It never ceases to amaze me how much older kids can enjoy things meant for young children. A couple of great examples from this year (so far):
1. On student request, I started giving students “gold stars” for getting 10/10 on spelling tests (that’s right…spelling tests in 9th grade). They loved it. Few moments have as much energy as those in which they get to put their stars up on the “Spelling Stars” chart next to their names.
2. In discussing conflict, I thought I’d try a read aloud. Instead of having me read “The Three Little Pigs,” I showed a great clip of Christopher Walken reading it. After talking about conflict, I was going to read “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” as additional ‘practice’ in talking about conflict. But they wanted to read it. And they wanted sound effects. And they wanted voices. And they all sat in a circle (not all, but a lot of them) as their peer read to them. And they sat quietly. And paid attention. It was great. I almost started laughing a couple of times.
3. The best reference in trying to talk about any literary element – Disney movies. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Shrek…you get the picture. All great options for talking about conflict, resolution, rising action, falling action, climax, theme, allusion, etc. And nearly everyone has seen these movies, so they get the concepts. It’s great.
Like I said, it still amazes me how excited they get about stars and story time. Take it for what it’s worth.