Sunday, March 20, 2016

April Means Poetry Month for Fifth Graders!

It's hard to get fifth graders motivated for many things, especially in the Spring AND the fact that their resource time is at the end of the day.  So, in essence, they've already "clocked out" for the day.  It does mean they're more than a handful some days!  Thank goodness for our Makerspace - they LOVE that!  So, when I have to do other activities with them that supersede the Makerspace, well, they're not happy.  (Gosh, it's like they have to WORK in school!).

Traditionally, the librarian at our school has always helped the fifth grade teachers by doing a poetry/figurative language unit in April.  Last year, I was so excited and found my favorite all time poem - Jabberwocky - on video and showed it to them.  Then, we looked at copies of the poem and circled figurative language/nonsense words.  Yeah, I think I was the only one excited about it except for maybe 5 total students. :(  I did the best I could with the rest of the unit but there was a lot of grumbling and protests about doing this during resource.

So, this year, I wanted to make sure I was more on top of things as well as making it more fun and active for the students.  Yes, I'll still have those grumblers, but maybe not as many!

First, I asked the writing teacher which figurative language concepts were most important to focus on (similes/metaphors, personification, idioms, and hyperbole).  Then, I created a pretest/survey for students using Google Docs.  You can access it {here} if you'd like to look at it.  I'm planning on asking students to complete it during this week before Spring Break so we can start rolling after break!

This weekend, I've tried to get a head start on planning the unit.  The responses from the survey will give me an idea of how much time to spend on each concept and, frankly, which classes need help where.  Although I'm already planning activities for each concept, I figure even if I don't use them, I can save them for next year's group.  Now in my second year of the Library, I feel I have a better feel for lessons and have even reorganized my filing cabinet and hopefully spend less time "planning" next year and be able to pull files and teach!

Using Pinterest as an inspiration, I looked first at Idioms.  We have this great book called Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold I'll read to students.  Then, we'll watch the video I found {here} about idioms and complete an activity where students use pictures to figure out the idioms.  Since I'm not sure if these are copyright friendly, I'll share it {here} but won't on my teacher stores.  Then, using a sheet I found on another site, students have to pick and draw an idiom to define its real meaning and use it in a sentence.  I figure I can give this to the teacher for a grade!
Image result for even more parts by tedd arnold
With similes and metaphors, I figured I'd best not push my luck with the worksheet.  So, after reading Skin Like Milk, Hair of Silk by Brian P Cleary, we'll make it a little more "real life" by looking at quotes from some of my students' favorite books and authors.  To make it a bit more interactive, I have QR codes on each quote so students can scan to see if they guessed simile or metaphor correctly.  I'm not sure if I"ll do it like a Scoot, where students move to each table and work in a group or not.  Either way, I've uploaded the activity on TPT and TN if you'd like to see it closer.
Image result for skin like milk hair of silk

So, I'm left with Personification and Hyperbole.  These should be fun, but I'll save them for another post (and maybe get home by dinnertime so my husband doesn't complain!).


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