Friday, March 31, 2023

The Teacher Blues

We read the poem The Blues by Langston Hughes. We listen to Blues music and then use multiple perspectives to think about what a song depicting the Teacher Blues would feature. What would give a teacher the blues?

Kids responses:

Monday, March 27, 2023

Patterns in Eric Carle Books

Eric Carle is one of my favorite writers. He has videos where he explains his craft and ideas that are very endearing. He is so creative-writing and illustrating his stories. 

We read his "Very" series-Very Hungry Caterpillar, Very Lonely Firefly, Very Clumsy Click Beetle, Very Tiny Seed and the Very Busy Spider. We discuss the patterns in these stories (and it makes it engaging to read these read-alouds because they kids can fill in the text-"she didn't answer". 

Then I ask the students to make their own "Very" stories. But change the details and make up your own adjective and creature. What I LOVE is this is time of year we see creativity kick in. Every single idea was different-they are applying the vocabulary we learned this year. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Wax Museum

My school is an environmental science magnet so we are supposed to bring our lessons back to that theme. We often have discussions about how we can help keep our Earth clean. My students always ask why aren't we doing more? Why aren't we stopping the pollution? I wanted them to know that there were people out there making a difference. We read stories about these people, they made backdrops based on those covers. The students dress up like their assigned person and recite a speech about their contributions. 

I love this activity because it gives students a way to apply what they are learning in a different way. They are incorporating art and getting practice at presenting publicly. 

Here are their backdrops:

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

What If Dr. Seuss Wrote.....

One of my favorite ways to challenge my students is to ask them to envision one story written by another author.

Now let me preface this by saying, I know there are Dr. Seuss books that are problematic and I do use those books. We also talk about how we need to make sure the books we are reading are being fair to all people.

We read Charlotte's Web and now we are reading several different Dr. Seuss books. I asked the students to develop a list of "Rules" for Dr. Seuss books. Using those rules how would a version of Charlotte's Web look written by him.

I was so impressed with what they came up with:

That is one punk rock spider! I Love it!

He will make it super funny. (Charlotte is telling a joke-why did the chicken cross the road?)

It will rhyme and have sight words. (I don't know if you know this but The Cat in the Hat was written as a dare that he could not write a story using just the 220 sight word list).

I like to do author studies for a week at a time that way we really get to know the authors. Then this activity could be used with any texts.