Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Falling into Reading and Writing

Here are two engaging activities that will strengthen students' comprehension and writing skills and will hook their interest.

In the first one, Leafing Through the Story, students build a pile of fall leaves (minimum-15) using the elements of literature (character, plot/conflict, setting, theme, symbol, point of view). Each element must be used at least once. On each leaf, they write the following in black ink: the element used, the example and the page number. When they have finished finding examples, they cut out the leaves and glue them on a piece of construction paper so they form a pile. The leaves may overlap, but not the writing. Below is a picture of page 2. This activity also offers complete Teacher Notes and Common Core standards.

For the second lesson, In Honor of Soldiers, Every One, students choose a book from the included list or pick one of their own. First, they read the book, fiction or non-fiction, about American men and women who have served the United States by fighting in any war from the Civil War to Afghanistan and Iraq. When they are finished, they complete the following two assignments:

    1. Prepare a project relating your knowledge and understanding of the story. This can follow any format. Here are a few ideas:  A poster, painting, sculpture, photographic collage, video, skit, song, book report, or project of your choice. For the latter, get your teacher’s approval. These will be due on the date specified by the teacher.
    2. Write a letter to a soldier. Here are two places to find soldiers’ names, to get ideas about what to write and to learn how to address the letters:

On the due date, show the letter and addressed envelope to the teacher before you send it

Students will fall into their reading and writing with these activities.