Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seuss'ing it up!

We're coming up to Dr. Seuss Day and I wasn't really planning on participating too much. My students last year were a little "too cool for school" and would have DIED if I did anything with them that was Seussical. This year's crop of kids is still hanging on to being kids and a few have mentioned that they're excited about Dr. Seuss.  It just so happens we're covering alliteration this week which is PERFECT for Dr. Seuss!!

Below is the activity that I did with my students.
Prior knowledge coming in the lesson: alliteration, consonance, and assonance

Students were broken up into six groups of four and each group was given a Dr. Seuss book. I chose the ones shown in the picture because they're a little lesser known (for the most part) and would be "new" to most of the kids. Students read the stories together, all the while tracking examples of alliteration found in the book. Then we traded books! We repeated this until every group had read every book. (You could make this a multi-day lesson too if you wanted to focus on comprehension and all that other good stuff.)
We shared examples that we found as a class from each book and then put it under the correct type on our anchor chart using sticky notes.
The next part is the fun part. We play it a little like how Scategories works. Group 1 will slowly list off the alliterations they found and if any other group found the same one then everyone has to cross it off. For each one that remains on your list after you've gone through it you get one point. Then Team 2 goes. They should no longer have anything that overlaps with Team 1, but they go through their list to see if the other teams have the same alliterations. By the end, the team with the most alliterations remaining "wins". Doing it this way encourages students to dig a little deeper and not just take one obvious alliteration and say," We're done Mrs. J!"

Happy Seuss Day! Read! Read! Read!

Mrs. J

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Idiom, NOT Idiot...

I. Love. Figurative. Language.
I would just die without it. Figurative language is the butter to my popcorn. It's like the sugar on the strawberries of life. Figurative language swoops into our writing and paints a beautiful picture that was lacking with common words. Figurative language is aces in my book.
Outside: 10 common idioms (chosen from a list)

Did I get them all? Let's see: hyperbole, metaphor, simile, personification, idiom... I think so!

Inside: Actual meaning and what it
might be mistaken to mean  (picture)
My students are on fire for figurative language. We start looking for it early on in the year and then while we read our novels students just about leap out of their seats when they find an example.

For this post I'll show an organizer we use when we're starting idioms. I start my talking about the difference between "figurative" and "literal" language. If you literally were to "crack someone up" what would that look like? We have fun going through lists of common idioms and talk about what it would be like to be from another culture listening to these idioms. We would sound crazy!

Why do Americans keep cats in bags?? Perhaps because they keep catching our tongues? Sneaky American cats!!

Mrs. J

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Quadrilateral Family Reunion

The quadrilateral family is one that I need to be a part of! They all get a long and know their place on the tree.
When introducing the family tree I review, of course, what a family tree is and how it works (they are at the bottom, parents above them, etc.). I saw quadrilaterals formatted as a tree on Pinterest and changed it to be a foldable. We used the "match-book" fold to make the little door do-dads and we through all of the information together. Quadrilateral is the "Great-Grand-daddy" of them all on this tree. And the non-parallelogram quadrilaterals? Those are the cousins that we "forget" to send the wedding invitations to...

With match-books open!
With match-books closed

Mrs. J