We have continued to work on identifying theme across different genres, including stories, novels, poems, and movies. As a wrap up of our novel unit with The Giver, we watched the 2014 film adaptation, after which students compared and contrasted the elements of plot, themes conveyed, and overall effect on the audience. Students also practiced annotating and analyzing poetry to identify figurative language, symbolism, and theme.
In writing, we continue to work on vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation, as well as different strategies for elaborating on ideas in order to express ourselves through writing in a thorough and concise manner.
Students were very excited to meet Mr. Buzard yesterday, who will be guest teaching with his wife while I am on maternity leave. Eight days until the expected due date … the countdown begins!
This week, we have the honor of welcoming author, editor, and publisher Laura Geringer Bass to our classroom! Ms. Bass will speak to students about the writing process and conduct a writing workshop with students on Friday, October 26th. We are looking forward to this exciting opportunity! Feel free to visit http://www.laurageringerbass.com/about/ to learn more about Ms. Bass’ publications!
Last week, students presented commercials and brochures they created, advertising different aspects of the community in which The Giver takes place. To create their commercials, students studied the novel's setting and learned about persuasive writing techniques along with different types of propaganda. They also analyzed text evidence from the novel to explain how specific details about setting were conveyed and inferred. We have also been examining theme and learning how to write a clear and concise theme statement. In writing, we have been working on narrative writing, including different techniques for composing narrative leads that will hook a reader’s attention from the start!
We have started reading Lois Lowry’s classic, award-winning novel, The Giver. While reading, students have been examining the elements of plot with a current focus on exposition and setting, analyzing how setting can influence characters, conflict, and plot. We will also be working on making predictions, inferences, and understanding the concept of willing suspension of disbelief. Meanwhile in writing, students are brushing up on grammar skills and comma usage, as well as learning more vocabulary roots and affixes.
Students began the year reviewing reading genres and presenting book talks about works from different subgenres of fiction and nonfiction, including adventure/survival, realistic fiction, mystery, biography, autobiography, poetry, etc. Now we are about to dive into a fiction unit in which we will be examining elements of plot, symbolism, and more!
Meanwhile, students are learning Greek and Latin roots and affixes to help them figure out the meanings of difficult words they may come across while reading. They also collaborated successfully in a peer editing workshop, learning how to provide constructive feedback to classmates, as well as how to use feedback to strengthen their own writing.
The lesson didn't stop with the PSA's. Students felt strongly that they wanted to make a difference and proposed volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, an organization that ships food to over 70 countries.
Click here to access the student-created website that includes the PSAs and fact sheets created by Mrs. Berlin's classes. The last page of the website contains photos from the inspirational trip to Feed My Starving Children.