Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a Wacky Wednesday...

So I promised you that today I would try something new with my students and share!  I totally stepped out of the box today and my kids loved it! One student said, "This is the best day ever!"

We started our day with a lesson on drama.  My students have not been formally exposed to it, but it is something we may see on the STAAR test.  I used the text I told you about, Path to Discovery, as our Shared Reading text.  There is a drama piece that connected their previous non-fiction lesson to today's text.  I introduced drama and we created an anchor chart with drama definitions and text features.
Selected students stood up and played characters in the drama, while I explained stage directions, acts, scenes, and narrators.

This led us to our writing activity.  I used the drama idea to let students know that I had created characters for a short example about writing.  I introduced them to three characters.

The first character was Hip-Hop Harriet.  My sweet husband lent me his Steelers jersey and hat.  Since my team teacher was only there a half-day, I had to take pictures of myself. Yuck!!  I had to take them in the restroom when I changed! Gross!  I hate pics of myself, but I'll share to "make a difference". Hahahaha!!

Hip-Hop Harriet came in and said (in her best rap voice):

"Yo, yo, yo.  I gotta go!
I hate to write,
It's hard, ya know?!

Let me read this prompt,
Get it outta the way,
I'll make it really short,
What I gotta say!"

The kids CRACKED UP!  But once I read the narrative and expository prompts (in my SkippyJon Jones muy, muy rap voice), they listened intently.  For the narrative, she told them a simple story.  It was only 4 sentences:  First, Then, Next, Last.  For the expository, she told them her choice and gave three simple, general reasons.  Then she walked out.

Next, Gabby Grandma came in.  Beware, this pic is worse!!!
Gabby Grandma came in bent over, talking like an old lady.  She read the prompts, too.  For the narrative, she told them a long, detailed story that frequently went off topic.  She talked about her narrative and just about everything else she could think of!!  For the expository, she gave them off topic, boring reasons.  Then she hobbled out.

Then, Perfect Patsy came in.  Yes, the students concluded, she was my twin with a red headband!! (I couldn't think up a quick outfit on the fly!)
Ick!  Anyway, she came in with a sweet little girl voice and read the prompts.  For the narrative, Perfect Patsy stayed on topic and gave a couple of sentences about each event she described.  Each event was detailed just right before she moved on to the next.  For the expository, she gave three reasons for her choice.  All were on topic and she explained explicitly how the reasons were important.  Then she skipped out.

Finally, Mrs. M returned!  The kids couldn't wait to talk about the characters.  We brainstormed what we heard in each story.  Here is our chart:
They did a WONDERFUL job listening for story clues, the good, the bad, and the awful!!  I told them that I will let them know, from now on, if their stories were like Hip-Hop Harriet, Gabby Grandma, or Perfect Patsy.  I am so excited to see how they do on their next writing assignment!

My idea came from .  She did not use them for writing and our characters are not the same and did not say the same things, but I used her basic idea.

Drama seemed to be in play (little word game, there) amongst adults today.  That's  life isn't it?  No one likes change (especially me) but we all have to go through it...the good and the bad.  I hope I remember that.  It is difficult for everyone to be happy at the same time. 

So I close with another Harry Potter quote (yep, AGAIN!)from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone--

"There are all kinds of courage.  It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to our friends."--Albus Dumbledore

We all have to stand up to both, sometimes.



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