Once again, Halloween is on a school day. There aren’t many things a teacher dreads more than this kind of day! I have learned that when it comes to these “distracting” days, it’s best to go with the distraction and center my lessons around it! On Halloween, I always read a scary short story. Sometimes it’s part of a unit, and sometimes it’s just for fun (aka listening comprehension, LOL).
I’m actually going to teach this lesson plan this week with my 6th graders when I introduce plot structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). On Halloween, I’ll sneak another story from the collection in, but I don’t want to wait until the end of the month to teach this concept. After all, anytime during October is a great time for a scary story, right? My kids LOVE this lesson year after year!
Have you heard of this book by Patrick Carman?
I learned about it three summers ago when I attended the American Library Association Conference and went to his author breakfast. It’s a collection of 9 multimedia short stories. Here’s how it works:
1) Watch and listen to the video introduction online.
2) Read the story.
3) Watch the conclusion of the story online.
Many of my students love this multimedia approach to reading and these books are a great way to persuade reluctant readers to read! The 3:15 stands for 3 components (the three I have above) and 15 for the fact that it takes about 15 minutes to read the story. Of course, it takes up a whole class period when we read/discuss these components together, but I suppose you could read it all in 15 minutes.
This week, I’m going to read one of the short stories, “The Lift,” with my 6th graders. It’s a simple, easy to read story. We’ll make a plot diagram for this story and they’ll have a short comprehension quiz on the story.
Why is this book perfect for teaching plot? It’s got an easy-to-figure-out climax! Actually, the story ends with the climax and leaves the reader in suspense, wondering anxiously what’s happening and having to view the video to see the resolution. The way the climax leaves you hanging and the way the entire resolution is in video format really helps students to differentiate these parts of the plot. Here’s what you’ll need to teach this lesson:
There’s also a 3:15 app available through the App Store. Show your students how they can download this to their iDevice and Listen, Read, and Watch from there! They can do one story for free and then download additional stories for $.99.
Happy Friday! 🙂