Clay Deveau: Teacher With Magic

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Teaching With Magic’s newest post segment, TEACHERS With Magic! These posts will include survey answers from real classroom teachers who have used fantasy and science fiction in their classrooms. You can find the survey here if you’d like to participate!

Today’s teacher: Clay Deveau

Subject/Age Range:

Reading Interventionist- Kindergarten through 5th grade (now retired)

Which Fantasy texts do you like to use in your classroom? Why did you use these particular texts?

I used Fellowship of the Ring yearly mainly because of my love for Tolkien.

Online/In Person/Hybrid: In Person

How do you use these Fantasy texts in your classroom?

My primary use of The Fellowship of the Ring was through a map I created on a bulletin board in my room. I used it as a behavior management tool. Students would select their character, start at Bag End, and work their way toward the Falls of Rauros. Through positive peer interactions and meeting classroom expectations, they moved their character up after each session. For the gifted/talented students in 5th grade, I also led a book club reading through the Fellowship.

What were some of the results? What worked, what didn’t work?

The most beneficial piece to it was what it sparked in my students. They were always curious about the characters and the story so I used it to leverage student interest and engagement in reading and literacy. Books and reading don’t have to be boring!

How did using these texts help student engagement? Did you find that your students made stronger connections with the subject material through your chosen fantasy texts?

A lot of times, the map itself was a motivator for good engagement in reading groups. But their interest in the story was the most beneficial part.

Clay, thank you so much for showing us a glimpse of your fantastic classroom!

Author: Elise TC

Fantasy Literature Scholar and Literacy Educator MA: Teachers College Columbia University and Signum University

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