Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tricksters, Story Patterns, and Lino.it

Week 24

photo © 2007 Peyri Herrera | more info via: Wylio
PreK 3 & 4: Guiding Question - What Nursery Rhymes have hand or body motions?   

In this fun session we learned different finger plays and body movements to go along with nursery rhymes. We learned: I'm a LittleTeapot, Hickory Dickory Dock, Five Little Monkeys (the clear favorite!), and Where is Tumbkin? Video clips of each are here


Kindergarten: Guiding Question - What patterns can we recognize in stories?
       Continuing our "story strategies" unit, we looked a two stories with distinct patterns and talked about why identifying a pattern is a good reading strategy. It helps us predict, it is fun to repeat, it helps us focus - we notice if there is a break in the pattern.
       Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, follows a repeating pattern and a chain pattern. Each animal's name is repeated and is asked the same question, then the answer links up to the animal on the next page to form a chain.
       One is a Feast for a Mouse, by Judy Cox, uses a culminating pattern. The mouse wants a taste of everything leftover from a Thanksgiving feast. As he chooses each item, it's added to the list. The items on the list stack up along with the teetering pile of foods he's trying to hold in his paws. We try to remember the items as we read along.
Grade 1: Guiding Question - What are some traditional literature Caldecott winners?
        We talked about the elements of illustration in past weeks, so now we are focusing on types of stories found on the Caldecott winners list. This week we dovetailed with grade 2's lesson and read two Caldecott books in the traditional literature genre.
         A Story, A Story, by Gail Haley, is the story of how trickster tales (or Anansi or Spider stories) came to be. We talked about folk tales as core parts of a culture because they are told orally over many generations, and they carry with them some of the values of the culture. In the case of Anansi stories, creative thinking is valued more than strength. The book is a Caldecott winner due to its creative use of block print and painted illustrations.     
       Arrow to the Sun, by Gerald McDermott, uses bold bright colors in geometric patterns to tell a story from the Pueblo people. When a boy discovers that his father is the Lord of the Sun, he tries to find a way to reach him to ask for his wisdom. Arrow Maker fits the boy into a bow and shoots him into the sun. The Lord of the Sun asks the boy to complete three challenges and once done, he sends the boy back to Earth with his wisdom. The illustrations here are intense and really hold children's interest.         
Grade 2: Guiding Question - What are "trickster" tales?
       We learned that trickster tales originated in West Africa, in Ghana, and started with the Ananse "spider" stories. We read A Story, A Story, by Gail Haley, a story of how Ananse tricked the sky god into releasing all of the stories of the world so people could hear them. We talked about how trickster tales come from many cultures and read one from Peru: Love and Roast Chicken. We compared similarities between the two stories: the main character trickster, a pattern of three tries, and a tar/sticky baby.
          Love and Roast Chicken, by Barbara Knutson, features a trickster guinea pig! He's clever enough to outwit fox and farmer and has us in stitches along the way.               

Grade 3: Guiding Questions - How can we collect resources to save for another time? What fun and interesting topics are covered in a single Dewey section?
Sample page from lino.it
Grade threes are in the beginning stages of their Dewey Advertisement unit. We've decided to use lino.it to save links and ideas along the way. Each pair created an account with a temporary email address and started collecting websites, sound clips, video clips, and book titles to show how cool their Dewey section is. They're using KidsClick as their main search engine.

Grade 4: Guiding Question - How can we tell if a website is high quality?
Grade fours continued their work with evaluating websites using this WebQuest.

Grade 5: Guiding Question - What can we tell about a site from its URL?
Grade fives also continued their website evaluation assignment and we learned about how to read a URL.  (Thank you to @billbass for this blog post with clear explanation of URLs)

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