After reviewing our three actions, we each decided whether to focus on one of the three or some combination of them. Those decisions became our goals! Before moving on to Step 4, we created Flip Grid videos to share this entire process with our mentors so they can provide feedback as we dive into taking action next week.
7th and 8th grade students continue to move forward with their Activism Projects. In fact, in the past week we have moved from Step 2 all the way to Step 5 (the last step before we start taking action). Step 3 was the most time consuming because it involved setting goals, which is a challenging process. To make the process a little easier, we broke it into mini-steps. The first was to review different types of actions that can be taken to make change (the slideshow for this is linked in the Step 3 document below). Next, we thought about how each of those types of action could potentially connect to our topics and collected those ideas in a table. After generating that list, we then chose the three actions that we felt were the best fit for our topics and decided what the audience would be for each. We also considered what the purpose of such an action would be to ensure that we will be making the kind of change we're hoping for. Finally, we decided what type of argument writing could be incorporated in each action. Argument writing is one of the non-negotiables for this project, so no matter what we choose to do, we must find a good way to write an argument piece.
After reviewing our three actions, we each decided whether to focus on one of the three or some combination of them. Those decisions became our goals! Before moving on to Step 4, we created Flip Grid videos to share this entire process with our mentors so they can provide feedback as we dive into taking action next week.
For Step 4 of the Activism Project, students compiled a list of additional resources they could/should contact aside from their teachers and mentors. For people creating a petition, this could include local businesses where the petition could be displayed. For projects that involve raising funds, Mrs. Hastings or our OES School Board might be the best resources.
For Step 5, students broke their overall goals down into manageable steps. They will use this plan as they get started taking action NEXT WEEK! We took time to discuss how to break down individual steps to a point where they are attainable in a short period of time, but not so specific that our list of steps is overwhelming. We have some great plans in place, and as soon as we hear back from our mentors, we will get started on them!
In an effort to make sure we are practicing many types of writing on a regular basis, 7th and 8th graders also completed a quick research activity and informational writing piece. Students chose between three articles about activism in the United States and around the world, marked up the text, and then wrote a paragraph about how the person or people in the article are making positive change. Mr. Chadburn and Miss Gratton provided feedback on these writing pieces, and students used that feedback to fill in their "Strengths and Areas of Improvement" document. We have been filling in this document throughout the year whenever we practice writing skills, and it will provide some great reflection and evidence to set goals for ourselves as we near the fourth quarter of the year!
5th and 6th graders worked in targeted, guiding workshops over the past two weeks to practice and improve their informational writing skills. A workshop was provided for almost every part of an informational paragraph: gist, details, transitions, and closers. Students decided which workshops would help them the most and signed up for them. The activities in the guiding workshops were meant to remind students about the purpose of each part, as well as offer the opportunity to practice in a safe and informal setting. Below are examples of some activities from the gist workshop.
Groups are also working on putting together their webpages for our Orleans Landmarks project. When completed, our website will include a page about each of the landmarks we researched, as well as an "About" page that describes the purpose of the project, a contact page that our audience can use to give us feedback, and an acknowledgment page to thank and give credit to the sources we used and the people that helped us. Mr. Chadburn and Miss Gratton created a sample page for the Orleans Municipal Building to help guide our process and show us the tools we can use, but each group is designing their page in a unique way that best represents their landmark.
5th and 6th graders also took the time to practice informational writing again after having their targeted guiding workshops. They read a Junior Scholastic article about teen innovators, chose one that inspired them the most, and then described how the person's invention is helping people. Mr. Chadburn and Miss Gratton will be reviewing these writing pieces over the weekend and providing actionable feedback next week!
The weather continues to challenge us, but we don't care. We're moving forward anyway!
7/8th graders have been working on the second stage of their Activism Project. Previously, we spent time reflecting on what our passions are so that we can make the right decision when choosing a topic for this project and be partnered with a community mentor that will support our work throughout the process. Now that we have our topics, we're ready to collect research about the issues surrounding the topic and what can be done to make positive change happen. To do this, we have spent a lot of time developing targeted research questions that will guide us to the information we need most. The doc below allowed us to work through that process, with few hiccups along the way, and then start gathering sources and information. We also created topic webs that helped us narrow our original topics and questions so that they could become "just right." While narrowing topics, we considered aspects like location, demographics, time period, causes, and effects, as they relate to our topics.
When collecting research about controversial topics, it is incredibly important to recognize the biases that could exist in others and in ourselves. We spent some time learning about different types of bias and trying to find ways to identify them when they appear in our research. We also discussed the importance of seeking out opinions about our topics that differ from our own in order to avoid confirmation bias. We understand that we do not need to shift our opinions and agree with these other ideas, but we need to examine them in order to engage in conversations and activities that will make others feel heard and understood. This will open the dialogue that is needed for us to make positive change!
While examining bias, we also discussed how groups can sometimes disguise their biases by creating organizations with misleading names and logos. We looked at a few examples of organizations (below), made predictions about what we think they do and who they help, and then found out what they really do and how they truly benefit. It was surprising to see how different the reality was from our initial predictions, and we will be careful to really analyze our sources to make sure we know exactly where our information is coming from.
Finally, we took a few minutes to acknowledge the one year anniversary of the school shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We had spoken with a student from Stoneman Douglas who is involved in the March for Our Lives movement earlier in the year as inspiration for our Revolution and Activism unit. Now that we are in the midst of the activism portion, it is important to look back at the substantial changes that the March for Our Lives group has been able to make in only a year, but also to acknowledge that there is a lot of change that is still needed. Regardless of which topics we choose to take action about, we need to remember that the work we need to do will be a long and on-going process.
In 5/6th grade Humanities, we are continuing to develop the various aspects of our Living Museum project. This week we had a crash course in how to use iMovie to create mini-documentary films about our landmarks. Many of our groups have chosen this as a central part of their projects, and they will be embedding text, photos, music, and even voiceovers as they create their videos.
Since so many groups decided to make documentaries through iMovie, we decided that we should take some time and have a screening to provide feedback early in the process. As groups presented their works-in-progress, the rest of us filled our a feedback survey (below) to share specific aspects of the videos that we felt were effective and which aspects might need some adjustments. We will use this feedback next week as we finally these videos and move on to the writing portion of the project.
We also learned about another useful tool that we can use for our projects. The website "Read, Write, Think" provides a timeline creator that is a simple and effective way to show how our landmarks have changed over time (see below). By including the most important events from our landmarks' histories, we can give our audience a quick overview in case they don't have time to explore our entire project.
As always, there are so many exciting things happening every day! We can't wait to share our final products for both of these projects with you soon!
The last two weeks have involved some absolutely CRAZY schedules due to weather, field trips, and 8th grade testing at Lake Region. Still, we have been busy moving forward with many endeavors in Humanities!
7/8th graders finished their argument writing about which actions are justified in a revolution and which are not. The evidence for this writing piece came from the research we did about a social, political, or cultural movement from history or today. Step one for this writing was creating an outline using the information from our research. We used the organizer below to gather our thoughts before beginning the formal writing process.
After organizing our information, we realized that we were not quite ready to start writing for a variety of reasons. Some of us were lacking the evidence needed to make a convincing argument. Others were using evidence that included the actions of the opposition to the movement being discussed as opposed to focusing on the actions of the people leading the movement. Regardless, we took a step back and decided to model the process more clearly before trying to move forward. Using the American Revolution, which we have discussed in detail leading up to this writing project, we filled out the organizer document and clarified what solid evidence and reasoning looks like. We also dissected an example paragraph to see if we could determine how it used transition words/phrases and a concluding statement.
When we were ready to move forward, we completed a first draft of our writing pieces about our own movements. Then, using a guided slideshow, we reviewed and revised our writing. Some of us were ready to move forward fairly quickly, and others needed a little more focused attention on the revision process. Either way, the process allowed us to improve our original draft and show where we are with our writing skills before we take on a longer and more complex writing piece in our next project.
We wrapped up the past week by moving forward to our next project, which will involve each of us determining a cause that we are passionate about and then planning how to take action. We generated some ideas by exploring examples of young people who are taking action all over our country and the world. Then, we categorized those actions and brainstormed additional topics that we might want to spend our time on. Next week, we will make final decisions about what our passion project will be focused on and then start doing the research needed to get our work started!
In 5/6th grade we have been very busy finishing up our research on local landmarks in our village. Many of us traveled to the Old Stone House Museum to see the many resources they had about the history of Orleans. We found old photographs, postcards, newspapers, records, artifacts, and much more. It was amazing! We had so much fun exploring and collecting the information, and we brought back a lot of great stuff to use in our project.
While some of us were at the museum, others were lucky enough to be able to meet with Mrs. Mary Wood, daughter of Darrell Hoyt who wrote a comprehensive history of Orleans called Sketches of Orleans, Vermont, We have used Mr. Hoyt's book in our research already. Mrs. Wood brought in some of her father's resources and shared her own knowledge about Orleans with us. She was a great source of information, and we thank her for her time!
Aside from Mrs. Wood, we also had other guests who were kind enough to come in and help us learn more about the experiences of people who lived in Orleans in the past. To prepare for those visitors, we spent some time during guided workshop learning about and practicing interview skills including how to ask meaningful and intentional questions and how to use respectful body language. We also continued our work on writing skills during guided workshops so that we will be very prepared to do the written portion of our project when we start putting it together next week.
Our community interviews included people who had experience with many of the landmarks that we are researching. Some of them owned, or still own, the landmark. Others worked at the landmarks or attended the churches/schools that we are learning about. They provided some incredible stories that helped us better understand what it was like to live in Orleans in the past and how much our village has changed. We really appreciate their time and willingness to share!
Next week, each of our research groups will start organizing the information and artifacts that they have gathered throughout the research process and planning out how they will design their portion of our Living Museum website. More details about that, and the other exciting things we have planned for this project, will be coming soon!
We were also lucky to be able to connect with our partner classroom in Tampa, Florida again this week to discuss the similarities and differences in our local landmarks. We learned a lot about some of the important locations near their school, and we shared as much as we could about Orleans. We won't be connecting with them again for any projects this year, but we hope to check in with them again later to see how their year wrapped up. The next partner classroom that we'll be connecting with through Empatico is even farther away from us. In fact, they're not even on the same continent! We will share more about that after our first meeting with them, which we hope will be scheduled soon.
Wow, the time has flown by since we returned from our holiday break! We have been doing so much incredible work and exploring such a vast array of topics, that we haven't been able to find the time to share for a few weeks. Here's our best attempt to get you caught up with all the awesome stuff (and maybe a few glitches) we've experienced lately!
7/8th Humanities has been working hard on conducting research about various political, social, and cultural movements as a means for better understanding how groups of people work to make change all over the world. The topics (listed in the document below) range from groups that overthrew their oppressive governments to others that protested for equal rights under the laws of their country. It feels very appropriate to be reflecting on this work today, as the U.S. celebrates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. However, we encouraged students to look beyond those well-known names and explore the other important people who supported their causes as well.
As students finish their research, they will be constructing a piece of argument writing that will explain which actions are justifiable and which are not when a group is fighting for change. We have established that, even in the face of injustice, some actions cannot be justified. However, it is up to each student to determine where the line should be drawn and express that through their writing. It will be very interesting to see the range of responses when we are done!
Now that we are halfway through the year, 7/8 students also took the time to reflect on their independent reading progress. Each chose one book to recommend to their classmates through FlipGrid (see below), set reasonable goals for themselves for the remainder of the year, and then took the time to review and respond to each other's recommendations and goals. Though it took a couple of attempts before we really made it work, it was a valuable process that helped us better understand the reading culture in our class and benefit from each other's interests and expertise!
On Thursday, January 10th, Mr. Chadburn, Miss Gratton, and several sixth grade students visited Shelburne Community School as part of the Tarrant Institute Learning Lab. Our goal in visiting was to see some of the interesting and inspiring things that are being done at SCS and bring them back to OES to improve our learning community. There were a lot of highlights, but our big takeaways were that independent learning is possible and awesome, group projects can help students work on a variety of skills besides just learning about a topic, and positive school culture is about more than fancy tools (although, the library space and whiteboard tables were pretty awesome!). We hope to host Mr. Nelson and some of his SCS students at OES in the Spring. Until then, we'll stay in touch and let them know how they have inspired us to make changes in our school!
5/6th Humanities students have been VERY busy lately! We are continuing our research on local landmarks in Orleans as part of our special project that is really starting to take shape now. It's been a challenging journey so far, but we are feeling more comfortable and confident in our work now than ever before. Recently, we were able to access a variety of new sources of information about our landmarks. We took some time to discuss the differences between primary and secondary sources, and used these new tools as examples. By closely analyzing old photographs, postcards, maps, yearbooks, news clippings, and texts, we are now able to get a much better picture of how each landmark has changed over time. Next week, we will be visiting the Old Stone House Museum to explore even more resources, and we will be welcoming a special guest, Mrs. Wood, into our classroom as well. She will be bringing some artifacts about the history of Orleans that she received from her father, Darrell Hoyt, who wrote the book that we have been using for research!
In addition to research, we have also been continuing our independent and guided workshops. Some of us are continuing to focus on geography and parts of speech, while others are moving on to start practicing map skills during independent workshops. In guided workshops, we are covering topics like how to develop and organize our writing, as well as how to use different types of sources for research and pick out the most important information from them. Next week, we will also start working on techniques for conducting interviews, as we will be inviting many local experts into our classrooms to speak with us about their memories of Orleans. If you know anyone who might like to join us for these interviews, contact Mr. Chadburn or Miss Gratton!
WOW! What an incredible week before vacation! We started off in 7/8th Humanities discussing rules and whether it is always right to follow them. We brainstormed examples of times when rules should NOT be followed because they are unfair to us or to others. There were disagreements along the way, but overall we decided that it is important to think carefully about rules before we follow them blindly, and to make sure that we are careful about how we choose to break them if they are unfair.
After our rules discussion, we started making historical connections to rules by analyzing the events leading up to the American Revolution. On Tuesday, we participated in a simulation activity in which we each took on a role representing a group of people who would have been living in the American colonies in the late 18th century. We had colonists who were loyal to the British government, native people, colonists who were becoming frustrated with the British government, and enslaved people interacting with each other by having conversation about the new laws that the government was imposing on them. These laws included the Proclamation of 1763, the Sugar Act, and the Stamp Act. Depending on the role that was being played, there were some very different opinions about these laws and whether or not they should be followed, and we had some interesting conversations about how each of us is impacted by them.
On Wednesday, we participated in a different kind of role-play activity. This time, we took on the part of jurors who were tasked with deciding the fate of a group of British soldiers accused of murdering five colonists on March 5th, 1770. The event in question is now known as The Boston Massacre. Our job was to closely analyze evidence presented by the prosecution and defense in order to decide if the soldiers were 1.) not guilty because their actions were self-defense, 2.) guilty of manslaughter because they did not intend to kill the colonists, or 3.) guilty of murder because they did intend to kill the colonists. You can examine the evidence (slideshow below), collect your notes and thoughts (Google doc below), and see if your thinking was the same as ours.
After closely examining the evidence, we split into two juries on Thursday and deliberated (see our conversations in the video below). There was a lot to discuss and decide, but in the end, one of our juries found the soldiers guilty of murder and the other jury could not reach a unanimous verdict and had to declare a mistrial. It turns out that jury duty is a pretty interesting job!
In 5/6th Humanities, we spent the week digging deeper into our first research source, Sketch of Orleans, Vermont by Darrell Hoyt. We focused on the sections of the book that described each of our landmarks, and we worked hard to determine how each landmark has changed over time. On Thursday, we walked around the village and took some historical photographs with us (slideshow below). Our goal was to visit several locations that look very different today than they did in the past and analyze the changes the have occurred. It was very interesting to see how many buildings and location in our village are no longer standing, but it was also impressive to see how many have stood the test of time!
We also spent some time talking about motivation. We know that we have many challenging tasks ahead of us as we continue working on our big project for this unit. However, we learned some strategies for keeping ourselves motivated, even when something is really hard or not as interesting to us. We used these strategies to create motivational posters that we can reference when we return from our break to ensure that we are ready to embrace the challenges ahead and create something really incredible for our community!
This week, we spent time in 7th and 8th grade Humanities learning about the history of gun violence in the U.S., especially in schools, so that we will be better prepared to connect with representatives of the March for Our Lives movement next week via video chat. March for Our Lives (also, #NeverAgain) was formed by high school students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after a shooting incident there in February of 2018. Our hope is to learn from these students about how they were able to take action about a cause that they believe in and how their activism was able to spread its influence so quickly. We will be exploring opportunities for taking action to support causes that we believe in later in our unit, and this will be an amazing experience to get us started!
To learn about the background info, we used a menu of resources broken into four categories: History of gun Violence, March for Our Lives/#Never Again, Reaction to the March for Our Lives Movement, and Other Students' Experiences. We chose the resources that were most interesting and relevant to each of us individually and then collected what we learned in a document that we could use later when sharing our learning with each other.
After collecting information about the history of gun violence in U.S. schools, we chose one of three methods for creating an infographic to share what they learned: timeline, statistics, or testimonials. We organized our information and then used the Infogram website to create our infographics. We are still in the process of finalizing these visual representations of our learning, but here are some examples of what we have created so far.
In 5th and 6th grade Humanities we had an exciting week connecting with our partner classroom in Tampa Bay, Florida for the first time! The video chat went very well, and we learned a lot about each other's communities. We were surprised to learn that the students in our partner classroom live on an air force base. Despite that big difference, we still found a lot of similarities between our schools and surrounding neighborhoods. We spent time during the remainder of the week collecting those similarities and differences between Orleans and Tampa, and then we expanded the comparisons to also include the community in our read aloud novel, Canal Grove, which is in Miami, Florida. Our final activity of the week was to start identifying the most important landmarks in our community that we would want to share with others when we communicate again. We will also use this information as we begin the next stage of our unit project after our winter break. Exciting work!
This week in 7/8 Humanities, we started the week by creating first draft sketches of protest art postage stamps during our Integrated Arts class on Monday. Students chose a problem in the world that is meaningful to them and then planned out how they could represent a possible solution to that problem visually in an image that could fit on a postage stamp. There are some really great ideas started, and we will continue with the process next week. Who knows, you may see some of these designs in your mailbox soon!
After Integrated Art, we went on a scavenger hunt as an introduction to our new unit on Revolution using an app called Goose Chase. We broke into teams and traveled around the school looking for images of people, events, and symbols connected to political, social, and cultural movements and revolutions. Attached to each image was a QR code that we could scan to access websites and videos that would help us learn more about the image. After exploring that information, we had to decide which of the missions in the Goose Chase app the image was connected to. It was challenging, but also a lot of fun! Take a look at the slideshow below for more about the process and feel free to explore the images we used so you can learn more about them too!
We continued our week by looking at cause and effect. How do the things that we experience in our lives impact our choices, preferences, and interests? We did an activity to practice this examination by thinking about a common situation: the lights in a room are off. What caused them to be off? Did someone turn them off? Did the power go out? Did Mrs. Hastings forget to pay the electric bill? Then we analyzed the effects that this had on the people in the room. They were in the dark, it was hard to see, some people might get nervous, and people could even get hurt if they try to get up and move.
To adapt this process to something more meaningful, we took time to create cause and effect posters about a significant aspect of our lives. Miss Gratton demonstrated the process by examining the causes of her decision to become a teacher and the effects that decision has on her life. Students did the same process with events/decisions from their own lives, and there were some very interesting results! Check them out below!
Later in the week, we moved from cause and effect to problems and solutions. We collected examples of problems at the local, state, and national level. Then we shared ideas about possible solutions, knowing that these are large-scale problems that cannot be completely fixed with one single solution. Finally, we brainstormed which resources would be needed in order to achieve the solutions we had compiled. It was an eye-opening process, and especially interesting to discuss how many of our problems are interconnected. For example, students noticed that the drug epidemic directly connects to issues of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and crime.
Our last activity this week was to play a game sponsored by iCivics called "Activate." In this game, students choose a cause that is important or interesting to them and then participate in a series of simulations of ways to support that cause. It starts local (bake sales and volunteering) and expands to national activism (speaking before Congress). Along the way, students have to recruit other people to join the cause and expand the movement. The goal for this activity was to get students thinking about two things: the importance of collaborating when trying to solve problems and the many ways that exist to take action to support a cause and fight against injustices. Next week we will discuss activism further and look at some examples of people in our country who are doing it today.
In 5/6th grade Humanities, we spent the first two days preparing for our upcoming video chat with a classroom in Tampa, Florida (it was scheduled for Wednesday, but due to our snow day it is rescheduled for Tuesday, December 4th). We added detail to our maps of the neighborhood around our school. We will be sharing these maps with our partner classroom and using them as a resource when answering questions during our video chat. We also brainstormed lists of important landmarks in the village of Orleans and rote questions that we might like to ask our partner students about their community. Our goal is to be able to compare our community with theirs and the one we are reading about in our read aloud novel The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Speaking of that novel, we continued our read aloud this week and added new information to our reading journals. It was a busy week, especially with a snow day mixed in, and next week promises to be even busier!
In 7/8th Humanities this week we worked on finishing our Global Read Aloud projects. We had two components of the project left to complete: adapting our journals into a new style of writing (already in progress) and constructing a detailed paragraph about the theme of the book. We used the document below to gather and organize our thoughts about the theme of the book based on our conversations about theme from last week. We determined some topics from the novel that could be turned into themes, brainstormed a few possibilities, and then got to work outlining and writing our paragraphs. Miss G and Mr. C provided some feedback to us on our first drafts and we made revisions before turning in our final drafts. Next week, we will spend some time looking at the results and determining our areas of growth since our last writing assignment and the areas that we need to keep focusing on in the future.
We were also excited to welcome students, teachers and the principal from Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury to visit our 7/8 Humanities class on Wednesday as part of the Tarrant Institute Learning Lab. We also welcomed Tarrant Institute representative Susan Hennessey who helped to document the visit through photos and video. We enjoyed speaking with the CBMS crew about what we are learning, projects we are creating and what we enjoy most about attending Orleans Elementary. We also shared our hopes for the future and asked them some questions about how they do things similarly or differently than we do. We are planning to visit them at their school sometime in the spring! Check out photos from the visit as well as the video that was created by Miss Gratton and Mr. Chadburn to explain what our Learning Lab goals are for this year.
In 5/6 Humanities we spent the week continuing our independent workshops on Geography and Parts of Speech. During our guided workshops, we focused on practicing paragraph writing skills and we started analyzing our surroundings in the village using Google Earth and categorizing our observations into natural items and man-made items.
We continued reading our read aloud novel, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, and started a few new activities. We continue to collect vocabulary words in our glossaries, characters in our character lists, and examples of the types of communities. Now, we are also digging deeper into those topics by sketching some critical scenes and characters in our journals using details we found in the text of the book. There are some pretty creative results!
This week, 7/8th grade Humanities prepared to finish our Global Read Aloud novel, Alan Gratz's Refugee, by revisiting the topic of the current worldwide refugee crisis. We discussed the purpose of political cartoons, and then we analyzed a few to determine whether the artist was supportive of refugees or unsupportive. It was surprising how many different ways the artwork could be interpreted! For examples, check out the slideshow below.
As the week progressed, we finished reading Refugee and we continued working on the journal adaptation portion of our final project. The poetry, graphic novels, and memoirs are coming along nicely and students are creating some really impressive work!
We also spent more time discussing the definition of literary theme, the difference between themes and topics, and the qualities that make a quality theme. Students engaged in a HyperDoc activity to move through several theme-based activities at their own pace. Then, we came together, shared our thoughts, and compared our answers in order to come to a common understanding. It's an abstract and challenging concept, but we're getting there!
5/6th grade continued their independent Geography and Grammar workshops as usual. This week, one of our guided workshops focused on how to construct a well-written paragraph. The other guided workshop used Google Earth to take a virtual walk down School Street and then we categorized the items we saw into either "Natural" or "Man-Made."
At the beginning of the week, we looked back a recent writing assignment and compared our self-assessments to Miss G's and Mr.C's assessments based on our Informative/Explanatory writing scales. We scored ourselves on two skills: selection of evidence and organization of writing. The results of these assessments will help us determine what we need to focus on the most as we continue writing practice throughout the year.
We continued reading our new read aloud novel, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, and collected character descriptions, Spanish words/definitions, and examples of culture (family, social, professional, local and global) in our reading journals.
Finally, we spent Friday morning talking about the exciting project that we will be working on throughout the course of our next unit focusing on the importance of local communities. We can't tell you much about it right now, but it's going to be HUGE! Stay tuned for more information as we dive in and start working!
Over the past two weeks, 7th and 8th grade students have been working on the writing projects that are accompanying our participation in this year's Global Read Aloud of the novel Refugee. Students have been closely following one of the three storylines from the novel and writing first-person journal entries from the perspective of the main character. Their challenge is now to adapt those journal entries into another style of writing: verse, graphic novel or memoir. The results so far are really interesting and exciting!
The 5th and 6th graders are continuing their Geography and Grammar work during our workshop times, but we have started a new read aloud unit as well. We will be reading the 2018-2019 Dorothy's List novel The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and keeping reading journals throughout our reading process. Journal entries will be a mixture of collecting glossary terms, a character list, text and visual, summaries, and many other activities.
We have also been working on our mapping skills as the first step in an exciting project that we will be discussing more in the coming week. So far, students have sketched maps (including a map key, scale, and compass) of our classrooms, our school, and the immediate community. Soon we will be expanding to a map of the entire village!