City of Ember
We Are Learning To...
To achieve our goals we are keeping tack of key events in the story that help to make the plot successful. We also have some interesting vocab to tune into as we read. At the end of term we are going to watch the movie and compare the book to the movie - everyone is very excited about this.
Our first task was to draw a high-quality piece of art about our most precious possession. Unfortunately there wasn't enough paper, horribly big crayons and not enough colours except for white! It was a harsh introduction to a scarcity of resources that our characters Lina and Doon were going to face in our novel City of Ember. Below are some reactions from students...
This year we entered 2 teams in the Regional Lit Quiz. We also took a team of passionate year 5 readers to support the teams and get a taste ready for next year. As you can see we were a very excited group! Congrats to both year 5-6 teams, it was a long day of concentrating and you were wonderful!
Bookapedia have been 'speed booking!' Rebecca has been putting aside brand new books for us to look over first. We got 3 chances to explore 3 books, including one we might never give a second look to. It was a VERY quiet session and then a frenzy of book issuing...
Term 2 2015 You be the Judge!
Well the books have gone to trial and sentence has been passed. A huge thank you to Troy and Jean from RSS and Ross from PN City Library for being our amazing judges. Not only did they manage to narrow down the suspects to just 10, they are ranked them!
Here is the verdict:
10. Tom Gates
Everyone did such an amazing job of representing their book(s) that our librarian, Rebecca, was taking reserves from students, teachers and parents during the trial breaks!
Term 1 2015
Parents are always asking what books would be good for their child so we have decided to come up with our '10 must read books by the time you leave RSS.' Mmm What a choice! We tried to come up with a master list. Ana was nearly tearing her hair out in despair - "It's like choosing between my best friends!" she cried. Bella's brain was fighting with itself - but we have managed to come up with a list of books. Watch this space! Soon we will put up which of these books made our final list and then we will put these on trial; with lawyers, a judge and jury and lots of drama!
Term 3-4 2014 The Wonder Experiment
As part of our Wonder unit, the students wanted to know what it would feel like to have an impairment that would affect their schooling. Some people were restricted to wheelchairs, others walking aids. Some students lost the use of their voice. They were amazed at the attention it brought - and they didn't like it! It made everyone think about how they treat people, and how they like to be treated.
Week three vocab extension
Wonder is full of juicy, rich words and we have enjoyed exploring their meanings and why the author might have chosen them to create imagery. Today we used all those juicy words the author used in Via's perspective of Wonder and had a bit of a play. Students sorted the words into categories of their own choosing; the only brief that they had to meet was for the purpose 'of extending their own vocab and understanding of words.' So, how to sort them? This evoked lots of discussion, with the most common ways by the amount of syllables, and prefixes/suffixes/root words. Who thought words could have caused so much discussion and experimentation? We had a ball, and in the process learnt a lot more about words. Below Ben shows how he sorted his words into syllables.
Ben was fascinated that the most common syllable length of these juicy words was 2-3 syllables - surely great readers like us would be hungry for more complex words? "No," Jacob quickly intervened, making a connection. You get confused and quickly bored with really long words you don't understand like science and medical books. This got them thinking about writing. Is there a 'recipe' to successful writing so that the reader is challenged by words but not put off? Does our society want words with longer syllables or are we lazy and go for shorter, easier ones? A quick trip to the library and few dictionaries issued later and I think there may be an experiment in the planning from these two...
Ana sorted her words by prefixes/suffixes/root words. There was lots of discussion about root words and their origins, with lots of cross-checking of dictionaries. It was fascinating to find out the origins of some words and make connections that would help us to remember what the word meant. Sorting the words quickly showed patterns of common suffixes, and lots of predicting of what prefixes like 'dis' mean. How amazing it would be to have a job making up new words everyday!
Term 1 2014 Novel Studies
A parent recommended this book to me and from the moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Written from different perspectives there are some important themes and issues this book raises and a call to social action - perfect for Bookapedia! Published in 2012, R.J. Palacio’s first novel ‘Wonder’ is about ten year old August who was born with rare facial deformities that have caused his life to be anything but ordinary...and ordinary is what he wishes for more than anything. Auggie feels ordinary on the inside, but he is constantly reminded of his flaws by how people respond when they see him. August displays remarkable understanding toward those who make him feel like a monster and he shows us the bravery it takes to face the world. One cannot help but want to be a better person after reading this book. This is a story that will touch the heart of every reader - I am sure you will enjoy reading it too. It is a 'must-read' for 2014.
This year Bookapedia is being run as part of the students' classroom reading programme and they have identified personal reading goals from their school report's next learning steps in reading. Bookapedia students are typically challenged to make connections text-text and beyond to their own lives; analysing the authors message and style. This term I will also be working with these students as part of their in-class writing programme. We will be exploring the author's approach of perspective to connect with the reader, as well as the symbolism and precepts that are explored across the book.
The BookTalsies will be finding out the history of their Book Club name by exploring the novel 'Frindle' by Andrew Clements. As part of their classroom writing and reading programme we will be having fun with words. Looking at why authors choose the words they do to create impact and exploring the origins and connections between words to help meet their personal reading goals of developing vocab and building a range of strategies to make connections beyond the text. Frindle is about Nick, a challenging student and Mrs Granger his English teacher.
“Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she's also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen -- it's a frindle.
Bookapedia and Book Talsie student blog's are amongst those on the left. Click through to see what they have been learning, and the connections they have made toward their personal reading goal this term. They welcome feedback and comments!
Imagine...expect the unexpected!
Book Talsies are writing their own short stories morphing two well-known book characters into one. Ever wondered how Scaredy solves mysteries? Or what kinds of magical confectionery Willy Potter might dream up? Keep watching this space as there are some amazing stories coming soon....