Using #GrammarFails to Hook Students in English Class

Use #GrammarFail examples to emphasize the importance of #English class

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Whenever I come across an error in spelling, grammar, mechanics, or usage in public, I cringe. It's one thing to see it on students' papers, but when businesses and other professionals make these mistakes...well, shouldn't they know better?

Showing your students these real-world mistakes (and having them correct them AND go out and find their own examples) strengthens our argument that English class IS important (because who hasn't heard the moans and groans from students about having to take English EVERY year?).

I keep a Pinterest Grammar Errors board (but it covers all kinds of errors) and I also have a presentation on TpT that can be shown to your class any time (just skip the back-to-school introduction and go straight to the 70+ slides with examples).

Here are some favorites I just came across from The Grammar Gendarme:

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
Hide yo' aunts...

{And what is up with that huge number one?}

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
I'm going to the firth floor, please. 

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
And this eCard would be the first image featured on FASEBUK.
>>  *separate  <<

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
How can one make so many errors in one post? 

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
This one just makes me laugh out loud. :) 

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
Because being killed to life wouldn't be as newsworthy.

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
You know those students who just ignore those red squiggley lines in their document and go ahead and hit "Print" anyway? Ya. This is their future. At Wal-Mart.

#GrammarFail www.hungergameslessons.com
Mmmmm...doesn't crap sound delicious?

See loads more of this crap here:

#GrammarFail Examples to Hook Students www.hungergameslessons.com
Using Humor to Demonstrate the Importance of English Class: Real World #GrammarFails 

#GrammarFail Pinterest Board by www.pinterest.com/mrsorman
My "Grammar Errors" Pinterest Board

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Back to School Sale for Teachers

It's a back-to-school sale: Use code BTS13 at checkout for almost 30% off! www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman

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I don't know about you, but waiting for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" movie feels like torture. As a distraction I worked on several big new products this summer. One of them that I think you will love is a bundle of bell ringers and exit slips:

Huge bundle of bell ringers and exit slips; more than you need in a year!

I took some of my favorite activities I've used with my students and created some new ones to form this gigantic 175+ page resource with ready-made bell-ringer/exit slips that you just need to print, cut, & use. You don't have to have a projector to use them and because I like to save paper, each slip only uses 1/4 of a page (see Facebook status page below). They are large enough for students to write on, and small enough that aren't wasting any paper. To conserve year after year, laminate them and have students either type their responses or record them in a journal or reader's notebook.

An added bonus: each activity is aligned to at least one Common Core State Standard for English Language Arts, History and Social Studies, and/or Science and Technical Subjects. The standard(s) are listed on the bottom of each activity, so students can use their checklists to record the date they practiced that particular skill.

Facebook status bell-ringer or exit slip activity: one of 150+ activities to start or end class

Above, I condensed my popular Facebook status activity into a quick and easy format. Use them to gauge student comprehension after reading a chapter (in ANY class) or to review from the previous day. You'll quickly find out who is keeping up and understanding the material and who is struggling (or slacking).

Huge bundle of bell-ringer/exit slips that kids love. www.hungergameslessons.com

I chose to include the most popular activities from my classes, such as my Playlist activity, #Hashtags Vocabulary and Reading activity, Y U No guy (Socratic questioning strategy), and What's Hot? / What's Not? activity. They are versatile enough to use any time for quick assessments, icebreakers, reviews, surveys, and more. Students also love that they aren't long. Oftentimes, I've found they actually write more using these than traditional worksheets. 

Another product I haven't uploaded yet but HOPE to by the end of the sale (mine ends Tuesday at midnight) is my Catching Fire Visual Aids and Writing Prompts presentation. I'm adding many higher-level questions and new pictures to my previous version (which was only available on CD), but it's taking me longer because I want to secure permissions for all the images I include. Here's a sneak peek at one of the pages:

Catching Fire Visual Prompts from www.hungergameslessons.com

And I announced at the beginning of the summer I was discontinuing my CD sales, so I'm slowly uploading activities that were only available on CD previously. Here's one I just uploaded last week:

"The Hunger Games" Review Game - Get 3 rounds (75 questions) in one download.

Hunger Games Review Game Bundle: I always offered my Jeopardy® style games, but only two rounds. Here you get an extra round, PLUS one review game that is specifically to help review for my Part One test. It is completely editable, so you can adjust the questions to suit your needs!

Stay tuned for more updates and don't forget to take advantage of the great sale at TeachersPayTeachers. Happy back-to-school!


Hosting Non-Violent Hunger Games Activities, Part 2

How to host a non-violent Hunger Games competition from www.hungergameslessons.com

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Previously, I blogged about competitive activities for your students that stay true to the theme of non-violence in The Hunger Games Trilogy. In this post, I'd like to share how I have facilitated our class activities.
How to host a non-violent class Hunger Games, PART 2
For several years I have hosted a Class Reaping and Training challenge. We reap every student in the class for the positions of Tributes, Mentors, Escorts, and Stylists for each District. Those who were not reaped become the Gamemakers. This is done after we complete chapter two (or three).

The Groups
The Gamemakers form their own group and they are in charge of planning, creating, and facilitating the training stations, and scoring the tributes during the challenges.

The other students are grouped by District. They work together to create a marketing campaign for their tribute. They come up with slogans, outfits, tokens, posters, and 30-second ads to try to gain sponsorship for their District Tributes.
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How Scores Are Determined
The Tributes (and their team) have three categories for scoring: Intelligence, Sponsorship, and Physical Skills.

After the reaping, we don't do very much planning for this project until after the Games begin in the novel. In the meantime, however, I keep track of how students performed on quizzes and other major assignments. Those who score well earn "Panem" cash. I don't hand out the Panem cash until later, though (many are likely to lose it if you pass it out before they can use it). They can use the Panem cash to sponsor Tributes (this comes later).

Panem Cash to spend in the Capitol General Store...click on image to read more.
Students earned "Panem" cash by scoring well on quizzes/tests, getting sponsors for their District, and completing tasks in class. Students could also earn them by donating food to a local food pantry.

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Rather than rewarding individuals, you could average the scores for each District and the Gamemakers and have overall team scores (not to go in the grade book, but to earn Panem cash). This will build team unity and those who are stronger in the group may cheer their classmates on and even help them study.

Throughout the novel, have a place on your board where you record each group's average score. This keeps their competitive spirit strong. Rate the group with the highest average a "12" and the group with the lowest average a "1." (If you have more than 12 groups in one class, you can adjust the numbers). This is the first of their three training scores.

Once we begin reading Part 3 of the novel (and some years I've started sooner, depending on my time constraints), I give students time in class to work with their groups for their marketing campaign. You can download a free advertising/marketing campaign lesson {HERE}.

The Hunger Games Class Tributes: student marketing projects

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After students have their marketing materials made, we display the posters in the room and show their videos. I give every student 5 Panem dollars to use to "sponsor" the Tribute with the best campaign based on the marketing materials. This is also when I give the students/groups who earned extra Panem cash their additional dollars to use to vote.
The Hunger Games Class Tributes: student marketing projects
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The Gamemakers keep track of the votes (though I always check to make sure there's no padding of anyone's coffers, so to speak). They tally how many dollars each Tribute earned. The Tributes with the most dollars scores a 12 (one boy and one girl), then the Gamemakers go through all the rest and rate them based on the amount they earned. The Tributes who earned the least score a 1.

The Hunger Games Class Tributes: student marketing projects
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The Hunger Games Class Tributes: student marketing projects

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Physical Skills
The Gamemakers create physical challenges for the Tributes to compete. However, every year when we do this, we will have the rest of the students just watch. This past year I gave more students extra jobs (we were also short on Gamemakers because I had a really small group of sophomores). The next time I do this, I am going to require the Gamemakers to come up with group challenges, so the District members work as a team. That way all of the students are actively engaged.

The Hunger Games Class Tributes: skills challenge
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Students have had some pretty creative challenges over the years: camouflage the orange backpack, the "cornucopia" sprint, and even a "fireball" dodge ball game where the Tributes could not touch the ball (not even to catch it) or they were burned. The Tribute who lasted the longest achieved the highest training score.
The Hunger Games Class Tributes: skills challenge
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Training Scores
The Gamemakers averaged the three separate training scores together to crown the overall victor.

Panem Cash
This past spring I tried something new with the Panem cash each District earned. I divided it up (and I also granted the Gamemakers cash, as well) and let students spend their earned money in the Capitol General Store. The store was only open on the last day of school and students came in during lunch to shop. (I made sure that every student had cash to spend in the General Store.)
The Capitol General Store: Students spent their Panem "cash" on items.
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Items I had in the store included The Hunger Games themed folders, notebooks, novels, magnets, bookmarks, and more. Many of these prizes I purchased at a discount or earned from Scholastic with Bonus Points from their book club. Then I had a bunch of Target 1Spot finds, like picture frames, puzzles, pens/pencils. And candy is always a hit.

The Capitol General Store: Students went shopping and spent their Panem "cash" on items.
The benefits of Scholastic Book Clubs: earning bonus points to get The Hunger Games items! Students could use their "Panem" cash to purchase the items.

From The Capitol General Store: President SNOW Globe picture frame (Price is in PANEM cash, not real dollars!)

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From The Capitol General Store: Capitol Healing Stick (aka chapstick) as a "silver parachute" gift
The Capitol Healing Stick (a.k.a chapstick)
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From The Capitol General Store: District 1 Rejected Token (Price is in PANEM cash, not real dollars!)
These sold out! They were a hit with the girls. :)
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I've been teaching the novel since 2009, so I've had a lot of time to try different things (some activities work with some students, some don't). And I'll probably mix things up again this year with my new group of sophomores. ;)

If you want to host a reaping/training, but need more structure, I have a priced resource you can download, found {HERE}. I'll be updating it soon to include a few new things I incorporated this year.

Have a great school year!


How to Host a Non-Violent Class Hunger Games

How to Host a NON-VIOLENT Class "Hunger Games"

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If your students are anything like mine, one of the first things they ask me is if we get to have a class simulation of the Games while we read The Hunger Games Trilogy. Even after they find out that I don't allow a recreation of the Games because it would defeat the purpose of the novels, they continue to ask me EVERY SINGLE DAY if they can "fight" each other with toy weapons, or wrestling matches, or air-soft guns. I just shake my head.

I've always been adamant about stressing the theme of non-violence throughout the unit. But...they are typical students who want an excuse to "goof around" in class. And I do like to give them opportunities to get up, move around, have fun...but learn something while they're doing it. Nothing is learned by giving them fake weapons and simulating a "Hunger Games" activity. Or at least not what I want them to learn.

How to host a non-violent Hunger Games class activity from: www.hungergameslessons.comYou know your students want to compete in some way, but how can you give them that thrill of competition in a non-violent way?

How about trying one of these ideas:

-Food Drive competition: It literally IS the Hunger Games.

-The Academic Games: Use trivia questions from the novel; ask each student a question. If they answer correctly, they stay in the game. If they get it wrong, they're out. Last one standing is the victor.

-The Spelling Tracker Jacker: Not quite the same ring as a spelling bee, but like the "Academic Games," students would spell words from the novel to compete. Imagine throwing them off with Suzanne Collins' spelling of "muttations." Bahahaha...(that's my evil President Snow laugh, by the way).

-The Training Games: For those who still need that physical challenge, focus on training skills where students compete against one another in various physical challenges that test their agility, speed, accuracy, and endurance.

-The Sponsorship Challenge: Have students work in groups to create marketing campaigns for the Tributes from the novel(s). The can create an entire campaign, including a TV ad-spot, billboard, podcast, and more. Students can vote for the tribute they would sponsor based on the campaigns.

-Surviving the Games: Create a series of survival challenges for teams of students. These can include activities like knot-tying, plant and insect identification, shelter building, and more. As an alternative to survival skills, try group challenges that allow students to rely on one another to complete. Using these team-building activities allow for collaboration and bonding between your students.

In my next post, I will share the activities I used with my classes and show you how you can implement them into your curriculum.

Make sure you follow me so you know when I post next!
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