Does Your Library Have the Force?

 Your students are probably like mine– they are so excited for the new Star Wars movie! They want to talk about Star Wars and play Star Wars on the playground. Always looking for ways to engage my readers and writers, I thought a lot about how I might use the Force to inspire some exciting reading and writing. Here are some of the ideas I came up with:

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  1. Reading Workshop– I gathered my Jedi Academy books, Origami Yoda books, Lego Star Wars books, and other novels related to Star Wars. I used some Yoda lights (Yes, I have Yoda lights… my classroom closet is like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag or Hermione Granger’s book bag- you never know what might be in there.)
  2. Makers Space– Old boxes for a Makers Station. Students can build there own version of a droid robot or a space craft.
  3. Writing Workshop– We can do some fun fan fiction writing. Students can choose their favorite video game, tv show, or book series and write some fan fiction. Many will probably choose Star Wars! They can write a chapter in the series or rewrite a scene using their imaginations.
  4. Punctuation – We’re practicing how to write dialogue. This simple and fun exercise provides a lot of entertainment and great punctuation practice. I will ask my students to write a series of three sentences- all asking for a light saber. How might Darth Vader ask for a light saber? C3PO? Hans Solo? Chewbacca? This is great for practicing punctuation! Plus, it is hilarious!
  5. Graphic Novels/ Comics– Students can do some great writing around Star Wars by creating a comic strip of a scene. They could also create a graphic novel about a favorite scene or a new, imagined scene.
  6. Literary Elements- Mood! Always excited to connect the literary elements to popular culture, I have enjoyed showing the Star Wars movie trailer to my fifth graders. We’ve talked about the mood of the trailer as well as predicted potential storylines. This is a huge hit!



Getting ready to do some good reading and writing over the holiday break, Dana Johansen spends her time teaching fifth grade in Connecticut, negotiating with her yellow lab about not chewing on the Christmas tree, and playing the app, Cookie Jam. She has taught elementary and middle school for fourteen years. Dana is a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University where she studies blended learning in reading and writing workshop. She is the co-author of the books Teaching Interpretation and Flip Your Writing Workshop. 

4 thoughts on “Does Your Library Have the Force?

    • So true! Ah! I have the same wonderful problem. I’ve made a book basket in my classroom called “Keep in the Classroom” to have books that cannot leave the room. This way my students can always read the “Favorite Reads.” They each have their own sticky note that marks their page. The only downside is that they can’t take it home and finish it quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed. I just bought 8 copies of The Swap by Megan Shull because I can’t keep it on my shelves. All the copies are now gone and traveling between students. It’s so sad when students come to me looking for the book and I can’t put my hands on a copy to give them.

          Liked by 1 person

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