Recently, I've received e-mails from teachers who are using Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone in their classrooms. I thought it would be a good idea to have a blog entry devoted to program ideas that can be used in schools and libraries.
My plan is to keep a link to this entry on the right side of the blog, and to update it with new ideas when I learn of them. I would appreciate it if any of you who have used LAWKI and/or d&g could either add comments discussing what you've done, or e-mail me your ideas (if you do e-mail me, let me know if you'd like to be credited in the blog).
I'm going to start with an e-mail I received from Ms. Jennifer L. Griffin, the 7th grade Language Arts and Literature teacher and her colleague, Mrs. Debbie Renauer, 8th grade Language Arts and Literature teacher, at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky:
We are embarking on a great teaching adventure on October 14, 2008. We will be teaching LAWKI and td&tg to our students...with a twist. The boys will be reading td&tg and the girls will be reading LAWKI. They will then be sharing information with each other and comparing and contrasting. We will also have the seventh graders working with the eighth graders for the first time! Our science teacher is going to devote some class time to talking about the effects of the moon on earth; our math teachers are going to work on a pantry inventory project with the students (during which they will calculate how long their family could survive based on serving size, calories, and energy expended); our religion teacher will be discussing the religious aspects of both novels in her class; the history teacher will be taking class time to discuss other disasters in the world's past.
Here's the link to the official Harcourt discussion guide:
The next idea comes from California:
Prepare a Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) project, and have students search ScienceHack for science videos to be utilized for research or within a presentation. Cross curricular tie-in, Language Arts/Science: Students read, "Life as we knew it" by Pfeffer and searchs for moon, tides, earthquakes, vocanoes. View "Why doesn't the moon fall down".
Here are some program ideas from a library in Alabama that used LAWKI as its summer read:
June 12: Survival 101 - Wilderness survival expert Darryl Patton will present this introductory wilderness and primitive survival program.
July 3: Movie Night - Watch a movie on a 20-foot-screen. Popcorn and drinks provided.
July 10: About Asteroids - The Von Braun Astronomical Society will separate fact from fiction about asteroids and meteors. Participants will use telescopes to view the moon and the night sky, weather permitting. This program begins at 7:30 p.m.
July 18: Survivor Gadsden - Outwit, Outplay, Outlast! You'll need to be strong, clever and lucky to "survive" and claim fame under a full moon. All participants will be fed and watered! This program is from 7 p.m. to 10 pm.
Create a miniture survival kit out of a recycled Altoids tin.
Here's a comment from Linda Jacobs on Jan. 15, 2009:
Just wanted to let you know that my tenth-grade class is reading your books right now and loving them. The boys have d&g and the girls are reading LAWKI.
We've been doing some fun activities, too. For example, the girls had to write and read news reports about the actual night the meteor hit since the boys don't get that description in their book and a few days later, the boys had to do the same with Alex's body search at Yankee Stadium.
Last weekend, several of the girls got really freaked out because the actual moon was so huge. One girl even researched if that was normal!
I got an email on Jan. 20, 2009 with the following suggestion from literacy coach Beth Pace:
...there is an excellent piece in National Geographic from August 2008 called Target Earth. A friend suggested that it be used as a companion piece when teaching your book in the classroom. I think she is right!
And here's a link to a lot of discussion topics for both books.
Life As We Knew It is the 2009 One Book New Jersey young adult selection, and they have a lot of program ideas. Here's the link to all the info about LAWKI and the direct link to their program suggestions.
I particularly like this one:
Environmental Education:Environmental Education Week 2009 is April 12-18, 2009. Discuss water conservation, global warming, pollution, and other issues that affect our environment. Then discuss with your teens ways that they can get involved on a local level to help protect the planet.
Thanks to One Book New Jersey, a lot of libraries are using LAWKI in their book discussion programs. Here's a link to one which will also be having a Disaster Party!
Google just led me to this idea, which was inspired in part by The Dead And The Gone.
I yahooed yesterday and found a library that had a Jeopardy like game based on LAWKI. My guess is I would have done very badly at it, since I can never get the answers to sound like questions.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you who are using my books and to those of you who are sharing your ideas.