Thursday, February 5, 2015

Once Upon a Time...

For the past two weeks we have been investigating Fairy Tales, Folk Tales and Fables.  I have always loved these stories but I think my students love them even more!

This unit is covering many of the literature standards, which is great.   Even better is the engagement from the students.  It's one of the best feelings as a teacher when you hear, "When will reading begin?"  "I can't wait for our lesson today!"  "Did you know she's reading ___ to us today?!"

We started out by reading a fairy tale and looking at the elements that made it so.  Then on to folktales and finally fables. (I blew their minds when I told them fairy tales really are folk tales!)

Then we started reading versions of The Three Little Pigs.  Story elements, comparing/contrasting, and character responses were pulled in all week and it was seamless.

On to week two!  We are reading different versions of Cinderella.  There are so many but we are really enjoying our choices.  The standard that is taking the main stage is comparing and contrasting.  I found that students stayed at the surface level during the first week and didn't push their thinking very deep.

We are also using theme to compare and as a class we decided that from person to person theme might be differences because we all think differently.  As long as you can share your thinking and provide text evidence (and talk to it) then we are good!

After a week in reading, we started to look at the genre in writing.  Our anchor chart transferred from the reading section of the board to the writing section.  The nerdy teacher that I am gets really excited when the students realize that the work you do as a reader helps you as a writer...or vice versa, the work you do as a writer helps you as a reader.

The first day planning, I realized that this will be there FAVORITE unit in writing.Their planning conversations were filled with high pitch, fast talking!

Now they are drafting and when they finish their fairy tale we will move on to fables.

Next week, we are going to use fables in reading to help us with central message.  In writing, we will be planning and drafting fables.  The first thing we will plan is the moral of the story then we will move on from there.

Today I have a reading and/or writing freebie for you.  You can use these graphic organizers as a response to reading or use them to plan writing.

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