Book Review with a twist!

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Book Reviews, Reader's Response, Teaching Ideas, Writing | Posted on 03/04/2015

Are you looking for a fun, more engaging way for your students to create book reports?
Check out this!

Got HOPE?

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Book Reviews, Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Global Education, Reader's Response, Teaching Ideas, Writing | Posted on 07/31/2014

 

Poetry for Hope is a book of poems written and illustrated by my 4th grade students. It was the product of a unit on poetry at the end of the year in the 4th grade class that I co-teach with another teacher.
We started by analyzing different poems and we soon realized how difficult it was for them to grasp the concept of metaphors. The poem that we were reading was about hope, which they did not know the meaning of, but the poet was comparing it to a bird. When it was time for them to write their own metaphors, they struggled because they did not know what hope was. We were using a metaphor to introduce the concept, but they did not know what the word’s meaning. Until I thought about connecting it to something that almost all of us in that class had in common (including the other teacher)… and that is: Immigration. So, picture this… two immigrant teachers teaching the meaning of hope to immigrant students! It was the most amazing teaching moment ever! So, that is how the book was developed.
We started off by asking: What does hope mean to you? before they wrote their own metaphors. We sat we them, one by one to bring out their personal experiences and feelings that most of them had never dealt with. It was an incredible experience to make them feel successful by sharing their own stories. Then, they started producing their metaphors; hope is…
We ended the unit with a presentation for parents, other teachers and students and school administrators. While we were guiding them in their writing, I immediately thought about a book, but I wanted it to be different, so I recorded their voices and created QR codes so you can scan and listen to them reading their poems too!
After finishing the presentation, I told them that we thought we were teaching them something, but instead they taught us a lot more! We learned not only the meaning of determination, resilience, family, but also why we do what we do!

Human Rights: 20th Anniversary

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Book Reviews, Global Education | Posted on 12/10/2013

If you are looking for ways to introduce the topic of Human Rights to your students, I highly recommend the following books.
We Are All Born Free ~ The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights in Pictures
I would use this book particularly with K-2 students because it is not only beautifully illustrated, but the language used is at level they can easily understand.

 weareallbornfree1weareallbornfree2

 The other great resource I found is an introduction to the concept of Human Rights from a child’s perpective: I Have The Right To Be A Child. It was written by Alain Serres and illustrated by Aurelia Fronty. It provides a general overview of children’s rights in a meanigful and direct way.

havetheright2havetherightobe1
These two books are just a perfect reminder about how important it is for our 21st century learners to become aware of the significance of Human Rights is this global society they live in. As educators, we should not only teach our students about their rights; we must celebrate them everyday!

Reader’s Response: A Chair For My Mother

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Book Reviews, Critical Thinking, Reader's Response | Posted on 05/16/2013

“A Chair For My Mother” is a wonderful story about a girl, her mom, her grandma and a jar full of coins. The girl lives with her mom, a waitress, and her grandma in a small apartment. One day, on their way back to their apartment, they discovered it had caught on fire and they have lost everything they had. They moved to a new aparment, but since they had no furniture at all, they start saving up money to buy a new chair.
After reading the book, we discussed what it would feel like to lose everything you had. So, for this post you will think about the following:
1-What lesson do we learn from the characters in the story? 2– What context clues did you use to understand the expression ” There’s no good place for me to take a load off my feet”?
3-If you lost everything you had, what would you miss the most?

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