Category: Teaching

A blog by Shalon Sims about creative writing, literacy, education and psychology

Using comics to teach literacy

Diversity, Multimodality & Comics Teaching children’s literature using sequential visual narratives Part 1: How comics were squeezed out of my life Until recently, perhaps the last five years, I looked down on comics and visual narratives. As a young reader, I read Archie and some Wonderwoman; however, I didn’t relate to the male protagonists of most…
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Fear & Horror in Children’s Literature – A review of the truly scariest kids and YA books

Part 1: Lost in the Woods I am fascinated by the special kind of horror that can only be found in stories about and for children. Since the very first children’s books by Perrault and the Grimm brothers, and before that, in folktales and oral traditions, stories about children have so often been gruesome and…
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Let children read books for adults!

Was I alone in my quest for adult reading materials? Around the age of nine or ten I discovered Stephen King, and I would never go back to the Sweet Valley of children’s books ever again. I recall sneaking my mother’s horror and thriller books from her bedroom bookshelf, one at a time, and reading…
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When You Reach Me – Middle Grade Sci-fi Writing Craft Review

This review of When You Reach Me, a Newberry Award-winning novel by Rebecca Stead, is hopefully the first of a series on writing craft in middle grade science fiction. I’ll explore issues of writing craft, such as theme, tone, voice, plot, characterization, etc. in a few of my new favourite books. My aim is for…
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7 Types of Sentence Fragments and How to Use Them

People often think sentence fragments are bad, but they are actually a writer’s best friend when used properly. This article explores sentence structure in depth, and acquaints the reader with the seven types of sentence fragments. You will learn how to write beautiful, strong sentences that are varied and complex. This lesson is for beginner…
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mindmap using xmind

Xmind: a Free Self-Exploration Tool

Xmind is a great–free–mind-mapping tool that you can use to explore yourself!

Reading for Learning a New Language

If you are learning a new language, the most useful and pleasant thing you can do for your study is READ!!!  As an ESL teacher, I have noticed that my students who are regular readers, really advance more quickly than students who do not like reading.  Therefore it is important to foster the skill of…
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