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All teachers know that kids learn more when they’re excited and engaged. Today a team of bloggers come together to help your students take a BITE out of learning with a theme your students are sure to love!


The quickest way for my little learners to be involved in the lesson is when I start it off by asking a question or asking them to share their own experiences. Making real life connections with kids really helps them focus on what it is I will be teaching.

For example for my lesson on CLOSE READING using the SHARK FREEBIE below, I may say something like "How many of you have ever seen a real shark before?" or   "Turn and tell a friend one fact your know about sharks."  

Another way I help my students get excited about learning is to add their names into my lesson examples.   In math this lends itself nicely when we work on word problems.    This easy strategy helps spark their interest and sometimes I can show something I know about them (for instance, if I know Danny plays soccer, I can do a math problem about his minutes of soccer practice).

Of course, picking topics the students are interested in always helps, too!   The best way to teach your kiddos the more challenging curriculum is to USE material they are excited about.  ANIMALS are often a favorite topic for my students.  If you are teaching CLOSE READING and need a topic - animals might be your best bet. 

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My Shark Week freebie is a shark-themed close reading passage from my Animal Close Read product. If you haven’t tried these out before, they give kids an easy, non-intimidating way to begin close reading.  Here are some sample pages you will find in this FINTASTIC FREEBIE!



You can read more about how to do a CLOSE READ with your class in our post from a few weeks ago.  Click here!

If you like our Freebie - you can find more of these engaging ANIMAL articles in our CLOSE READ packet. 


Be sure to go for a swim in the linky party below. Every blog in the Shark Week Blog Hop features a fishy freebie for you and your students- but hurry!

Shark Week only lasts until Sunday, August 17th
You can grab more SHARK WEEK Freebies HERE!

     Don't miss out on our Diggin' In Series Giveaway- that is going on all week too!   ENTER HERE and win some great prizes!


  1. What a great introduction to close reading! I agree that animals make such a great topic for this sort of thing, and I have my students turn and talk all the time. It is just amazing what information they already have to bring to the table :) I can't wait to try this out- thank you for the freebie and for linking up with me this week!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  2. Thank you Jenny for visiting our blog! We are so glad you like the FREEBIE! Be on the lookout next week - we are almost finished with our FALL CLOSE READ packet!! :)