Saturday, July 10, 2010

revisiting a mentor text

I do an author study on Eve Bunting with my fifth graders. I like to introduce Eve Bunting in November of the fourth grade with this Thanksgiving story, How Many Days To America? I have a class set so this makes it easy. Many times I use the mats and the stickies to help the children make their thinking visible. Its a good book for using all of the reading strategies. It also makes that Thanksgiving connection and expands their thinking about immigration. Recently I got a new idea for this old mentor text from Emily Kissner's blog (its on my blog roll: In My Classroom: The Forest and the Trees). She uses this book for inferring characters feelings. I love the idea of revisiting or working with a book they have already read. This is a great book for inferring the different characters emotions, but I never thought of it that way before I read her post. She starts off the lesson by giving the children examples: How would you feel if you dropped your ice cream cone? How would a dad feel if his daughter crashed the car? ( this brings up the concept of mixed emotions). Then she has the kids work on a linear array for the word angry (upset, frustrated, livid and so on) This is a good vocabulary building exercise. Next, she reads the first page or two of How Many Days To America? and begins a divided page. On the left is the inferred feeling and on the right is the text based evidence. After modeling she has the children work in pairs to come up with some examples on their own. I did this lesson and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. I'd like to come up with some more ways to revisit/reread those really great stories and look at them through another lense.Christine

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