Mrs. Mohr's ELA News

May 2016

Using Our Senses!

We took advantage of this gorgeous day by taking a nature walk. We all took our writing journals and took notes as we quietly observed nature using our senses! Next week, we will write nature poems using these sensory details.

Scholastic Due Date: Friday June 3rd

Class Code: HRNHT

Memorial Day Essay

Each child chose an action that he/she believed would make America a better place. The essay needed to include the action, a personal connection, and three reasons to explain how it would make America a better place.

The class went through the writing process and had an opportunity to use the revision checklist to evaluate their work and a partner's essay. Students who are interested, will be entered into the essay contest. The winner will read his/her essay at the Memorial Day assembly on Friday, May 27th.

Unit 4: Building on Our Past

In this unit, we read Inside Out and Back Again together. This novel is a series of poems that bring to life the experience of Ha, a 10 year old girl who lives in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Her family flees the country just as Saigon is taken over by the Communists. She and her family end up in Alabama. The kids are really enjoying this novel. If you are interested in reading more about this novel, click on this link:

The students made inferences about the characters, summarized the poems, and described the setting of each poem. They also read other narrative poems to identify the theme, the characteristics of narrative and free verse poems, and compared and contrasted how a similar theme was developed in two poems.

Each student chose an aspect of Vietnamese culture to research. Using the research, they wrote free verse poems to share information about the Vietnamese culture.

Small groups also read novels that were on or close to guided reading levels. They had time to read in class and the novels were part of reading homework. On Fridays, students meet in small groups to discuss their reading log entries and their thoughts and feelings about the characters and plot events. This week, we worked together to reread a chapter and brainstorm titles that would accurately describe the chapter. We then went back to the text and listed details that supported the title. The students are now working on writing Kidblog posts to tell us the new title they chose for a chapter and why that title supports the main idea of the chapter by sharing details from the text.

Next week, I will read A Long Walk to Water to the class. This is a powerful novel that I have read to my daughters and a couple of the kids in our class read it too. I learned about this novel from a student who wrote a letter to the author for the Letters About Literature contest last year. His letter explained how this novel impacted his life and thinking. He convinced me to add this book to my list. I think you would enjoy it too! Here is a link to some more information about this novel:

Unit 5: Problem and Solution

Unit Overview-
Unit 5 asks students to consider the Essential Questions:
What can we learn about people by seeing how they solve problems?
How do people communicate solutions to complex problems?

Additionally, the unit asks students to identify and explain how authors organize information in order to support particular points in a text and how authors choose to sequence events in writing.

In this unit, students will have the opportunity to work with narrative nonfiction which incorporates many of the techniques of a strong narrative to provide the reader with information.


On Generation's Day, my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Forster, visited our class and read aloud to the class. She dedicated the book to the class and left it for us to finish it together. We just finished it today! Paddle-to-the-Sea has amazing illustrations and very descriptive language. Another wonderful thing about this book is that it taught the students about the Great Lakes and the rivers that connect them. It also touched on topics from Social Studies when mentioning the Native Americans from that region and the impact of French exploration.

If you are interested in reading about this book, click this link: