At school, we wrapped up the Earth Day 2-week unit last Friday. I still have to collect business envelopes, stamps, and some petition forms before mailing off the letters "for real". It was a fun project! (I haven't done anything about planting flowers with the students yet.)
This week, we start literature circles! This is one of my favorite units EVER. This time, the choices are: Freak the Mighty and Stargirl. Students indicate first choice of novel, then I assign novel based on preference, availability, group dynamics, teacher's executive power, etc. Then small groups meet, rotate discussion roles (summarizer, questioner, predictor, visualizer, passage keeper are the ones I'll use this time; also common - word collector, making connections), conduct discussions... (The next part I never did before, leading to students who complained about always doing the roles.) Eventually, theoretically, groups no longer need assigned roles and can generate their discussions of the reading naturally, organically, magically... Wait, sorry, I dozed off and daydreamed a bit there. I know that's a very quick summary of literature circles, so let me know if clarification is needed.