Updated: May 7, 2019


Each week in my high school Contemporary Lit class this semester we have "TED Talk Tuesday." It is a chance for my seniors to hear ideas outside of our classroom, and is a fairly informal class day for us.


Most of the TED Talks are around 20 minutes and I post them directly to our Google classroom so that students can watch on their own devices. Sometimes I post specific questions I want them to think about and respond to, but often I simply want their reaction/response to what was said. Do they agree or disagree? What were their takeaways? What did they learn?


Since we are a literature class, I have focused our TED Talk choices on ones given by authors. For this Friday Five, I thought that I would highlight our 5 favorite ones this semester, or at least the ones that prompted the most discussion/reaction (in no particular order).


1) Mac Barnett: Why a Good Book is a Secret Door

2) Gene Luen Yang: Comics Belong in the Classroom

3) Grace Lin: The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child's Bookshelf

4) Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

5) Kwame Alexander: The Power of Yes


Do you have a favorite TED Talk? Do you use TED Talks in your classroom?


#contemporarylit #highschool #tedtalks #classroom #authors #fridayfive

If you follow me on social media, or here on the blog, you know that I'm currently teaching a Contemporary Lit class of high school seniors. And I love every minute of it.


This is a class that started out with 3 avid readers, and the rest of the students were shocked to find out that their schedule included a "literature" class on it. Many failed a semester of Literature at some point in their high school career, and were proud of the fact that they didn't read.


One girl remarked at the start of the semester, "Mrs. Yusko, I haven't read a book since 4th grade." (Please don't even get me started on that one).


But I am happy to report that they are READING! And as we wrap up April, here are the most popular books with this group:


1) ANYTHING by April Henry! I haven't seen any of my classroom library copies of her books in months, and I even purchased a few more for those that were patiently waiting. Ms. Henry has done so much for growing readers in this class.


2) We are currently having a classroom "discussion" about which is the best John Green book: Looking for Alaska is taking on An Abundance of Katherines. It has been a little heated, but most of us agree that if you say TFIOS, then you aren't a true John Green fan :) (FYI: Mrs. Yusko falls strongly in the Abundance of Katherines camp).


3) The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is making the rounds in class. Girls AND boys are reading this one. And it has led to several great discussions, including "don't judge a book by it's cover." This book is one of my Top 10 picks of 2018 and I ADORE everything about it. I'm so glad my students are enjoying it as much as I did!

4) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Several students have read this one and have created fantastic response projects. The audio of this one is great (read by the author), and we are currently looking forward to her new book which comes out next week!


Have you read any of these? What are your students reading?

#whatimreading #wednesdayreads #yalit #contemporarylit #highschool #favoriteauthor #fiction


I think I'm going to start a new category of blog posts: Social Media Shoutout!


So, I'm just gonna leave this right here...


For a link to the Friday Five video the illustrator is referencing, click here: https://www.mrsyuskoreads.com/home/friday-five-the-12-books-of-christmas


FYI: The Epic Adventures is Huggie and Stick is one of my FAVORITE new #picturebooks. Not only is it HILARIOUS (actually LAUGH OUT LOUD funny), it is a good example of perspective and point of view. Writing teachers, take note... it makes a good mentor text. I booktalk it during my #kidlit and #yalit seminars as a good #classroombookaday title as well.


Also, I really want a Huggie stuffed doll... can someone make that happen?!


Thanks for the shout-out David!


#fridayfive #mrsyuskoreads #mrsyuskofavorite #favorites #newbooks #shoutout #socialmedia

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Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

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