April 13, 2012
The third grade class has been learning about characters this term. One of the activities we did was to read the story Cinderella and then each student had to draw a character from the story. Some of the drawings were very easy to identify- Cinderella in a blue dress. Some of them were a bit out there-a fairy godmother that appeared to be a fat man. One of the drawings couldn’t be connected to Cinderella by any stretch of the imagination. When I asked the boy who was drawing the picture of a man in black sunglasses and holding a cane who the guy was supposed to be, the boy responded that it was Scarface. Scarface was a local man on the run from the police and was in all the newspapers. I said, “No! We are not drawing Scarface.” Although I tend to want to laugh every time I hear the generic bad guy name, I didn’t want him mentioned in my class. I took the paper away but it was too late. Suddenly, the whole table of kids began chanting “This is not a Scarface!” trying to imitate my voice and make the other students laugh.
Since that day, I think grade 3 has made major progress in the what-is-a-character? department, but this incident always reminds me that just because I think up a project for the students to do, doesn’t mean that things will work out as planned in my head.
But, because it is the end of term-and I am about to go on vacation-let’s celebrate some of the better moments in the library. Here’s some of the (mostly) successful projects the students worked on this term:
Grade 1: Creating an alphabet chart for the wall. Each student had to write out what their letter stood for. As in: “A is for Apple” and then draw a picture of an apple. The little girl that had the letter “I” decided that she really wanted to draw an iron.
Grade 2: We read a book about animals and it came with a musical CD. After I read the story, I turned on the CD and we “danced” out each of the animals when they came up with the story. The students were quite innovative when trying to dance like a lizard.
Grade 3: Sticking with our character theme, we read a few pirate stories at the end of the term. And then we became the characters by folding pirate hats from newspapers and creating telescopes from cardboard toilet paper rolls (that I have been saving since December).
Grade 4: We’ve been reading stories that take place around the world so the students helped me create a chart comparing the places we read about. They looked for clues in the pictures of the books we read to see what people wear, eat, etc.
Grade 5: Making pro-literacy posters for the library with catchy slogans. Most of them look great but some have a few random, if well drawn, elements- a house, a duck, bananas, the Swazi flag, and, my favourite, a picture of a girl with “This is a girl” written on her chest. I’m sure they all connect to literacy somehow.
Grade 6: Reading Fantastic Mr. Fox as a class and then watching the movie. Unfortunately I turned off the movie right before the credits rolled (I thought it was clear that the movie was over) so now the class is convinced that there is more to watch come next term. Opps.
Grade 7: Writing book reports in the computer lab. They were able to make use of all their practice typing this term. I printed the top two and presented them at assembly to the students.
Rebecca is Currently Reading: The Great Gatsby
Oliver is Currently Reading: Travel Magazines and Lonely Planet Southern Africa
We are Currently Watching: Gilmore Girls, Season 7