Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Victorian Workhouse

In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge suggests that those who are poor and in need of help should go to the work houses. We took a closer look today at what life in a Victorian workhouse would have been like.

I asked the students to argue which would be the worst job if you were unfortunate enough to poor during Victorian times.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol

We'll be studying A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens over the next several weeks. Of course, not all of us observe Christmas, and we'll be focusing on, among other things, the social justice aspects of the story.
We'll also look at A Christmas Carol as a great ghost story, and as one of the most well-known works by Charles Dickens, who will be commemorated in 2012-the 200 hundred year anniversary of his birth.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Build Your TBR List:

A book blog that I really like is StorySnoops. I shared it (again) in class today. Can't decide what to read next? StorySnoops is filled with reviews, summaries and book trailers for the latest titles. Check it out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fantasy Unit: Wrapping Up

We've been wrapping up our fantasy unit by reading Bruce Coville's "There's Nothing Under the Bed."
I've noticed many students choosing fantasy for their independent reading assignment lately, and it's been nice to see them making connections between what we've studied in class and their own self-selected books.
Here's a link to a Halloween writing contest that Bruce Coville sponsored in his hometown of Syracuse, NY.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Sorting Hat

Our fantasy unit wouldn't be complete without spending a bit of time discussing Harry Potter. We talked about the different houses at Hogwarts and how the Sorting Hat decides where first year students will live while at school.
Persuasive writing is a main focus of the Common Core State Standards, so the students wrote a persuasive piece about in which Hogwarts House someone they know should live.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Animoto Book Trailers

The students worked last week on creating book trailers . Mrs. Kennedy shared a resource called Animoto which the students used to create short videos. Check out these great student made examples here and here.
I'll post more trailers that the students made as they submit them.