The beginning of the year is stressful for everyone – you have to get your room ready and your procedures in place, and your students have to learn about their new teachers and school year. Despite the fast pace our curriculum dictates, I always believe in taking my time at the beginning of the year to establish procedures and how I want my year to go. One of the many activities I do with my students is a Textbook Scavenger Hunt. I would take a day after setting up our Interactive Notebooks to have students familiarize themselves with their text for the year. Since I teach in junior high, I would expect students to have some knowledge of text features – but it never hurts to review them at the beginning of the year.
I start off the lesson with a simple analysis of an image – what do they see? Of course I have a picture of the inside of a text book! I guide them through the different text features that make up informational text. Once we have reviewed text features, it is time for a game – a Textbook Scavenger Hunt! Students will work with a partner to go to 12 different stations. At each station they are presented with an issue with their textbook. How do they solve it? What text feature will help them? They find it and mark it with a post it note. The lesson concludes with an Interactive Notebook assignment requiring them to create an advertisement “selling” their textbook to a fellow classmate.
Create a mini-book with your students over the Bill of Rights and the Principles of Government. Your students can make this book in under 10 minutes, and then you can use it for review with a variety of games.