My 4th grade class read Stone Fox
as a class as an introduction to Literature Circles. We
practiced various roles, engaged in discussions, wrote responses
in their log books, and blogged on our classroom webpage. The
students were also directed to our
Book Club webpage to search for further information on the
internet that related to the story. Some students chose to
complete extra comprehension tasks and others chose to learn
more about dog sled races. We still have to work on our blogging
skills, but I am sure they will improve with time and practice.
The students were given a list of
possible projects to choose from to complete our first
Literature Circle. One group chose to make a 3-D Diorama of a
scene from the book, two made a poster, two groups worked
together on designing a headstone and dedication ceremony for
Searchlight, one made a game, and another planned a party to
follow our dedication ceremony. The students were motivated and
driven as they chose their project and planned to complete the
project in a given timeframe.
We invited our principal, assistant
principal, reading specialists and media specialist to our
dedication ceremony. It was held in our butterfly garden one
bright and sunny morning. We all wore black or dark clothing;
students read eulogies that they had written, and we finished
with a party in the classroom where our projects were showcased
for all to see.
The students displayed their
understanding of the plot for the book, learned to blog, learned
to have focused discussions, learned to find words that were new
to them, and they referred back to the text to support their
discussions. Our classroom was a busy and lively place. The
students viewed 6 possible books for the next round of
Literature Circles and are very keen to begin.