Hi parents! Welcome to the ELA blog. Every week, I will post an update of what we've done in ELA class. As I got things prepared to post today, I couldn't believe how much we've done! Here are some highlights:
We've started reading Grace Lin's beautiful book WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. It follow Minli as she sets out from home to change her family's poor fortune. So far, Minli has already met a helpful dragon to accompany her along the way. We've seen Minli's parents, who are sad that she is gone, but have accepted that they need to wait for her to return. Interspersed throughout the book are Chinese folktales, or stories written by the author based on Chinese folktales. As your kids to tell you one! Maybe The Story of Fruitless Mountain or The Story of the Old Man of the Moon or the Story of the Paper of Happiness. Speaking of the paper of happiness, which is naturally elusive, all we know about it is that it had one word written on it. This week in class, students had the chance to share what they think the one word was. Ideas included peace, thankfulness, respect, love, patience, tranquility, and, perhaps my favorite, sleep. Students have also spent time illustrating the book and its ideas.
Another thing we've introduced is a "4C's" book talk. In small groups, students find connections to the book (from themselves or another book or film for example), concepts they agree with from the book, challenges they have for the book, and changes they think the book might make in their lives (or maybe a change a character made). I read a reading resource this summer that said you aren't really reading unless the book is changing your life, which is a concept I really loved. To see the 4C's chart the kids use in class, check out the reading resources page.
We've also begun to talk about parts of speech, reviewing or being introduced to the concepts of noun, pronoun, etc. The slides we used to learn these are in reading resources. In partners or groups of 3, students are working on creating games to teach others what these words mean. We will work on these games over the next few weeks, first turning in a list of materials need to create them, then the goal of the game and a set of instructions, until finally the game itself is due later in October.
And finally, and maybe most importantly, we've started our writing workshop journals with a few prompts, such as "how do you eat an ice cream cone," and "there is a dragon at your windowsill..."