Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Science Fiction (by accident) March 31, 2010

Filed under: book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 4:34 pm
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First Light

Rebecca Stead

middle grade fiction

2007, 336 pages

Rash

Pete Hautman

Young Adult

2007, 272 pages

I have to say that I don’t normally gravitate towards science fiction. It was doubly unusual that I would be reading two sci-fi books at once. Both Rash by Pete Hautman and First Light by Rebecca Stead kept me turning those pages. I didn’t know enough about either book ahead of time to know it was going to be science fiction, which, in my case was good because it might have steered me clear of two good reads.

First Light by Rebecca Stead is the author’s first book, published before her Newbery win this year for When You Reach Me. I picked it up at NCTE when I was getting her autograph. I thought the cover was appealing and I liked that the chapters went back and forth between a boy main character and a girl main character. Set in the Arctic Circle, First Light is a compelling science fiction/mystery that started off in a way that I was fooled into thinking it was realistic fiction.

Here’s good old Wikipedia’s definition of Science Fiction:

Science fiction is a genre of fiction. It differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible withinscientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation). Exploring the consequences of such differences is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a “literature of ideas”.[1] Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possibilities.[2] The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality.

These may include:

  • A setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record
  • A setting in outer space, on other worlds, or involving aliens[3]
  • Stories that involve technology or scientific principles that contradict known laws of nature[4]
  • Stories that involve discovery or application of new scientific principles, such as time travel or psionics, or new technology, such as nanotechnologyfaster-than-light travel or robots, or of new and different political or social systems (e.g., a dystopia, or a situation where organized society has collapsed)[5]

First Light has alternative timeline to history, a different political system and  new discoveries.

Rash is a YA has a future setting (2074), new technology (safety equipment out the wazoo), artificial

intelligence and a whole new political system (the USSA-The United Safer States of America).  About twenty percent of the country is in prision, as anything unsafe is illegal. McDonalds still exists, but it doesn’t sell fast food-french fries are illeagal. You need to have your PSE (Personal Safety Equipment) for gym class, and more. If you take a look at Pete Hautman’s web site, you can see where he drew inspiration for this book.

I had picked it up at SSCO’s book review. I’m a huge Pete Hautman fan and think  his books should not be overlooked.

If you’d asked me last week if I liked the genre of science fiction, I would have told you no-I don’t really care for it. Now after reading these two sci-fi gems, I’m willing to give the genre a whole new look. What a happy surprise for me as a reader.

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Lesson 2 Writing

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:55 am
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Writing Lesson 2: Using the Writing Notebook-Creating Poetic Languages and Phrases

Materials

• Note cards cut into strips

• Four or five mentor poems of your choice

• Students’ writing notebooks to access “interesting, engaging, or intriguing words and phrases” from Lesson 1

• Lists of words from Skills Block lesson, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, “small words,” endings (optional)

• Overhead samples of words on strips

• Teacher’s writing notebook with pre-written poems or poetic phrases

Intended Learning

• Students use interesting and engaging words to create poems and/or poetic phrases to develop a clearer sense of poetic language.

Big Ideas

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

Mini-Lesson

This lesson borrows the idea of a magnetic poetry kit, allowing students to experiment with words and phrases to create poetic rhythm, images, mood, and so on.

Connection

Connection

Remind students that poets select and use words and phrases in ways that create images, mood, rhythm, and emotion.

Select and read four or five phrases or short poems from your mentor poems demonstrating this statement.

Teaching

Tell students they will write words from their interesting words lists on tickets (i.e., note card strips). Explain that you have also cut word strips from the Skills Block lesson where students listed words representing parts of speech. They will use their words, borrowed words from their partners and classmates, and words from the Skills Block lesson to create poems or poetic phrases.

Tell students they may have seen this idea before: using magnetic words to create poems. Spread out some overhead sample word strips.

Demonstrate how to pull some word strips together to create a poem or poetic phrase inspired by some mentor poems. Explain how when you created a small poem or phrase you really liked, you copied it into your writing notebook.

Hold up your writing notebook to show students where you wrote five or six short poems or poetic phrases created from word strips.

Active Engagement

Students copy interesting words from their writing notebooks onto word strips and cut out ones they prepared from the Skills Block lesson. Allow students about 10 minutes (but no more than 15) for this part of the lesson.

Students may not have time to copy and cut out all of their words, but it is more important to move into the “creating poetic language” phase than having every word on a strip.

Link

Give students guidelines and time limits for copying and cutting out words. Students may borrow words from their partners if needed. Tell students they do not need to copy all words they wrote in their notebooks, only those they especially like.

Let them know, however, everyone needs a minimum of five or six short poems or poetic phrases written in their notebooks by the end of Independent and Small Group Time.

Independent and Small Group Time

Students work independently or with partners to create short poems or poetic phrases.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some short poems or poetic phrases they created and wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out one or two of their favorites with the whole group.

 

Poetry UOS Fifth Grade Reading Day 2

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:52 am
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Reading Lesson 2: Immersing Ourselves in Poetry

Materials

• Chart paper to create “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson)

• Teacher-selected poem for read aloud (see Reading Resources in Unit at a Glance)

• Overhead of example of familiar prose

• Student copies of a few poetry and prose examples

• Students’ “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers from Lesson 1

Intended Learning

• Students learn to verbalize differences and similarities between poetry and prose to deepen their understanding of poetry.

Big Ideas

• Understand elements of poetry, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.

Mini-Lesson

Point out how both poetry and prose “create imagery” or “paint a picture in readers’ minds” and touch readers’ emotions. Point out poetry just accomplishes it with less, yet more powerful language and word choice.

Connection

Review yesterday’s discoveries from the “Poetry Pass” by allowing students to look over their graphic organizers and briefly review the “Scan, Snippet” column to recall what they noticed about poetry. Tell them they will use what they noticed yesterday and their prior knowledge of poetry to record similarities and differences between poetry and prose.

Teaching

Read aloud the poem you chose so students experience the words’ sound and rhythm. After the reading, ask them to think how this poem compares to prose. You may mention a particular piece of prose students are familiar with. Allow students to “Turn and Talk” to partners about their ideas.

Begin a “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson) on chart paper.

Distribute and take a minute or two to study poetry and prose samples with the class, using samples the class has seen and read before. Think aloud about similarities and/or differences you notice.

Fill in the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer with ideas gathered from the poem and the overhead example of prose. For example, you might say “I noticed poetry has different line lengths, but in prose, the lines go until the end of the page.” Then write those ideas on the organizer.

Also model including ideas similar to both forms of writing, such as “I noticed the poem I read has figurative language such as a simile. We see figurative language in prose also.” Remind students a simile is when authors compare dissimilar two things using like or as. Then write this idea in the “Both” column.

Invite one or two students to share their ideas and add to the organizer. You will refer to the chart to elaborate on ideas presented throughout the lesson, so scaffold their responses to ensure all important ideas are reflected on the organizer, which include visual design of poetry, cadence, rhythm, author’s point

Active Engagement

Students “Turn and Talk” about other similarities and/or differences they notice in the two samples. Ask one or two student pairs to share their findings and record their information on the class organizer.

Link

During independent reading, students copy the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer format into their reading notebooks. Pass out several poetry and prose selections to students to read and use their graphic organizers to chart and record other ideas that the group may not have highlighted.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read independently from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.

Sharing/Closure

•Invite students to share similarities and differences they noticed between prose and poetry that the group did not notice or record earlier.

Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose

Poetry Both Prose
Has line breaks Have similes Lines go to the end of the page.
 

Poetry UOS grade 4 Writing Lesson 1 March 29, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:44 pm
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Writing Lesson 1: Using Notebook Entries to Inspire Poems

Materials

Overheads and/or student copies of “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry” and “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft (The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing by Davis & Hill)

Intended Learning

• Students use entries in their writing notebooks as seeds for writing poems, so they can expand on topics interesting to them or consider them in new ways.

Standards (Benchmarks)

  • Write responses to literature that summarize main ideas and significant details and support interpretations with references to the text.
  • Use full range of strategies to comprehend a variety of texts, such as nonfiction, poems, and stories.
  • Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed materials.
  • Plan, draft, revise, and edit writing.
  • Produce informal writings (e.g., messages, journals, notes, and poems) for various purposes.

Big Ideas

• Use techniques to craft poetry, including line breaks, literary language, and imagery.

• Select language carefully to create images, mood, and impressions.

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

Mini-Lesson

Connection

Tell students they can use entries from their writing notebooks to write poems. Today they create poetry from previous entries.

Teaching

Tell students rereading previously written notebook entries can provide inspiration for writing poems. Sometimes a topic, a line, or a description can give them ideas for writing poems.

Show students “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry,” page 162. Read the entry to students. Show them “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft,” page 162. Read the poem aloud.

Facilitate a discussion with students about how Belinda used her notebook entry to inspire a poem. Point out words or phrases she lifted from her notebook entry and included in the poem as well as how she rephrased ideas and feelings.

Active Engagement

Ask students to work with partners to look through their notebooks to find entries they could use to inspire poems. Students might want to circle words or phrases they might use in their poems.

Link

Have students continue the work they started with their partners. After searching through entries, students should try to write poems inspired by these entries. Encourage students to experiment with writing poetry just for the fun of it.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poetry independently in their writing notebooks.

• Confers individually or with small groups.

Sharing/Closure

• Two or three students share their poems or pieces of poems and tell why they chose these entries as inspiration

Notes:

At the end of this unit, students revise and edit three to five poems to publish in take-home books.

 

Fifth Grade Poetry Unit of Study Writing Lesson 1

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:38 am
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Writing Lesson 1: Using the Writing Notebook-Collecting Interesting Words

Materials

• Poetry exemplars and anthologies used during Reading Workshop

• Students’ writing notebooks

• Teacher’s writing notebook

Intended Learning

• Students use poetry mentor texts and the world around them to record interesting and engaging words in their writing notebooks to develop a clearer sense of what it means to read and write like poets.

Big Ideas

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

Mini-Lesson

In her book, Poemcrazy, Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge stresses the importance of collecting words. She is always collecting words (“they’re free”) and writing them in her notebook.

Connection

Explain to students they are surrounded by words, good words, all the time. But unless we slow down and notice, we often miss them. Remind students that, in Reading Workshop, they have begun to notice the way poets use words and phrases to create imagery and emotion. The exercise today will help them as they begin to write poems.

Teaching

Tell students they are about to go on a word hunt. Their job is to look around the room and find interesting, engaging, intriguing words, or words they just like, and write them in their notebooks.

Model by reading three or four words recorded in your own notebook, such as “Yo!,” “wondrous,” “swiped,” or “pling.” Say each word slowly to “savor” the words’ sounds.

Ask students to look around the room for words they can see from their seats, on labels, posters, book covers, posted poems, and so on. Circulate around the room noticing students’ progress.

After a minute or two, ask a few students to share out. Again, enjoy the words’ rhythm and music.

Active Engagement

Give students three or four minutes to move around the room, looking for words and listening to the rhythmic or unique sounds of the words.

Tell students they are to write seven to 10 more words in their writing notebooks. Remind students they do not have to worry about the words’ meaning right now; they just need to pay attention to sounds, rhythms, and music of the words.

When students return to the group, have a few share out one or two of their interesting words. Choose students whose words reflect a variety of word choices, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, onomatopoeias, and so on.

Tell students today during independent writing time, they browse through some poems and poetry anthologies on their tables to find more words to add to lists in their writing notebooks. Students may already have poems in their book bags, depending on whether they have done the Reading Workshop Lesson 1: Poetry Pass -An Interview With Poetry .

Independent and Small Group Time

Students work independently or with partners to list possible words.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some words they found and wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out one or two of their favorites with the whole group.

• Close Writing Workshop by rereading one or two mentor poems, savoring—but not discussing—the language.

 

New puppy blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:31 am

As the Tail Wags-my thoughts about being a dog lover and raising a new puppy

I decided to keep my dog/puppy stuff separate from my KidLit/teacher stuff

 

Fifth Grade Poetry UOS materials list March 28, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:25 pm
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  • Materials
  • Student copies of two poems, such as “Packing,” page 43, and “The Photo-graph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina or other poems of your choice
  • Large variety of poetry books at different reading levels
  • Overhead and student copies of teacher-selected poem with strong concrete imagery, such as “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash by Donald Graves or “The Photograph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina
  • Overhead and student copies of “Crafting Images” graphic organizer
  • Overhead and student copies of “October Saturday” from Lesson 12
  • More poems reflecting strong emotional element, such as “The Accident,” page 66, and “Giggling in Church,” page 70, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves, “Rags” p. 13
  • Student copies of “Poetry Reflection” worksheet from The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing, pages 227-228, by Judy Davis and Sharon Hill, or your own reflection form (see end of this lesson)
  • pp. 159-160 The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing
  • Lesson D-8, “Using White Space in a Poem” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Overhead and student copies of notebook entries from Lesson D-8, “Using White Space in a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Lesson I-2, “Create a Poem from a Story,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher
  • I-3, L-6 from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher
  • Lesson D-14, “Use a Double Focus in a Poem,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Student copies of “Grandpa’s Shoes,” from Lesson D-14, “Use a Double Focus in a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Lesson P–17, “Use Fragments When You Write a Poem,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Student copies of “Hockey Practice at 5 a.m.” from Lesson P–17, “Use Fragments When You Write a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Chart paper for shared writing poem
  • Source lesson: “Six-Room-Poem” from Awakening the Heart by Georgia Heard
  • Resource: Regie Routman’s Kids Poems
  • Mentor poems about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives, such as “Autumn Thoughts” or “Aunt Sue’s Stories” in The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes; or “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, or “Faking It,” page 75, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves
  • Overhead of teacher-created poem about interesting or important topic
  • Chart paper to create “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart
 

 
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