During our third week of school, we continued to solidify our readers workshop routines as students began finishing their first books of the school year. Students also were introduced to articles of the week, a weekly homework assignment inspired by the work of educator and writer Kelly Gallagher. Gallagher argues that much of students’ difficulty with reading stems from lack of prior knowledge and background. Reading articles each week helps build this knowledge that students can bring to the texts they read both in Language Arts and in other areas of their lives. Each week, students will read the article, annotate the article, and compose a personal response. We will discuss students’ work once the assignment has been graded each week.
Students also read “The Scarlet Ibis,” a model story written by James Hurst. This week, we focused on annotation for comprehension. Students were prompted to notice mood, characterization, conflict, symbol, and theme as they marked in their texts. In the coming weeks, students will begin their own narratives, and we will return to “The Scarlet Ibis” as a case study of narrative decisions.