The second graders have just completed the book, The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh. This was their first look into colonial times and the relationship the colonists had with the Native American Indians. The students were introduced to diary writing and were given the opportunity to sharpen their letter writing skills as they corresponded to one of the characters in the story. They are now visiting the world of folktale where we will be reading Min-Yo and the Moon Dragon, by Elizabeth Hillman. They will be introduced to hyberboles and the elements of a folktale. They will also read a folktale of their choosing and complete a visual of their story via a tissue box, where each side represents a portion of the story…title, characters, setting, and plot. They will then present a summary by flipping each side as they talk about their folktale of choice. This is a great exercise in remaining focused on their eye contact while at the same time maneuvering a visual (the box).
Third grade is in the middle of reading the historical fiction story, Toliver’s Secret, by Esther Brady. It is filled with adventure and suspense as a young girl, during Colonial times, has to carry an important, secret message meant for George Washington. There are many Redcoats milling around, making this journey a very risky and dangerous one. The students have each researched one aspect of the American Revolution and have presented their findings through posters. This provided a great opportunity to practice their public speaking techniques using visuals and material they have learned about. They will also create a map of the young girl’s journey from start to finish, using signs and symbols of real and simulated texture for landmarks along the way. By the end of this great historical read, the third graders should have a wealth of knowledge about the American time period.
The fifth graders are reading Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. It is the story of a young girl’s journey to find out the real reason her mother is no longer part of her life and the family. Although a portion of this story seems sad, the actual journey is quite hilarious as Sal’s grandparents journey across the country with her to locate her mom. They are colorful characters who get themselves in lots of predicaments, but also teach Sal some great life lessons along the way. The students will journey along and learn/research about some of the great landmarks of our country in the different states they will pass through. They will also learn about true friendship and present an attribute web via a life-size drawn person of their “best friend’s” characteristic.
The sixth graders are just beginning a month long “time management” project with an approved realistic fiction story, whereby they were given a variety of assignments and projects to complete within a month’s time. They began by choosing the required number of activities from each category (writing , oral presentation, art, misc.), creating a calendar, and plugging each and every aspect of the assignments on the days they wished to work on/complete them. This now allows the students to work at their own pace, disciplining themselves to complete the assignment of the day they have scheduled. This strategy of being able to complete a number of projects in a given time will hopefully be a life skill they can use throughout their school years and beyond.