Sunday, February 9, 2014

Discovering Imagery: Close Reading with Main Text: Chains

This trimester, my literacy unit is centered around the theme of "conflict." I am incorporating opinion writing (Common Core) while using the novel Chains By Laurie Halse Anderson. I created a plan that encompasses read alouds, guided reading, word work, writing, etc. Chains is a historical fiction novel that takes place during the American Revolution. Which happens to be a 5th grade social studies standard! I love being able to incorporate standards across the curriculum! It's great because my students are able to really grasp and make sense of the story because it relates to what we are learning in social studies.

Last week I taught a close read lesson on Discovering Imagery which related to our Chains novel. I charted a few passages from the text that produced a strong/bold image in our minds. I had the students read the passages and then asked them to draw a simple sketch of what image/images came to mind with those two passages. As a class we discussed what parts of those excerpts made them so powerful.

Then I gave them their task which was to find their own passage from the first five chapters that we read, which produced strong imagery in their minds. They were to copy the passage in their ELA journal, draw a simple sketch, and explain why that passage was so powerful to them. I gave them a few minutes to work on this and then had them pair share with a partner the passages they chose. Once they were done sharing with each other, I asked a few volunteers to share their passages/thoughts with the class.

The activity was a bit challenging for my group of students, but they made me proud! I loved how some of them realized that a strong image doesn't always have to come from figurative language (metaphor/simile/etc.) As I walked around the room and listened to their discussions and explanations they were right on point! 

Since we don't have time for every student to share their chosen passage and thoughts, I asked them to post the activity to their blog. I have a classroom blog through Kidblog and we use it all the time. I post discussion threads for them to think about and respond to. Each student also has a blog within our class blog to which they can make their own posts. It's been such a great way to get the students engaged! They love responding to their peers.

***I've been using a curriculum guide created by the amazing teachers at Curriculum Specialists blog.
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  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog--Yours is awesome!! Lovin your ideas :)
    MPenna :)


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