Category Archives: Read Aloud
Continuing on with our book club in Language Arts today, we discussed what personality traits make someone admirable. Again, the theme of our book club is “This is who I am” and all of the novels have main characters who display “admirable traits” and strength of character in some way.
-High self esteem
-Make sacrifices for others
-An awesome actor
-Helps me with my basketball playing
-Sets a goal and works toward it
-Patient… and a few others…
We had an excellent discussion on the traits that they came up with, and then worked on trying to narrow our list down to 5 main traits.
Can someone be admirable and also be a horrible singer? Yes, of course – so we took “good singer” off of the board. Can you be admirable without a good sense of humor? Yep! So that “funny” was gone.
We worked our way through the list and finally decided on a few key characteristics that would make someone admirable:
They are kind, set a goal and work toward it, and make sacrifices for others.
The best part is that the class basically hit the nail on the head! The traits that they decided on are ones that the main characters in the novels display. Score! I love it when that happens – everything coming together the way it’s supposed to. They are already making connections all over the place and we’re only two days in. They’re connecting our read aloud, Firegirl, to the anticipation guide that we did on Friday and to the main character that we read about in our last read aloud, Shot at Dawn: World War I. Love it! Super pumped for when they actually get into their book club groups with their own independent novels which will be Session 5… and we’re entering Session 3 tomorrow.
Wish me luck! We’re on to a shared reading piece tomorrow about Myers-Briggs and personality inventories – should be interesting!
We started our book club yesterday! This is my first one ever (and so I may be asking for advice) but I think the kids are really going to love it! I know what you’re thinking: Why did you launch it on a Friday? That’s another story for another time.
Anyhow, the book club that goes with our grade 7 Language Arts program is themed “This is Who I Am”. It’s all about the type of person you are, how who you are is reflected in choices that you make and how your personality can sometimes be altered by critical and pivotal points in your life. Perfectly suited for grade 7 – it even fits right along with some of our Health outcomes on choices and friendships.
The read aloud for the book club is Firegirl. It’s not filled with a lot of twists and turns, or complicated story lines. It’s a very basic story about friendship and strength character. A girl joins a class mid-year to be closer to the hospital for her treatments, as she was in a horrible accident and has disfiguring burns. The way the students in the class act toward her is very telling of their character.
I think that it was a great choice for the read aloud for a few reasons, but its simplicity is one of them. I think a lot of my students will see themselves or their classmates in the main characters in the novel. And, at the very least, they must consider what they would do if placed into the same situation. What kind of friend would they be? Would they be brave enough to befriend someone who everyone else avoids? It should be interesting and I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.
What do you think is the most challenging part of running book clubs? What should I be aware of?
Okay – switching gears…
I also have some pretty exciting news for you…An awesome giveaway by Teacher’s Notebook begins today, Jan. 5th and runs until Jan 31st. It’s simple to enter and the winner will receive their choice of an iPad Mini, a Kindle Fire HD or a Nook HD. How amazing would that be? You can enter each day between now and the end of the month – so be sure to take a couple of minutes to get yourself entered! If I win, I want the iPad Mini!
I’m super excited about the book that I just got Using Picture Books to Teach 8 Essential Literary Elements: An Annotated Bibliography of More Than 100 Books With Model Lessons to Deepen Students’ Comprehension. What a mouthful!
The book covers:
~Point of view
It’s for grades 4-8 and contains 2 lessons for each of the 8 literary elements above, using suggested titles. Each lesson is based on a model text – a picture book! The title, author and brief plot summary are included for each model text. Each lesson begins with a critical question based on the literary element and the materials required for the lesson are listed. A step by step explanation follows, as well as black line masters if applicable, and a wrap-up. Beyond the 16 lessons, there are “More Books for Teaching…” each of the 8 literary elements. Along with the additional title suggestions, are teaching ideas and interdisciplinary connections for each. Over 100 titles are included in all and this book is aligned to the Common Core – which is a bonus! There is a two page spread at the beginning of the book listing which standards are addressed.
One of the lessons that I can’t wait to use is a Point of View Improv activity. The group that I have this year will love it! Most of them love an audience and thrive on acting silly! There are 10 cut-apart scenarios that willing students will draw from a basket, each putting them into a unique situation by giving them a specific point of view to speak from. For example, “You are a cheeseburger. You see a big mouth coming towards you. What do you call out?” I mean, come on! What a unique idea! There are only 10 cards included, but it would be easy to come up with some others. Students could also create their own “point of view improv” card and the cards could be added to a class set.
I just love when I buy a book that I can see so many uses for! I already own 5 titles that are included in this book and I’ll be looking at gathering more!
Picture books are so powerful and I think that sometimes we forget that in the middle and upper grade levels – I know I do. However, so many picture books are extremely versatile and could address multiple teaching points. I don’t mean for you to run out and purchase this book – although I do think it’s a good buy! What I’m suggesting is to have a look at your library, or the class libraries of teachers of other grade levels. Most picture books will offer opportunities for teaching literary elements – it’s just to find the time to read through some good ones and to make those connections. That’s what I love about this particular book – all the connections and titles are there for me!
Do you have any titles of picture books that you use to teach particular literary elements?