Thursday, March 24, 2016

How We Express Ourselves: Part 3

During the last chunk of our inquiry unit, my kiddos applied their knowledge of feelings and character expression through their own stories and Readers' Theater. 
Before I let my kiddos loose into their learning, we spent some time reviewing our character posters and discussing Shades of Meaning. 
Through our lesson, we started with one character's expression and discussed other words that meant the same thing.  The language that my students were able to generate, thanks to Mo's books, was incredible.  I wanted to see what students learned so with a partner they had to create A Shades of Meaning Card (thank you HomeDepot).

You can see that students started with the weakest of emotions and worked their way to the strongest.
Kiddos continued their learning during writing by starting new books.  Instead of just handing each student a book, they had to Draw It Out to plan their story.  Students we required to choose two characters, a setting, problem and solution.  They spent several days drawing out their ideas.  Once they had their plan I was able to give them their book during writing conferences. 
I am so proud of the writing they created; more importantly, they were proud of themselves as they shared during Author's Chair.
This inquiry unit took us through many stories, characters, emotions, and discussions.  In true inquiry form, each kiddo applied all of their learning into not just their book, but Readers' Theater. 

For over a week, students read and practiced their scripts (different Piggie and Elephant books).  They spent time making props, critiquing each other, and being loud!  I loved watching them interact with one another.  My favorite was seeing my struggling kiddos shine in their learning! 
After tweaking, rethinking, and planning this unit for the third year, I can say this year was a success!  I am so proud of the learning that took place.  The books and acting that my students did proved that it worked!

On a side note...
The Reading Strategies Book provided so many supporting lessons to our unit.  If you don't own this book, order it NOW!  You won't be sorry.

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