Reading aliens to fit the stories. Store the

Reading the book ‘My Teacher is an Alien’ with your students? Use this lesson plan for great activities to be used to increase comprehension and engagement for students of all levels in your class.

Understanding and Having Fun

Some books are naturally engaging and fun, and My Teacher is an Alien just happens to be one of those. You won’t need any help getting students interested, but you do want to make sure they follow the story line and comprehend along the way.

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Using activities that connect students to text is the best way to accomplish this. We break down these into easy steps to help you focus on your class’s needs.

Alien Art

Setting – Small group

Materials

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Toilet paper rolls, paper plates, or other three-dimensional objects
  • Markers

Instructions

  • After reading My Teacher is an Alien aloud to students, give them time to sketch their own alien creatures.
  • Allow students time to build an alien using art materials provided. Encourage creativity.
  • When finished, divide students into small groups.
  • Instruct each group to write a short extension for the story, using their aliens as new characters.

    What happens next? Who are these new aliens?

  • After writing the extension, give groups time to practice performing using their aliens as props.
  • Have each group perform their extensions as classmates provide feedback.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Depending on your class’s needs, consider writing the stories first. Then, build aliens to fit the stories.
  • Store the aliens your students created in a tub to allow them to write and produce more versions of the story.

M;M Share

Setting – Whole group

Materials

  • Bags of mini M;M’s, one for each student
  • Audio samples

Instructions

  • After reading a pre-specified section of My Teacher is an Alien, give each student a bag of mini M&M’s.
  • Make a chart on the board as follows:
    • Orange – Discuss characters
    • Brown – Discuss key events
    • Yellow – Discuss supporting details
    • Red – Ask and answer questions
    • Blue – Share surprises
    • Green – Student choice
  • Have students stand up, and play some music.
  • When the music stops, have students open their candy and pull one piece randomly out.
  • Students should do the activity according to the color of their candy with their partner.

    As students talk, walk around the room to listen in and add to discussions.

  • After a few minutes, start the music again and repeat until all candy is finished.
  • Have students return to their desks and write a short reflection on what they learned from the activity. Then, have them share as a whole group.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Adapt the criteria for colors based on a specific focus, such as defining vocabulary or answering specific questions.
  • Make sure students are mingling properly by calling out directions such as ‘spin’ or ‘turn to your left’ during the music.

Question Strips

Setting – Individual and small group

Materials

  • Pre-cut strips of construction paper
  • Chart paper

Instructions

  • As students read each chapter, have them jot down questions they have about the text.
  • After reading a chapter, give students strips of paper and have them jot down each of their questions on one strip. Then, they fold the strip and return to you.
  • Divide students into small groups and redistribute question strips evenly.
  • Have groups work together to discuss and answer each question, recording the question and answer on the chart paper.
  • After groups are finished, have each share their work, leading a class discussion on their questions.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Intentionally choose group members and questions to make sure all students are able to participate and answer questions.

What’s My Teacher?

Setting – Individual and whole group

Materials

  • Writer’s notebooks

Instructions

  • Teach students how using descriptive language helps readers understand and create mental images.
  • Model by having students find descriptive text in the story My Teacher is an Alien and reviewing together.
  • Now, ask students to think of another thing their teacher may become, such as an elephant.
  • Work together with students to write a description of an elephant, starting with ‘My teacher has….

    .’ and ending with ‘What’s my teacher?’

  • Give students time to think of and write a description of their identified object. Then, they can share aloud, allowing classmates to guess.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Play competitively by breaking students into small groups and keeping score of correct answers.
  • Have students write a short story about the thing their teacher became.
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