5th Grade ELA News
We have wrapped up our poetry unit and while the students explored many facets of poetry and skills for reading and understanding poetry, our most recent topics have included:
- How poets use structural elements to create meaning
- Using clues in a stanza to infer what a poet is really saying
- Using evidence to identify the theme of a poem
- Comparing and contrasting the theme of two poems and,
- Using "fix up" strategies to help understand and clear up confusion when reading poetry.
Next we'll move into our historical fiction reader's workshop centered on the Revolutionary War (which they are learning about in social studies!)
Students spent their first week back from break writing informational pieces about an animal of their choosing. I shared several links with them that they could access for information. They took their knowledge of great informational writing along with feedback from their colonization piece to show off their informational writing skills again. Given they short timeline, we carefully planned our work time for the week and students set daily goals to keep themselves on track. Some of the mini-lessons at the start of our writing time each day included: writing conclusions (doing this for an animal piece is much different than a piece about a colony), using "formal writing" (see the blog for examples soon!), along with technology tips to help students efficiently navigate and manipulate Go Tahoma so they could convey their message clearly and effectively.
This week we used an article, "How to Save Dolphins" from our Storyworks magazine to practice citing text evidence when responding to a text. This is always challenging (but SO important) for kids especially as we move toward state testing. The hardest piece of this is that we also spend lots of time on inferring which is a separate skill...but hard for kids to remove themselves from. For instance, one of the questions we approached was, "What is the problem posed in the first paragraph of the article?" After first determining that we'd be reading the first paragraph of the article to find the answer, students quickly shared the problem along with some inferences they made. The article stated that dolphins were being held captive. Many students articulated this but also included comments like, "Dolphins are in a terrible situation." While they are, that is an inference. The text doesn't say they are in a terrible situation - it simply states they are being held captive. I felt like the discussion and their independent work with the questions was quite meaningful. Hopefully they feel that much more equipped for reading, analyzing text, testing, and, ultimately, life!
Thanks so much for the post-it note and notebook paper donations. We appreciate it!