Lesson Plan: Reading & Writing Go Hand-in Hand!

Our WriteToLearn microgrant winners have been announced and we are ecstatic with the results. Although we would have loved to give prizes to all who participated, the WeAreTeacher members and visitors have cast their votes for the top 10! To honor the winning entries, WriteToLearn will be highlighting the top 10 lesson plans for helping students maintain writing and reading comprehension skills over summer break. 

This lesson plan, “Reading & Writing Go Hand-in Hand!”, was shared by Suzanne Mini.

Description: I want my students to maintain their writing and reading comprehension skills over the summer. So therefore, I give my students a summer reading list of books on a slightly higher level. I encourage them to go to the local library and check out some books. I also suggest to write a book over the summer. If they did this, their writing skills would not slip. Aspects of writing can be forgotten if not practiced regularly.

Education Level: 1-2, 3-4

Learning Objectives: If my students wrote their own books, they can use the Flip Video Camera to read it on. When they play it back, they can see how it sounds, as others would hear it.

 Materials: Flip Video Camera, Book bindings, reading books for suggestions, and paper.

 Other Information: I think if they heard themselves reading their book, it would improve their writing.


To see more winning lesson plan ideas from our WriteToLearn microgrant, click here

Image from iStock

Deconstructed sushi plate by @earthfawn 💚

Ingredients: (for two)
- 2 cups short grain sushi rice
- 2.4 cups water (for rice)
- Fillings (I used avocado, cucumber and asparagus)
- Seaweed sheets
- 1 block of tofu, drained and marinated in tamari, sesame oil and micrograted garlic
- Garnishes (I used fresh chilli, half an avocado peeled and sliced, ½ lime, cucumber and coriander)
Sushi seasonings:
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
1. Wash and bake your asparagus and tofu for 35 minutes. Flip them both halfway. I pan fried this tofu which you can do in a bit of oil instead of baking.
2. Rinse rice, place in pot with water and bring to a boil. After it boils, reduce heat and place the lid on for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.
3. When rice has cooked, allow it to cool by folding it over gently and continuously. Add your sushi seasonings and continue folding until completely cooled.
4. Place your seaweed rough side up. Spread a thin layer of rice to the fourth line. Fill in any gaps. Place your fillings in the centre (your asparagus will be done by now) and gently but tightly roll using your fingers to keep the fillings in place. You can also use a bamboo rolling mat. Wet the edges and press tightly to seal.
5. Cut your rolls with a sharp wet knife. Wet it each time you cut otherwise the rice will be too sticky and you won’t get a clean cut.
6. Create your plate! I placed seasoned rice with sesame seeds, asparagus, a few rolls, half a lime, coriander, fresh chillies, baked tofu and avocado.
7. To slice your avocado: half the avocado, de-seed and peel the skin off gently. If the skin doesn’t come off easily it may be over ripe. Place it on a chopping board flat side down, slice evenly with a non stick knife and use your fingers to spread the slices apart. Enjoy! #letscookvegan

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the harpy agenda, august 2015

The Harpy Agenda is a microgrant for comics journalism by writers of color founded and run by Shing Yin Khor & Taneka Stotts. You can read an interview with Khor here. I’m the second recipient, after JA Micheline’s “The White Privilege, White Audacity, and White Priorities of Strange Fruit #1,” and I got the award for an untitled post about Marvel’s hip-hop homage covers and their hiring practices. I’m grateful for the honor, and after talking with Khor & Stotts, I’m going to pay it forward and donate my reward to two places I think are doing good work: Women Write About Comics, which is probably my main place to find original writing about comics right now, and Vixen Varsity/Black Comics Month, which does a tremendous amount of legwork in spreading the good word.

I’m passing it on because I got my first paid freelance gig in 2003 or so writing about video games before I started writing about comics. I know how thankless it can be, and now that I’m in a place where I don’t really have to worry about pitching or invoicing, I want to try to help somebody else get there, too. I’m doing okay.

I wish we had a better phrase for it, but comics journalism/comics criticism/talking about comics on the internet counts. It’s how we connect with each other, how we figure out where we’re headed, and how we look at what we have and take stock of whether it’s worth anything. I went from reader to critic to non-creative professional, and my time writing and reading criticism informs what I do in my 9-5. I wouldn’t be who or where I am without reading and vibing with people like Tucker Stone, Gavin Jasper, Sean Witzke, Joe McCulloch, Cheryl Lynn, Abhay Khosla, and the FBB4l! def squad. And now that I’m who I am, and where I am, maybe I can pair that knowledge with my influence.

If you’re one of the precious few getting paid to write about comics online, you probably get paid once and that’s a wrap, no matter how big a post goes. I know of only one site that gives bonuses for traffic, and I dunno if they still do. I’m pretty sure nobody ever got rich talking about race and comic books on the internet, so in my mind, it’s even more of a labor of love than writing about comics, which probably also never made anybody rich. You can’t really do it for the hits, unless a little bit of walking around money is tall paper wherever you’re from.

There aren’t a lot of upsides to writing about comics, but the few that exist count for a lot. Some people will jump down your throat for speaking your mind and others will fake interest to look good. They don’t matter. They’re ghosts. The ones who count are the people who hit you with “Dang, I didn’t know it was like that” or “Thank you” or just RT your joint because they feel it and can’t add no more to it.

I respect the Harpy Agenda, and Khor & Stotts, because they’re on a similar wave and trying to force direct change through encouragement. The more we talk about this stuff, the more “normal” it becomes, in terms of being part of our daily comics conversation. It’s easy for companies to shift a conversation in their favor through the sheer weight of their voice, so it’s important we encourage and support those who are agitating for change—without demanding that they agitate on our own terms—until a day comes that we can make that change real.

That’s it. Thank you.

A little over a year ago I asked the question on my blog, What Is Happening in Contemporary Colombian Photography. Through the fantastic work of Tom Griggs and his blog fototazo, I’ve since learned a lot. One of the great things Tom does with his blog is help support non-prof microgrants for Colombian photographers. Yesterday he posted a request on the behalf of nine former microgrant recipients to travel from Colombian to the University of Iowa to participate in an intensive workshop in the summer of 2015.

I believe so much in the work Tom is doing to encourage up and coming Latin American photographers and hope you’ll consider supporting this project too.

More info on the microgrant HERE

Make a tax-deductible contribution HERE