Author Feature-Michael Merschel

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Michael Merschel



 


 

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Book Trailer


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Book Quiz

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The school counselor is not able to help Clark with his schedule on his first day at Festus Middle School because

a) his records have not arrived from his former school

b) he doesn’t have enough credits to take advanced classes

c) the electives he chose are full

d) all of the above

 

Ty, Jerry, and Bubba torment Clark by

a) hitting him with ice filled snowballs

b) stealing his clothes while he is changing for PE

c) throwing water on him in the hallway

d) taking his bicycle from him on the way home

 

Les first communicates with Clark

a) in the library

b) by leaving a note at his desk in math class

c) by smuggling a note into Clark’s back pocket

d) by calling him on the phone

 

Clark and Ricki’s favorite private meeting place is

a) the storage closet in their English class

b) the school’s basement

c) the rocket ship park

d) Clark’s backyard

 

Clark rescues Les from Ty, Jerry, and Bubba in the Sanctuary by

a) jumping out to attack the bullies

b) waiting for the boys to leave and then carrying Les home

c) starting a fire to scare the boys away from the fight

d) phoning his parents for help

 

Clark discovers his surprising superpower is

a) vomit

b) speed

c) invisibility

d) stealth

 

Ms. Beacon gives Clark a clue to help him expose Principal Denton in

a) her leftover packing boxes

b) the Marine Corps book for his assignment

c) his backpack

d) an envelope left with Ricki

 

 

Ricki stands up to the mean girls when she

a) threatens to talk about their secrets

b) reports their behavior to the counselor

c) hacks into their school records

d) sabotages their cheer signs

 

 

Clark decides to reveal Principal Denton’s plans by

a) broadcasting Ty’s bullying to the entire school

b) calling a reporter to investigate his military record

c) asking his parents to hire an attorney

d) reporting his behavior to the superintendent

 

 

Clark decides to help Ty by

a) offering to tutor him in math

b) asking the counselor not to send Ty to the alternative school

c) doing Ty’s homework for him

d) lying about Ty’s bullying to keep him on the baseball team

 

 


 



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Academic Program 

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Program Title –  Hostile Environments

 

Program Introduction -  Clarke describes his new middle school as a hostile environment, but this is really just a metaphor.  This program's purpose is to have students research genuinely dangerous, hostile environments on this planet and determine whether or not they would survive life there.  students will utilize a website listing seven dangerous environments on earth.  They will use print and online materials to research more information on one of the places listed on the site.  Then, students will compose an essay to explain why they could or could not live in the chosen hostile environment.  This program is divided into three components – introduction, research, and writing – and should take 3-6 days

 

Activity 1 – Hostile Environments: Introduction

Activity 1 Introduction – using the sheet below, students will read through slides of seven deadly places on earth.  They will then select one of the places from the website and answer guiding questions to drive their research.

 

Activity 1 TEKS - Middle School ELA 110.22.b.9, 110.22.b.10

 

Activity 1 Students will read through the slides on the website https://www.livescience.com/30602-7-most-dangerous-places-earth-natural-disasters.html to determine which of the seven listed places they each feel are most dangerous.  Students will select one dangerous place to research in the next activity (see Hostile Environments: Introduction sheet below)

 

Activity 1 Books to Display

Singer, Marilyn, and Ed Young. A Strange Place to Call Home: the World's Most Dangerous Habitats, and the Animals That Call Them Home. Chronicle Books, 2013.

Fletcher, Martin. Breaking News: a Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008.

 

Activity 1 Supply List

Website: https://www.livescience.com/30602-7-most-dangerous-places-earth-natural-disasters.html

Computer with internet access

 

Activity 1 Activity Resources – see organizer called Hostile Environments: Introduction

 

Activity 1 Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

Pappas, Stephanie. “7 Most Dangerous Places on Earth.” LiveScience, Purch, 18 July 2011, www.livescience.com/30602-7-most-dangerous-places-earth-natural-disasters.html.

 

 


 

 

Activity 2 – Hostile Environments: Research

 

Activity 2 Introduction – After selecting a specific hostile environment to research, students will use TexQuest and other digital resources to research their chosen dangerous place. The sheet below features guiding questions for students to consider for researching.  Students should keep track of citations to include in an expository essay (next activity)

 

Activity 2 TEKS – Middle School ELA 110.22.b.12

 

Activity 2 – Have students begin searching online for more information about the hostile environment of their choosing. The sheet below (called Hostile Environments: Research) provides them with guiding questions and spaces to record research findings. This activity should take 1-2 days.

 

Activity 2 Books to Display

Singer, Marilyn, and Ed Young. A Strange Place to Call Home: the World's Most Dangerous Habitats, and the Animals That Call Them Home. Chronicle Books, 2013.

Fletcher, Martin. Breaking News: a Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008.

 

Activity 2 Supply List

Computer with internet access

TexQuest resources

 Activity 2 Activity Resources – see attached organizer called Hostile Environments: Research

 

 


 

Activity 3 – Hostile Environments: Expository Essay

 

Activity 3 Introduction – Students will use their research to compose an expository essay.

 

Activity 3 TEKS - Middle School ELA 110.22.b.10, 110.22.b.12

 

Activity 3 Detailed Description of Activity – Using their research from activity 2, students will take a stance on whether or not they would live in their chosen environment.  Using the facts from research, students will support their claims in an expository paragraph.  Teachers can use the rubric attached; this activity should take 1-2 days.

 

Activity 3 Books to Display – none

 

Activity 3 Supply List – computer with word processing program or loose leaf paper and writing utensils

Attached rubric

 

Activity 3 Activity Resources – notes from previous activity’s research

 

Activity 3 Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians – sheet below labeled Hostile Environments: Expository Essay

 

 



 

 

Hostile Environments: Introduction

 

Introduction: The earth can be a scary place!  In this activity, you will select a dangerous places to live from the following link: https://www.livescience.com/30602-7-most-dangerous-places-earth-natural-disasters.html This location will serve as your research and writing focus.

 

What place did you select? ______________________________________

Why did you select this location to further research?

Why do you think this place sounds more dangerous than the others? 

What would you like to learn about this location? 

What resources will you use to research?

 

 


Hostile Environments: Research

 

Once you have completed the introduction activity, use your available databases to research the climate and weather in your dangerous place. Be sure to record where you found the information for your guiding questions below:

 

What is the climate of the environment? 

How does this affect people who live there?

Why is this place dangerous?

How does the area’s climate increase the dangerous threat to those living there?

Would could be some positive points about living in this region?

What possible weather patterns could exist in the future?

 

 


Hostile Environments: Expository Essay

Now that you have researched your dangerous environment, it’s time to take a stance! Formulate an expository paragraph why a person should or should not move to the area you researched.  Be sure to include facts about climate, natural dangers, and predicted weather patterns. Be sure to include properly formatted citations to support your research.

The following rubric will be used to assess your writing.

 

  Excels Strong Decent Needs Work
Introduction        
Stance on topic        
Research/incorporation of facts        
Support for claim        
Grammar/Style        
Conclusion        
Citations        

 

 

 

 

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Active Programs

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General Introduction to Active Program

In Revenge of the Star Survivors, Clark begins building friendships with Les, Ricki, and Ms. Beacon by bonding over their favorite TV show. By hosting a Random Fandom event, librarians can provide an opportunity for teens to experience a greater sense of community and engagement with their library.

 

 

 

Activity Title 

Random Fandom

 

Activity Introduction 

Random Fandom programs encourage teens to celebrate their favorite characters from books, comics, movies, TV shows, or games. These events allow teens to discuss favorite fandoms, display their creativity, and meet new friends with similar interests.

 

Detailed Description of Activity

Begin by publicizing your Random Fandom on your library’s website. Also place posters in the library, around town, and at the local middle schools. Consider contacting local school librarians for their help in promoting your event.

 

When preparing for your Random Fandom event, consider popular fandoms of tweens and teens in your area. Include books, comics, movies, TV shows, and games in your programming. Use your teen advisory group or regular teen patrons as resources. Ask them which fandoms to include. Teens will be more invested in your event if they participate in the planning stages.

 

Schedule your library’s community meeting space or designate a section of your library for your Random Fandom event. Depending on the anticipated attendance and the number of stations you want to include, plan your time accordingly. Your event should probably last at least two to three hours, perhaps longer.

 

Successful Random Fandoms include several different stations. Include a cosplay contest for teens to dress as their favorite characters. If costumes might be a challenge, consider a makeup tutorial for popular characters. Food is always popular at events. Plan finger foods to go along with popular fandoms. A viewing station can be set up for teens to watch clips of favorite shows. Include a craft table for teens to create bookmarks, paint book bags and t-shirts, or other fandom related crafts. Write popular characters’ names on post-it notes and organize a Heads Up game where teens can guess the character stuck on their forehead by asking yes or no questions. Prepare a trivia contest including questions from many different fandoms. Tally the results and announce the winners at the end of the event. Pins, posters, mugs, or bags purchased online featuring popular fandoms could be given as prizes.

 

Examples for these activities can be found online, however it works better if you recruit your teen advisory group or regular patrons to create the trivia questions and answer key. Teens know their favorite fandoms well and will be more excited about the contest if they help write the questions.

 

Several professional books are included below in the Activity Resources for Teens, Teachers, and Librarians section. These books will be helpful when planning a Random Fandom event at your library.

 

 

 

Books to Display or Book Talk

Books pertaining to each fandom included in the event (Harry Potter series, Hunger Games series, manga, etc.)

 

 

 

Activity Supply List

Advertising posters

Prizes for cosplay fashion show and trivia contest (fandom pins, posters, mugs, book bags, etc.)

Makeup for character makeup tutorial

Food for event

Tables for food and crafts

Chairs for lounging and visiting

Music

Music player with speakers

Laptop

Projector

Video clips of various fandom TV shows, movies, games, etc.

Strips of paper for bookmarks

Markers

Canvas book bags

T-shirts

Fabric paint

Post-it notes labeled with popular characters’ names for the Heads Up game

Trivia contest question sheets (one per participant)

Pencils

Basket to collect trivia contest answers

Trivia contest answer key

 

 

 

Activity Resources (Produced by the Committee)

 

Promotional flyer:

 

Activity Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

 

Fandom: Fic writers, vidders, gamers, artists, and cosplayers by Francesca DiPiazza. ISBN 978-1-51245-049-1

 

50+ Fandom Programs: Planning festivals and events for tweens, teens, and adults by Amy Alessio, Katie LaMantia, and Emily Vinci. ISBN 978-0-8389-1552-3

 

Cosplay in Libraries: How to embrace costume play in your library by Ellyssa Kroski. ISBN 978-1-44225-648-4

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Passive Programs 

Printable Copy

Activity 1 Title

MazeMarks

 

Activity Introduction

Clarke sees his new school as a maze he must navigate.  Create maze book marks to go with the book using Discovery's free Puzzle Maker website.  Choose the rectangle bookmark and use 10X70 dimensions.  You can print these on card stock to use as bookmarks.  You could also allow library patrons to create their own.

 

http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/AdvMazeSetupForm.asp?campaign=flyout_teachers_puzzle_maze

 

Materials

Online PuzzleMaker program - http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/AdvMazeSetupForm.asp?campaign=flyout_teachers_puzzle_maze

Cardstock for bookmarks

art supplies like colored pencils, crayons, or markers (optional)

 

These bookmarks can be created by the librarian ahead of time and placed near a book display for patrons to use as a bookmark and activity.  Librarians could also have a computer with this site bookmarked for patrons to create their own mazes to print.

 

 


 

 

Activity 2 Title

Origami Spaceship

 

Activity Introduction

Clark receives a spaceship-coded note from his new friend Les, who happens to also be a fan of Star Survivors. The awesome paper spaceship YouTube origami video teaches users how to create their own paper spaceship. This fun origami project can be presented to generate interest in Revenge of the Star Survivors.

 

Books to Display or Book Talk

10-Fold Origami: Fabulous paperfolds you can make it just 10 steps! by Peter Engel ISBN 978-4-8053-1069-4

Origami Paper Airplanes by Didier Boursin ISBN 978-1-55209-626-0

Sort-Of-Difficult Origami by Chris Alexander ISBN 978-1-42962-023-9

 

Activity Supply List

Printer paper

Scissors

Map pencils or markers for decoration

Laptops or tablets to view YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93O6DYAaX_U

Projector, if necessary

 

Detailed Description of Activity

Use laptops or tablets to give students access to the YouTube tutorial video. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93O6DYAaX_U for step-by-step directions to create an origami spaceship. If a large group of students will be folding spaceships at the same time, librarians can connect the device to a projector so everyone can follow along at the same time. Provide enough printer paper for each student to have at least one piece of paper. Students may want to make more than one spaceship or get another piece of paper if their first page is folded incorrectly. White paper works well, but different colors would add interest and give students more choices. At the end of the video tutorial, the instructor uses a pair of scissors to round out the tail section of the spaceship. If you would like to eliminate the possibility of cutting paper and creating a mess to clean up, students can use a pencil instead to create the rounded end of the spaceship. Students may also use map pencils or markers to name and decorate their spaceships.

 

 

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Resources

Academic Program

Active Program

Annotated Bibliography

Book Quiz

Passive Program

Read-A-Likes


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Created on Mar 26, 2018 | Last updated March 29, 2018