This Advisement Program/Social Emotional Learning Curriculum is a powerful resource that accompanies the book “Free Agent” by Rennie Curran.
This study guide was created by a 21-year veteran English teacher who has not only worked with life skills, social-emotional learning, and advisement education classes at all high school grade levels, but who also understands the demands of the modern teacher, the needs of the students, and the goals of the required educational advisement plans. The plans included here, planned from the pages of the inspiring book Free Agent, include activities about strengthening relationship skills, responding to peer pressure, goal setting, decision-making, building self-confidence, managing time, and making responsible choices.
The plans are flexible and offer a variety of strategies for teachers and students. The lessons can be tailored to meet the need of each individual teacher- a teacher can finish a lesson in one week, or stretch it into two. There are ten lessons to go with ten chapters. Depending on how often an advisement class meets, this program is designed to be a one-semester course.
For each lesson, the activities involve reading a chapter from Free Agent and completing activities. In reading through the chapters, the teacher can opt to use a variety of strategies:
- Read the chapters to the students as they follow along, and then lead the students directly through the activities.
- Have the students take turns reading the chapter aloud using a random selection, the “popcorn method”, or simply asking for volunteers, then completing the activities in groups.
- Have the students read with a partner and complete the activities with a partner.
- Have the students read the chapter silently then work collaboratively to complete the activities. This would also be a good way to encourage sustained silent reading for students, which many schools struggle to find time for.
- Put one student in a leadership role each session, and allow them to fully facilitate the lesson, with guidance as needed from the teacher.
This advisement book study, using Free Agent, is truly beneficial to students on many levels. Not only will students incorporate reading skills, but they will have opportunities to write reflectively, take part in leadership opportunities within the classroom, hone in on key discussion topics, and develop goals and life skills to help them in and out of the classroom.
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