Sometimes, you just have to do what the kids want to do. >.<
These stories are best for high-Level 2 or Level 3. Go all-pink if you have only girls; the boys might tolerate Mulan… or you can put up with the whinging and whining and broaden their cultural horizons.
There’s a story from my children’s youth that involves two preschoolers, a six-hour car trip, and a tape of Robert Munsch reading his own stories. Though some of us may still be traumatised by Mr. Munsch’s existence, the fact remains that everyone still loves his stories. Younger students will love having The Paper Bag Princess read to them; slightly older students will enjoy the prince’s epithet; even middle-school students will applaud the feminist themes.
Free, illustrated, and popular: that’s the way the students like their books. If your students need a break from the curriculum, We Give Books is a great site.
For young kids, Jan Brett (try The Hat) and Rosemary Wells are highly recommended.
Elisa started using The Hemingway App with some of her MA TESOL assignments, and thought others might find it useful. Just click on “write”, copy and paste your text where the grey sample text is, and click “edit”. It’s quite accurate, I found.
This would be useful if you have a story that you want to test with your students, or if you have a class that’s not following the curriculum normally. You could also check the students’ writing so they can see what level they’re at (though I’d only recommend this for Levels 4 and 5).
As for writing like Hemingway… well, why in heaven’s name would you want to do that?! Timothy Findley: we all want to write like Timothy Findley. 🙂
Michelle found this site for writing your own “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. We’re test-driving it. If you want to test-drive it, too, let us know when your stories are finished so we can let our students check it out!
Fastcompany Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Level 4/5 students who are into graphic novels or sci/fi will like this comic. You can use it in addition to the curriculum, or replace reading slides that the students aren’t interested in.
There’s a list of characters here, which I recommend going over so the students have some background before they start reading.
Galaxion can be read online for free, or purchased in .pdf.