Thursday, July 23, 2009


Another week of IMPACT is over. This was my third week to work with 5th graders. I never thought that I would enjoy that age group, but I really like working with them!

This week, we started with a book called Knots on a Counting Rope.  It is a story about a young child and his Indian grandfather. They talk about the 'dark mountains' that the child has to cross in life. The 5th graders got into groups and wrote a group story about a character who has to cross 'dark mountains.' We talked about symbolism and using it in a story.

On Tuesday, we talked about the tone and mood of stories. We compared and contrasted the mood in two different books about shortcuts. One was by Donald Crews entitled Shortcut. It is an ominous tale about kids that narrowly escape the train tracks with their lives after using it as a shortcut. The second was called The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague. It was a lighthearted story about adventurous boys who get lost in the forest and conquer alligators and swinging vines while taking a shortcut on the way to school. And would you believe it; the two make it to class on time!

In comparing these two, we talked about how the dialog, illustrations, mood of characters, repetition, vocabulary, and other elements give us clues as to what the tone of a book is. 

And Wednesday, we had a relaxing class time. We started off with a book called Bigmama's. It is also by Donald Crews. It was a warm glance into what summertime was like at the authors grandmother's farm in Cottondale when he was a child. 

After reading and discussing this book, we had free reading time. The kids really seem to love this. I brought many of my books from home and let them read through them in groups, and then they were able to share with the class if they wanted to. I was lucky enough to get some pictures of them reading in their groups.

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