I just read this blog on movingwriters.org by Karla Hilliard that I feel like I could have written myself.
She started out by talking about choosing mentor texts. Teachers can be overwhelmed at the prospect of finding new, relevant and engaging texts every year to use. BUT sometimes, the magic happens, and the perfect texts FIND YOU.
Well, when setting out to create this Nonfiction Unit, I spent a lot of time trying to pick a topic for my model lessons. I wanted to pick mentor texts to use about this one topic. This topic was going to be the crux of the unit, and if it wasn’t engaging enough for enough students, the whole unit may fail, and my practice would fail and my students, their parents, and all the administrators in my building would all hate me, right?
A lot of pressure.
Well, I went with my gut (the day before I had to choose SOMETHING) and picked space exploration, because I am very interested in it at the moment, and I thought maybe my own enthusiasm would be, contagious.
Then, well, the universe took over. And literally hand-delivered so many sources and pieces of media that I can’t fit them all in!
I wanted to choose a variety of sources that were all different types of media. I wanted a Ted Talk, a news article from a scientific magazine, a documentary film, a video clip from the news, excerpts from recently published books, podcasts, etc. I wanted it all.
I guess I chose the right time.
Last week, the Mars rover Curiosity sent back crazy pictures that made the news; Ellon Musk launched his Tesla Roadster into space with a copy of Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” blaring (music and literature!?!? right up my alley, thank you very much). I found more Ted Talks than I can use, and three books published last year that are mind-blowing AND well-written. The whole unit practically wrote itself.
And then this happened just now:
I checked out Ted Radio Hour, because that is a really well-done podcast that I have used in the past when teaching nonfiction.
And guess what their show was THIS WEEK!?!?!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2018
Peering Deeper Into Space
The past few years have ushered in an explosion of new discoveries about our universe. This hour, TED speakers explore the implications of these advances — and the lingering mysteries of the cosmos.
I mean… C’MON!!!
So, I had to write a blog post right away to say: