Here is my Slice for Tuesday, Day 4 of the Slice of Life Daily Challenge. Check out Two Writing Teachers for more slicing.
Intertwined. That was one of our vocabulary words for the week. I wanted students to weave together ideas and think about how the books we have read so far are intertwined.
We started by looking at the struggles the characters faced: Ivan in the One and Only Ivan, Melody in Out of My Mind and August in Wonder. Did they connect? Were their struggles related? Did the messages in these books intertwine?
I ask….Before we leave Ivan, let’s think back to
Wonder and Out of My Mind.
How might some of the ideas in those books
intertwine with Ivan?
We jot. We think….
They all don’t have friends.
Yes they do! They all have friends.
Well not a lot.
Yeah, just a few.
Why do you think that is?.
They really don’t fit in.
They’re all are different.
That’s what I mean.
Can you give examples?
Melody can’t talk and August has a face
that scares people.
What about Ivan?
Yeah… he doesn’t totally fit in at the end
because he wasn’t socialized with other gorillas.
He was raised as a human with diapers.
He isn’t really comfortable
with the other gorillas.
Remember when Kinyani chased him.
Oh yeah. He doesn’t fit either.
What other struggles intertwine?
They all want to protect but they can’t.
Ahhh! That was mine!
Ivan wants to protect Ruby
Melody wants to protect Penny!
Yeah she couldn’t speak to warn her mom!
Jack? in the forest….Hmmm. Maybe.
They all lost someone.
Ivan his family, Melody her fish. August..Daisy..
The thinking and connecting of ideas continues. The connections they make surprise me. Some I anticipated but others not at all. Tomorrow we move on to thinking about each character’s environment. Do their worlds compare?
The passion for these read alouds is keen. Many carry Wonder in their bags. Reading it on occasion. Independent research has been done on Ivan. Melody has spurred interest in our Special Education students next door.
They have been begging for the new read aloud. I’ve been holding off on the next text reading about the real Ivan.
Today we started A Long Walk to Water. I debated about this one (on Twitter with @erinvarley and @azajacks). I worried the subject, the place, the shifts in narration and time would be too challenging. But I decide to risk it.
The start is tough for some. It doesn’t sweep them off their feet. They have left the high of the last read aloud and they want to start at that same place. It’s ok, I tell myself. The struggle at the beginning of books happens. The work they do to figure it out is necessary. This is what readers need to do in the beginning of books. The wondering, the delaying of understanding, the trust we must have in the author. We trust she will let us know. We must linger in the possibilities of wonder. Students have been trained by the wonderful thinking of authors Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse’s What to Readers Really Do? to wonder and know. They have lots of wonders right now.
After school one student comes up to me and says, I don’t really like this read aloud as much as the others.
I tell her to be patient. It can be slow in the beginning.
Ok she says I trust you, Mrs. Harmatz.
Hope Linda Sue Park and I don’t let her down. Maintaining the magic of read aloud can be a heavy burden to bear..