Sunday, October 30, 2016

October is here (and gone!)


Teaching 5th grade gets hard, because the students are still kids, but they are the big kids of the school.  Many activities/projects have been done before, and they don't want things too "babyish."

Enter October and Halloween....

I have used this lesson in the past and have LOVED it.  I tweak things a bit each year, with this year being no exception.

I know it may be too late for you to use this this year--sorry--but maybe take the idea and store it away?!

Day 1
We listened/watched the book Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley through Youtube (I usually create a Safeshare link if using a Youtube video, fyi.)

We talked about the book and descriptions, and then I had the students draw their own monsters.  I told them to keep them super secret and make sure their tablemates didn't see their work.



As students drew, I read aloud A Great Illustrated Classic version of Frankenstein.  This read aloud will continue  throughout the week and next; I use this story to talk about the monster we know as Frankenstein, flashback/foreshadowing, writing a spooky tale, etc.



Day 2
Students wrote a description of their monster.  We talked about using awesome adjectives and being very descriptive, so that the reader can really picture their monster.  I happened to be doing a Mentor Sentence/Better than Basal from Ideas By Jivey on the story I Need My Monster this week too...so everything fit perfectly.  To read this book, we used the version from Storyline.  If you haven't used this site to read picture books, you are missing out!


Day 3
I passed the descriptions out randomly to students, and their job was to draw the monster as described!

Day 4
I passed out students' original drawings to them.  I called them up to present their monster and then showed the drawing that was made based on the descriptions they wrote.  We put the pictures side by side on their desks and did a gallery walk around the room.  I then had students vote for the top 3 they thought matched the best, meaning the student's description was done well.

Day 5
We took our descriptive writing and inserted it into a writing piece that my team has done for a few years titled "My Friend Frank."  Students use to create a Frankenstein using a pattern and then wrote a story about him...I changed it this year to be about their monster, to parallel the idea that the boy in I Need My Monster needed a certain type of monster to go to sleep.

The students are essentially writing a 5-paragraph essay with an Intro, What their monster looks like (Description inserted here,) What unique activities their monster does, What their monster likes to eat, and finally a conclusion.

We are still working on this bit, but based on what I have read so far, my students have very active imaginations and are enjoying the project!

Students also took construction paper and created their monster to hang above their lockers.  The 1st graders parade through our classrooms to show us their costumes, so we have had their Franks posted in the past.  This year, their monsters!


Although their writing isn't done yet, I have to say their projects have turned out great and I am excited to see the final results!  My students are typing the writing on their iPads, so I think I am going to print them on paper with  Educlips's {free} Halloween Silhouttes she posted....how cool will that look when done?!



Check out my Instagram to see the final projects and writing when they are done....I am excited!

Other things we worked on:
Stellaluna Mentor Text/Sentence paired with Said is Dead and then creating a graveyard of overused words


Jivey's Paired Texts for Epidemics and Germs



The Primary Techie's Watch Think Color for Multiplication


We also visited out first grade buddies on Friday and the pairs were to create a monster and make a "Lost Monster" poster together.  The 5th graders had a lot of fun doing this....the little buddies took charge, but having done a similar project, the bigs had ideas and were guiding the littles to include better descriptions and details!



Thanks for stopping by....

Like last year, I made a goal of trying to blog once a week.  Week 1 came and went, so that flew out the window! :o)  However, I do love to write, share ideas, connect with other teachers, etc., so I am going to try and get back at it!  I actually joined a collaborative blog with a bunch of other wonderful teachers, so look for that to be announced/start soon!