Kindergarten Literacy TD will begin out journey with wordless picture books and how they tell a story. We will begin with David Wiesner's Free Fall. Kids will be exploring story structure, print concepts, and work on a story map using this beautiful adventure story.
First grade TD will start off the year with a classic story, written in 1926 by A. A. Milne, Eeyore Has a Birthday. We will start off by diving into the world of A. A. Milne and one of the most beloved set of characters in children's literature. I have a short video that shows Mr. Milne speaking about his books, a clip from one of the Pooh movies so the kids can get those iconic voices in their heads, and I will share the Caldecott medal winner Finding Winnie, the true story of how Pooh and his friends were created. This is a longer text, and the kids will be reflecting on the thoughtful decisions made by the characters, learn how to use context clues to develop vocabulary strategies, and describe characters, settings, and identify the main events in the tale.
Second grade TD will be doing a lot of reading over the next month. We are going to be learning about the Caldecott medal. A prize given to one picture book of distinction each year. The kids will get a copy of the criteria used by the Caldecott selection group, and use it to evaluate dozens of books. This first week, we will be reviewing the criteria, using vocabulary strategies to figure out what the big words used by the group mean, and then dive into past winners. I will have copies of past winners from the 1940's through last year's winner Hello Lighthouse. During our second week, we will begin reading books on the short list for the 2019 prize and work on narrowing the list down to which one the second graders think deserves the medal.
3PA has finished The Green Book and will begin a project based on the text this week. We will be using a process called Novel Engineering to invent or refine an invention developed by the characters on Shine. The kids will explore the available resources on the planet, what problems need to be solved, and how they can develop a reasonable solution using the materials they have available. Once the idea is developed, students will be interviewing their classmates in PA about their idea to get feedback on the concept. That feedback will be used to refine the invention and the students will draw plans for their ideas.
4PA has entered the world of Mary Lennox, a most disagreeable child, in the 1911 classic, The Secret Garden. We will continue to read the novel and focus on gathering as much information as possible about the four main characters, Mary, Colin, Martha, and Dickon. We need to closely observe each character, because there are a lot of changes to come. The theme of change will permeate our reading of this novel.
5PA will stay inside the imagination of Ray Bradbury this week with two new stories. Last week we learned about how authors use juxtaposition to highlight differences between characters or even objects in their writing, and how to describe the author's voice using a continuum of feelings. This week, we will do the same using "The Veldt" and "The Scythe" stories that are engaging and a very mysterious. One is a cautionary tale about screen time written in the 1950's, and the other the story of a farmer during the Great Depression. The class will be writing their own open questions for an upcoming Socratic Seminar, and on Friday, I will be introducing an essay about the Veldt that we will wok on next week during PA.