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Teacher Lesson Return to "No High School Musical For Me"
No High School Musical For Me
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ELA Literacy & Social and Emotional Learning
You’ll Find Me in the Library

Story Summary: Anaiss prefers being alone to being with a big group of people. Although she struggles to make friends in a new school, she doesn’t compromise who she is by joining a clique just to make friends. With patience, she eventually finds a few classmates who she connects with.

Lesson Objectives and Common Core Connections
• Students make personal connections to a text and successfully participate in story-based activities and discussions.
• Students will respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives (CCLS SL.1).
• Students will read and comprehend literary nonfiction proficiently (CCLS R.10).
• Students will write routinely over extended and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences (CCLS W.10).

Before Reading the Story (15 min)
This opening activity will activate background knowledge to boost reading comprehension and set the emotional tone for the story.

1. Before the group starts, post two signs on opposite ends of your space. One should read “agree” and the other “disagree.”

2. After welcoming the group, tell them that they will be doing an activity that allows them to move around while learning more about what they and their peers think about a topic.

3. While the group is still seated, review the directions for the Opinion Continuum. Tell them:
• "On either end of the room, there are signs that read ‘agree’ and ‘disagree.’”
• "I will read a statement and you will decide whether it’s true for you (agree) or not (disagree). Then you will move somewhere in between the two signs that reflects your opinion. If you’re unsure, you should stand somewhere in the middle.”
• "Once everyone has moved, I will invite volunteers to share why they chose to stand where they are.”

4. Clear a space and ask group members to stand somewhere between the two signs.

5. Read the first statement and ask group members to move to a spot between the two signs that reflects their opinion:
• "It’s weird to get anxious when you’re in a big, noisy crowd.”

6. Once all group members have moved in response to the statement, ask them to notice where other group members are standing. (You can support minority positions by moving closer to someone who is alone at one end of the continuum.)

7. Ask at least one group member standing on either end of the continuum to share why they are standing where they are. Tell group members they may change their position if they are influenced by another group member’s opinion.

8. After each question, have everyone return to the middle.

9. Repeat for each statement:
• "It’s better to talk to someone one-on-one than in a big group.”
• "It’s hard to make friends with people you’ve just met.”
• "It’s OK to change who you are to become friends with people you admire.”

10. Have everyone return to their seats and thank group members for sharing their opinions.

During Reading (20 min)
By practicing active reading strategies while reading aloud and discussing as a group, students build comprehension and support fluency.

1. Introduce the story (see the summary above).

2. Share the expectations for a group read-aloud: volunteers take turns reading aloud as much or as little as they would like. As the group leader, you may stop periodically to discuss or check in on active reading by asking students to share their responses to the story.

3. Tell students they will practice an active reading strategy called reading for a purpose. This will help them read for a purpose and be prepared to use the text in later activities.

4. Reading for a purpose directions: Ask students to identify times when the story raises a question for them. When this occurs, students should write a “?” in the margin.

5. While sitting in a circle, read the story aloud together. Stop to discuss periodically, supporting peer-to-peer talk and non-judgmental listening. To do this, ask for volunteers to share what they wrote an “?” next to and why. Alternately, you can pose an open question such as “What stands out to you in this section and why?”

6. When you finish the story, ask the group to discuss their reactions to the story, including the questions it raised for them. They can turn and talk to a neighbor before you discuss as a whole group.

After Reading the Story (15 min)
During this post-reading activity, students will make connections, build understanding, and rehearse positive behaviors.

1. Introduce this activity by saying to the group:
• "Now that we’ve read the story, we’re going to write a letter to Anaiss giving her advice based on our personal experiences.”
• "Your goal is to communicate your ideas and responses to the story, so don’t worry about spelling and grammar.”
• "There are no right or wrong answers, just your ideas and how the story spoke to you.”

2. Read the Dear Teen Writer guidelines aloud from the chart paper you’ve prepared:
• Greeting: Dear Anaiss, I just read your story, “No High School Musical For Me.”
• What were some details of her experiences that resonated or stuck out to you?
• What were some connections you made with her experiences?
• What sort of advice would you give her on how she can make new friends easier?
• Closing: “Sincerely, (Your Name)”

3. Pass out journals or notebook paper and pencils.

4. Give group members about eight minutes to write their letters. Move around the room offering encouragement and support.

5. When about eight minutes are up, tell group members to finish their last thought and put their pencils down.

6. Explain to the group that they are now going to do a Pair Share. Tell them to turn to the person next to them and take turns sharing the parts of their letters that they feel comfortable sharing.

7. Each member of the pair should take about a minute to share. Cue partners to switch roles after the first minute. Use a timer or wait until the hum of conversation dies down before closing the activity.

8. Time permitting, lead a discussion by asking group members to comment on what they heard, such as similarities, differences, or personal connections to their peers’ responses. They can also discuss points they agree or disagree with, new ideas they’ve been given, and questions they still have.

9. Thank group members for sharing.

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