Beebe PI Newsletter

February 5, 2016

5th Grade PI


What makes a good historical fiction novel? That is the question that 5th graders are studying.

As a link to their social studies curriculum, they read Shades of Gray, a historical fiction novel about a family and the struggles of living just after the Civil War. Students are analyzing the change in the main character from the beginning to the end of the novel and will be writing an essay citing text examples. Additionally, students are researching facts about the Civil War and reading first person accounts in letters from actual soldiers.

The next part of this unit will include students choosing a historical fiction novel and researching the time period. This unit is the perfect mixture of fiction and non-fiction, providing many types of reading opportunities.


Students read novels that included inventions and compared the main characters to the Dreamers that they studied in December. Compare and contrast essays are the focus of this trimester as students analyze characters and the ways that characters change. Ask your student about his/her progress.

One Word Resolution for 2016

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Thanks to the parents who added their #oneword advice.

4th Grade PI


Chasing Vermeer is the first mystery novel for 4th grade PI. Students have read the novel and are now ready to compare the characters, thinking about how they've changed through the novel. As students have been reading, they created a Venn Diagram to compare the characters. The next step will be to write a paragraph that describes how the characters changed over the course of the novel.

Next week, fourth graders will begin to study real life mysteries. They'll learn how forensic scientists solve real life mysteries using different types of evidence.

This unit is usually high interest with students engaging in solving mysteries in the world around us!


PI students love fantasy! The fourth grade fantasy unit is a favorite as kids have so much background knowledge on this genre. They ended the unit by comparing the elements of fantasy in two different fantasy novels. Ask your student about that!

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