I was the quintessential middle school student in that I had absolutely no clue what was going on with me, friends, relationships, hormones, school assignments and anything in between. I certainly could have been helped by a user manual or at the least, a few prompts to get my feelings out about the experience.
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For writers, middle-grade readers represent a large market eager for our work. Know Your Audience You can't hit a bull's-eye with your target audience until you study that audience well, so take time to know this age group before writing for them. This knowledge can come from a variety of places.
When I sold my first middle-grade novel, my children were babies so I relied heavily on my own childhood memories and issues.
When my children were in gradesI observed them and their middle-grade friends in a variety of settings. Now, with my children grown and married, I observe kids in malls, libraries and movie theaters.
If I rely solely on my memory now, my heroes and heroines sound dated. In addition to direct observation, research web sites like Girls' Life at www. The Nickelodeon site at www. Middle-grade girls may be as much as two years ahead of the boys in physical maturity. Both boys and girls are bigger and stronger, growing rapidly at the end of this age period.
They like to join clubs and are more interested in competitive sports. They may develop an interest in special collections or hobbies. They like rituals, rules, secret codes, and made-up languages.
They may play musical instruments. Activities such as camping, biking, building models, skating, and playing board games are popular. Middle-graders are beginning to realize that parents and authority figures can make mistakes; some kids will defy parents at this age.
They are often "black and white" thinkers, seeing things as right or wrong, with no room for differences of opinion.
Upper middle-graders prefer spending time with friends rather than parents, and they show interest in the opposite sex by teasing, joking, and showing off. They may sometimes be verbally cruel to classmates, with name-calling and nasty put-downs.
Inside a Middle-Grader During the middle grades, friends and school become more important than home and family as kids try to figure out their place in the social structure. Parents disappear from many middle-grade novels, or as in the Nancy Drew books they play a minor role and are barely needed.
Children of this age feel more capable and like to see self-sufficient heroes venture out and conquer new territory. While I don't get rid of parents altogether, I have novels e.
Patchwork SummerNo Strings AttachedMystery By Mail where the parents work long hours, are gone due to a divorce, or in jail, letting the kids operate independently. Upper middle-grade readers grades 5 and 6 especially like books where the protagonists manage just as well as adults.
Readers this age daydream about their future and enjoy planning and organizing tasks and events. Middle-graders have great imaginations and creative ideas, but can have difficulty following through. They like games with more complex rules. Their language abilities have grown to the point where they appreciate jokes, riddles and tongue twisters.
Common childhood fears for this age include being late for school, finding out you're adopted, someone in the family becoming ill or dying, the house burning down, someone close having an accident, being followed by a stranger, and being kidnapped.
The Middle-Grade Novel What actually goes into a middle-grade novel?
First of all, a riveting main character. Kids read books because they identify closely with a character that they care about and want to know better. They root for the character to succeed and overcome whatever problem you've created.
Middle-grade protagonists are doers, not passive watchers. They don't wait for some adult to rescue them and resolve the conflict. They get involved and have believable motives for why they take action.Adventures in Fantasy offers an exciting approach to teaching narrative and descriptive writing that stimulates a student’s creativity and imagination.
Filled with mini-lessons, reading projects, and hands-on writing activities, the book shows teachers step-by-step how to introduce students to the “magic” of creating a complete story in the fantasy/adventure genre.
LAUNCHING LEARNING CENTERS IN THE MIDDLE GRADES Presented By CINDY BLEVINS ELA Middle School Instructional Support Teacher Garland ISD timberdesignmag.com [email protected] Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades: 20 Poems and Activities That Meet the Common Core Standards and Cultivate a Passion for Poetry 1st Edition.
Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades: 20 Poems and Activities That Meet the Common Core Standards and Cultivate a Passion for Poetry 1st Edition. LAUNCHING LEARNING CENTERS IN THE MIDDLE GRADES Presented By CINDY BLEVINS ELA Middle School Instructional Support Teacher Garland ISD timberdesignmag.com [email protected] It is our mission to provide a learning environment that will enable each student to reach his/her highest potential in a safe, threat -free atmosphere.