I’m Irene Smith, and I work for young people.
I write books for them.
I’m a Language Arts, Social Studies and Sex Ed. middle school teacher.
Also, my efforts to teach challenging material to my middle school students has led me to become a bit crazy about Shakespeare.
I have worked as a volunteer for Addiction Recovery and led support groups for individuals who care for others in addiction. These experiences inform what and how I write, so that I can help youth avoid pitfalls that take away their ability to choose wisely for themselves. I am a National Board Certified teacher, have worked extensively with students who have been identified as Highly Capable (used to be called “gifted” kids,) as well as students whose special gifts have not yet been identified, and I design curriculum to meet the needs of diverse learners. This website is under construction as a repository for teachers looking for fun and challenging material that helps kids reach ELA Common Core standards. It is also a venue for my readers and my colleagues to share their reading experiences and thoughts and suggestions.
The resources in my download and for purchase section are available for those who care about kids, who want them to experience challenging and enjoyable learning opportunities, choose happy and healthy lives, and engage in deep thinking and discussion. They are also a catalyst for encouraging writing.
Some materials may not yet be available as the website is still under construction.
An agent recently suggested that Found's protagonist, Edgar, is too articulate, has too high a vocabulary, and is too oddly "adult-like" to be relevant to today's youth. My response it that I have known many a quirky, thoughtful, fiercely independent, book-loving kid. I have also had many opportunities to see how the challenges one faces as an adolescent can shape them into strong, resilient, and amazing adults.
Found is finished, and I am currently seeking a publication source, so that individuals may acquire a hard copy of the book, and so teachers can purchase class sets for use when they study The Tempest.
A PDF copy is available upon request.
Discovery students studied The Tempest and performed the play for the public and for other students, including West Valley Junior High School. Students read Found in conjuntion with The Tempest and were able to make comparisons and interpret how a story written so long ago has relevance today.
Isolation and prejudice, revenge and forgiveness, are themes important to young people.
Discovery students also made suggestions as to how the story could be improved. They only got to read the first half of the first draft. Their ideas included relationship confusion between Sebastian and Antonio. They also thought that the ending should have relationship revelations that would surprise the audience.
"My favorite character is Ceria!""I cried."
"I love that I have been to all of the places Edgar went to."
"I thought it was cool the way the Ariels were Native American. I felt like Shakespeare meant Propero's island on The Tempest to be like one of those undiscovered places in the world with aboriginal people who were greatly impacted and whose lives were disrupted by the arrival of newcomers, like Native Americans."
"Cal was really evil in Found, but I liked Caliban better in the Tempest."
"I liked that it was all notes and journal writing. We pass notes in class too. It made me relate to the story. The play allowed me to get into it too by being a character."
"When we watched the movie, The Most Dangerous Game, I thought it was strange how someone could be powerful on their own island. I want one. I wouldn't do bad stuff like he did, though." Prospero was both bad and good. Bad to Caliban, who maybe deserved it, but good because he forgave his enemies when they were sorry.
Click the links to view in your browser or download a permanent copy to your computer. Materials are provided under © IreneSmith 2016. Send me an email to discuss usage rights.