Just thought I'd share a lesson that I'm sure a lot of you know--but sometimes isn't it nice to hear about something and think, "Oh yeah! I haven't done that in a LONG time?"
We finished reading "Eight Keys" as our read aloud (TOTALLY recommend it for grades 4-5) and in the final pages, the main character, Elise, reflects on the seven messages her deceased father has left her throughout the book:
To introduce the idea of "theme" which we will really be exploring in our next units, I wrote these 7 pieces of "life advice" in the center of some pieces of bulletin board paper and invited my students to comment on them. We reviewed the ideas we have talked about with book discussions...stay on topic, piggyback off others' ideas, think deeply, and so on. I asked students to reflect on the messages, react personally, or to provide examples to support the claim from the book.
With 7 sheets, students milled around the room and found the pages that spoke to them the most. Those who could not think of anything to write at first were encouraged to read other ideas and start to piggyback--even if it was simply to agree or disagree!
After a while, students DID start to piggyback off each other by connecting their ideas with lines and drawing arrows.
The students LOVED it, so I need to remember to throw this type of interactive activity out there a little more often!
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