3-Minute Teacher Review Video on Exemplar Texts and Creative Writing Activities
by Tatiana Florival
“I have to be honest with you: This was my first experience with reading Jerry Spinelli. But after reading Loser, I fell in love with his writing.…This is not the last Jerry Spinelli book I’ll read!” —Angela Reina, Fifth Grade Teacher
Writing is such an incredible way to help students be creative, express themselves, and, of course, hone their composition skills. Exciting prompts and awesome exemplar texts are two ways to get students in the headspace to want to write…and Angela Reina—a fifth grade teacher from Blandford Elementary in Rowland Heights, California—believes you’ll find both in Jerry Spinelli’s novel Loser.
Watch Angela’s Scholastic Book Clubs–exclusive teacher review video to discover the numerous creative ways she uses Loser to inspire writing activities that your students will love and look forward to doing!
• Book Clubs: Students read two chapters a day, answer teacher questions about characterization or relationships, and then go into breakout rooms for discussion, if you’re teaching virtually (in-person students can team up in the classroom!).
• Text-to-Self Connections: Students can look at Zinkoff’s relationship with his parents, classmates, and teachers and compare them with their own relationships. How are they similar? How are they different?
• Creative Writing Email Activity: Students get into pairs. One partner pretends to be Zinkoff, and together, they choose a character from the book for the other partner to be. Then the kids create an email chain exploring the characters’ relationships. (Check out Cooked Up from a Book for free resources for this activity!)
• Vision Board: Before reading Loser, students can create a board with images and key phrases for protagonists and antagonists, as well as settings. Then as students read, they can use Loser as an exemplar text to explore peer relationships and character growth.
How do you plan to use Loser with your class? We’d love to hear from you! If you’re able, please share with us and other Scholastic Book Clubs teachers on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.