We finished the lessons for the Responsibility Unit. I am now reading individually with students and checking in on their progress. I have been impressed by how well the students are applying the reading and writing skills we have learned in their reading check-ins with me.
I look forward to meeting with the groups one last time before the end of the year to do a final activity.
This week the students analyzed sections of "Our Garden" by rereading and highlighting sections that demonstrated the characters acting responsibly. Then, the students put their ideas in sentences. We practiced restating the question and using details from the story to support our answers. The students again used the CUP mnemonic device to check their writing.
We also learned about character traits this week. Students identified a character trait to describe the protagonist and narrator, Julian, based on details from a particular part of the story. We focused on traits that demonstrate the "inside of a character" such as feelings and thoughts.
Some books that are helpful for exploring character traits and character development include:
The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, Grades K-3
Courage by Bernard Weber
Rabbit Wishes by Linda Schute (This works well for the outside and inside traits of characters).
Last week the students practiced identifying details in a story to support their answers. They read a short story called "A Better Community." Students identified important story details and the main idea of the story. Then, they drew conclusions about the lesson. Students wrote their answers and practiced writing in complete sentences. We use the CUPS mnemonic device as a strategy to remind the children about what to look for when checking over written work. The C stands for capitalization. The U stands for understanding. The P stands for punctuation. And the S stands for spelling.
This week, the students read "Our Garden" from the book The Stories Julian Tells. We summarized the story by breaking it into four main parts. Then, we used textual details to support our understanding of and draw conclusions about characters. Finally, we practiced using context clues to define a vocabulary word.
I encourage the students to use CUPS in their classroom writing. They could even write the letters on their paper and use it as a checklist just like Tristan did in class. Way to go Tristan!