessons which spring from readings which provoke student questions are student-centered, thus giving students that sense of ownership which may lead to an interest in reading that lives long after the lesson.
6. Including Reading in any lesson reinforces vocabulary and reasoning skills as borne out by a correlation between habitual reading skills and SAT scores.
7. Lessons that use computer skills, not as the focus of the lesson, but as the tool to answer students’ questions foster good research skills.
From Wading Through the Web: Teaching Internet Research Strategies by Sarah Dennis-Shaw.
“Communication and comprehension are two of the most important aspects of using technology.
In order for technology to be an effective enhancement for literacy instruction, students must first master the basics of using computers so that students can concentrate more on literacy tasks than on technology.”
8. The lessons I propose are designed to work best with cooperative learning groups.
9. The lessons provide a variety of approaches for researching the questions arising from the books.
10. I am a great believer in the interdisciplinary approach to learning. History made science come alive for my students. Linda Maria Frank

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SEARCH LINDA MARIA FRANK ON YOUTUBE TO SEE MY INTERVIEW IN TWO PARTS ON “THE THINKING WRITER” FOR LTV IN EAST HAMPTON.

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The Madonna Ghost and Girl With Pencil, Drawing are both available on Nook at bandn.com, and on Kindle at amazon.com.

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Visit Linda and Karen at the Ocean Beach Crafts Fair in Ocean Beach on Fire Island, Aug. 13 – 14, all day.

Linda Maria Frank and Karen Bonnet will be offering their books for sale under the banner, Whale of a Tale: Adventures for Young Readers.

These books are wonderfully exciting and imaginative. Karen writes for elementary school children, Linda for teens. Check the fliers below for a full description of their works

BOOKS MAKE GREAT GIFTS! 

LET’S KEEP OUR KIDS READING!

LindaFrank_bookmark[1]

LindaFrank_bookmark_backpage[1]

Whale Island book discussion flier2

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