Last week, I read the book Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher as a mentor text for the idea that poetry paints pictures with words. I created a Thoughtful Log prompt sheet to help students expand this idea in their Thoughtful Logs. I pulled two stanzas from the book and asked students to draw the picture that came into their mind when they read the stanzas. Here are some of their visual reflections! (Note: Require kids to use colored pencils and encourage them to blend colors and use the shading techniques they've hopefully learned in art class. I think the blending really helped to capture the beauty in the kids' pictures.)
On a different day last week, we also discussed that when you read poetry, you will often need to INFER to understand the poem at a deeper level. I modeled this by first analyzing clues in a poem:
For guided practice, I gave students a different poem and had students highlight the clues that helped them infer the topic of the poem.
Some students thought the topic was baby mice...
But if they had truly read and thought about all of the clues, the 'ears in a tangle' clue is what truly helps to clarify the topic of the poem.
After our lesson, I challenged students to write a poem in which the audience would need to infer what the topic is just based on the clues. Here were some of their poems. Can you infer the topic?
Last week we also started writing color poems to continue practicing the idea that when we write poetry, we want to appeal to our audience's senses and require them to infer! I modeled this by selecting a color and recording nouns for things we see, taste, feel, smell, and hear that are associated with that color. (Eventually we will delete the color name when we revise and publish, but for now, it help kids stay in the frame of mind of the color they selected.)
Here are a few samples after day one:
Tomorrow we will conference with our peers, and on Wednesday we will publish in the computer lab!
In Social Studies last week, we read the story The Whispering Cloth by Peggy Dietz Shea to discuss the emigration of refugees from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand.
I used this slide to explain the historical context for the story. (And yes, I noticed I spelled 'clothes' instead of 'cloths' in the last sentence! ARGH!)
I had students glue the following chart into their Thoughtful Logs. In a previous lesson, I had modeled for students how to record facts from a text and respond, and students completed a chart similar to this one for guided practice. To continue on with the gradual release of responsibility, I didn't record anything while reading this book. Instead, students were responsible for pulling out and recording important information and responding as we read together.
Here are some of the great responses students recorded during our lesson:
Today in Social Studies, I handed out leveled readers to all my students. Four immigrant groups were featured in the readers: Mexican, Irish, Chinese, and German-Jewish. What's great about these readers is that they are organized identically but their content and complexity are different. You can see in the group below, one student is reading about the Irish, another is reading about German-Jewish immigrants, another is reading about the Chinese, and the fourth student is reading about Mexican immigrants! (Thank you, National Geographic, for designing readers this way!)
After students read their pages and created their organizers, I had them get in 'immigrant-alike' groups to compare their information and either add to or revise their graphic organizers based on their discussion of their immigrant group. These students discussed why Chinese immigrants left their homeland.
These students discussed Mexican immigrants' reasons for leaving Mexico.
These students discussed why German-Jewish immigrants left Germany.
And I worked in a more guided setting to discuss reasons Irish immigrants wanted to leave Ireland.
Then I put students in 'immigrant-different' groups. Students were in groups of 4, with each of the 4 immigrant groups represented within the group. First, students color-coded their own group's reasons for leaving. This student used green to indicate all the reasons the Irish left their homeland.
Through discussion, students added reasons to their notes using the matching color for each immigrant group based on what they learned from one another.
Here you can see this student indicates the German-Jewish immigrants reasons for leaving Germany using blue. In green, she added what she learned from her peer about Irish immigrants. New reasons were added to the page and check marks were placed next to reasons that could be categorized for more than one group!