When your kids come up from elementary to JHS, you want to ease them in. I really don't know how well JHS teachers do that, but when I worked at both levels I came up with a simple idea for English.

Elementary kids, in my experience, loved stories. Even if they didn't understand it all, every time I read (and acted) The Hungry Caterpillar they were left begging for more.

So, I wrote a story about the JHS textbook characters. The one I wrote is linked below, but obviously only applies to my particular book. If you don't use New Crown then you can just substitute your book's characters/make up your own.

Anyway here it is.

As a suppliment to the story I have taken photos (scan if you can) of the characters from the books, blown them up and magnetised them. I stick these on the board when they're involved and use a "thinking hard" A3 card for the NNNNNNNNNN bits. It's just covered in question marks in bright colours etc. Anything else will only add to the fun.

Obviously ham it up and emphasise the key words (which they may know). You should really have your JTE translating as well, though, to keep things smooth.

After that you can play the Newspaper game with the script:
  • Give each group a copy.
  • Then call out and write on the board/show a flashcard of a random word from it.
  • Students race to find the word in the text and put their hand up.
  • Check it, award points, repeat
The great thing is that they don't need to know any of the words or even how to read, and it gets them used to looking at English text.

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