If there's one thing every teacher relies on, it's probably books. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books—no matter what genre you prefer, you probably bring books to the classroom to stimulate and inspire students, to connect to the content you're covering, and to add fun and entertainment to class discussion. So where do you go to find book recommendations? Check out our ever-growing list of dependable book reviews for suggestions.
For more fun literacy activities, check out the calendar entries, lesson plans, and classroom activities below.
- Get ready to go back to school! We have booklists, community-building activities, and free online resources.
- It’s hurricane season. Learn about these powerful storms with resources from Thinkfinity.org.
- There’s still time to try our Bright Ideas for Summer for reading and writing activities.
- Interested in on-demand professional development? Watch our IRA Convention 2012 session videos anywhere, anytime!
- Hear about Customized Coaching (from the perspective of the Department Chair) in Thinkfinity's Professional Development Community
From the Calendar
- August 12: Walter Dean Myers, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Monster, was born in 1937. Students discuss how the form of a film script affects the story, why the author may have selected this writing style, and write a story using a similar format. (For grades 3–12)
- August 13: The first English printer, William Caxton, was born on this day in 1422. Students consider how the printing press affects their world by completing a printing inventory, comparing lists, and developing a “super” list of all printed materials that they interact with. (For grades 3–8)
- August 14: Ernest Thayer, author of the famous poem “Casey at the Bat,” was born in 1863. In small groups or individually, students make baseball cards for the players in the poem “Casey at the Bat.” Students can use a word processor or the Character Trading Cards interactive to create their cards. (For grades 3–8)
- August 15: In 1870, the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad was completed. Students access the National Park Service website and look at the webpage “The Last Spikes.” Students explore different accounts of what happened as the railroad neared completion and discuss the nature of ceremonies. (For grades 7–12)
- August 17: Davy Crockett was born in 1786. Students read selected excerpts from Crockett's biography and consider whether present-day politicians follow Crockett's advice. (For grades 7–12)
- August 18: Montgomery Ward published the first mail-order catalog in 1872. Students explore how and why catalogs have changed over the years and compare their findings about printed catalogs with online catalogs. (For grades 5–12)
- Later this month, find lesson plans and activities on Ray Bradbury, Lane Smith, Karen Hesse, monarch butterflies, voting rights, and more!
Discuss These Topics with Other Teachers
- Harry Potter has a Reading Club—will you join?
- What will you do the first week of school to set the tone for learning?
- Do you think journal writing is valuable for student writers?
- The Thinkfinity Community Mobile app is now available on Apple’s App Store! You can also download the Thinkfinity Community app on Android or VCast. All three versions are free.
- Make the most of Thinkfinity.org by adding our partners to your social network!
If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, all you have to do is contact us.