This week we finished My Father's Dragon.
We identified character traits to describe the crocodiles in chapter 9 and found supporting details from the text to justify our answers.
We made a prediction about the way Elmer's mother would react if Elmer brought the baby dragon home to her! To accomplish this, we had to go back and reread parts of chapter one to see how Elmer's mom reacted to the stray cat.
Next week, we will do a final activity to close our unit.
Over the summer, I recommend reading the next two stories in the trilogy to continue the adventure!
This week the students read chapters 7 and 8 and continued to practice the skills of:
-using context clues to define words.
-using textual details to justify answers.
The students chose traits to describe the characters encountered in chapters 7 and 8. They used details to support their understanding. We looked at the actions, feelings, thoughts and words of the characters.
Next week we will finish the book and complete some final activities.
This week the students read and analyzed chapters 5 and 6. We created a plot hill diagram for chapter 5 to show how chapters within a novel also follow a certain structure.
We reread sections that describe the setting and discussed why the author would include such details.
We also learned about character traits this week. Students identified character traits to describe the tigers in chapter 5 and the rhinoceros in chapter 6 based on their actions in particular parts of the story. We focused on traits that demonstrate the "inside of a character" such as feelings and thoughts. We explored the traits of greed and vanity specifically.
Some books that are helpful for exploring character traits and character development include:
The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park
The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Rabbit Wishes by Linda Schute (This works well for the outside and inside traits of characters).
Over the past four classes, the group has been reading and analyzing passages closely. This is referred to as "close reading." (See the Week 2 post for a link to close reading).
When they practice close reading, students reread a section of text and then answer a question that is generated from the passage read. Students make inferences and draw conclusions to find an answer that uses details from the read passage. In a sense, the passage being read is "closed" to outside information. This is a different type of reading comprehension strategy than making connections (text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world). All of these strategies have their place at certain times. It is important that we emphasize the importance of using the text to find the answers with the children.
The group continues to examine text structure. This week, we discovered the author uses setting and character description at the beginning of each chapter. We also looked at the ends of chapters. We found that often times Ruth Stiles Gannett ends with a piece of foreshadowing to hook the reader into the next chapter.
We look forward to reading chapters five and six next week.