Every March the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) hosts a Poetry Tournament. The idea is to create a basketball-tournament pairing chart like the NCAA does each year in March but using poetry, and to determine a final winner by reading the poems. Students can choose a “winner” in a number of ways: One option is that students select their favorite poems and then create the tournament brackets. Two students then read their poems in front of the class. The class votes, and the winning poems advance to the next round. The process continues until the final four and eventual winner are selected. Or the teacher can select 64 (or 32) poems and read them in pairs, one pair each day. The students select the one they like. This poem is then declared a winner and advances along the tournament bracket. The teacher and students can also select the poems together, and then a combination of the teacher and students read the poems. The website suggests other ideas as well. The tournament’s webpage provides a freely downloadable, blank bracket-pairing chart to start a competition today.
June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and Brightly, an online resource to help educators grow lifelong readers, features 15 booksfor children about the Immigrant Experience in America. One of the books suggested for children in prekindergarten/kindergarten is The Name Jar, a familiar immigrant tale of having an unfamiliar name and feeling like an outsider—until someone kind or brave or both makes a gesture of inclusion.
The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award, presented by National Geographic Learning, recognizes outstanding teachers for their commitment to advancing English language teaching and learning practices, and their dedication to motivate and inspire their students. Applicants are not required to be TESOL members; any English language educator who has been a classroom teacher for a minimum of three years may apply.
If you’re looking for a way to take story time up a notch with the children in your classroom, why not turn to astronauts? That’s the premise of Story Time from Space, a project from the nonprofit Global Space Education Foundation that features astronauts reading children’s books from the International Space Station.