Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Writing Wednesday: Totem Head

Here's a quick and fun assignment for writing - Totem Head Story Contest.  

Totem Head




This is perfect for writers that are either young or not into heavy duty writing.

  • It has several age groups, including a 13-18 category.
  • It's short - 1500 words or less.
  • It's easy - just have the story start with this phrase, "So there I was..."
  • It also gives a fun nine step tutorial, making this a full lesson ready to go, perfect for these days bumping up against Thanksgiving.

The only draw back is that the kid friendly nature of it might turn off some older high school kids.  Check it out and gauge it for your students.  Leave a comment if you've used this before or if you have a student who wins!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Book Harvest




This particular post are for those teachers in the Triangle area of North Carolina.

Book Harvest is an awesome organization that seeks to give books to middle school and high school students.  This is NOT a classroom library thing, this is a give the book to the kid to take home and keep forever thing.  Each year they give away books in August, December, and May.  If you teach students in low income areas, you are invited to come and pack up boxes of books (the first time I went I lefts with one box full of books and they were trying to get me to take more).

These are not used books.  These are not books from no name authors.  Last time I was there I came away with a load of brand new Rick Riordan books.  There are some classics, some picture focused books, and plenty of YA books.

Want in on this?  Their web site is http://bookharvestnc.org/programs/books-to-go/ and on this site you'll find the email address for Daniele Berman, the Community Partnership Manager and she can get you on the email list to alert you of the next book harvest.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lycanthrope Detector

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves blow around us in different colors, our tend to wander towards the things that make fall wonderful -- apples, candy corn, tiny tots learning the fine art of begging, and, of course, people mutating into blood thirsty werewolves.  I am not talking about the take-the-shirt-of-every-time-I-get-a-chance-and-lose-the-girl-to-a-sparkling-vampire variety.  No.   I mean the say-your-prayers-because-nothing-will-save-you-from-the-furry-jaws-of-death kind.

So, just in case one of you dear readers find yourself plagued by a person that may be a lycanthrope (werewolf for you of lesser vocabulary skills), there is no need to fear.  There are ways of telling if that creepy coworker is licking his chops in anticipation of making you into a midnight snack.

1. The unibrow - this is a sure fire way to tell. Look out for those who shave the middle part.

2. Fur on the inside of their skin - a bit harder to tell. A Roman platoon suspected one of their own as a werewolf and used this technique to discover the truth. After they ripped his skin off and found no fur, well, he was forgiven.

3. Forget the whole moon thing - that was added in movies. True werewolves do not have to wait for the moon.

4. The ring finger - is longer than the middle finger.

5. Excessive thirst - maybe coming for the idea that dogs and wolves pant because they are always thirsty.

6. Obsession with walking through graveyards - I bet Poe was one. He even proposed to a woman in the graveyard.  One theory is that he died of rabies perhaps from being bitten by a rabid bat in a graveyard.

7. Foul smell - werewolves have extra seat glands. Be alert for a smell of hay and horse manure.

8. Check the pee pee - yep, werewolves have urine that is a deep purple.  However, scoping out the color of someone's urine in a public bathroom could result in problems other than the wolf kind.  Use this technique with caution.

9. The Mark of the Werewolf - the dead give away. If someone has a pentagon on their palm, break out the silver weapons IMMEDIATELY!

10. Shoot him/her with a silver bullet - if he/she dies, probably a werewolf.



Side note, if you are out of silver weapons and are being chased by a werewolf, always drop things.Werewolves must stop and pick them up before continuing the chase. Can anyone say, OCD?  That's why I always have a pocketful of rice wherever I go.  It works for vampires too.

O.K. people - be safe out there!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Better Book Titles

Dan Wilbur, stand up comedian, developed a web site a while back where re-titled books to more aptly convey what the book was about.  His site, Better Book Titles, has a ton of books re-titled for your reading pleasure.  Here are a few:


(Oedipus Rex)




(Game of Thrones)




(War and Peace)

(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)