This week in reading we are continuing with our new (and last) unit of the year, Historical Fiction Book clubs! Our mentor text for this unit is the amazing novel Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Students are LOVING this book, and have been so anxious to dive into their own historical fiction novels now that they have discovered this genre! Both last week and today students have been checking out their own novels from the media center (or our classrooms), and have been diving into their books. Historical fiction is a different and 'new' genre for most (as it is much more complex) so we have been working in class to learn new strategies for tackling these complex texts. Later on, students will be using everything they have learned about their novels to write a literary essay about it (see below). We are looking forward to the work they will produce throughout this unit!
In writing we have begun our last unit of the year, The Literary Essay. In this unit, students will read a text (in this case the text is their historical fiction novel they are reading in reader's workshop), and they will write a literary essay on their text. This unit is in the opinion genre, so students will need to form an opinion about their book (what they think the theme is, how they think they relate to their character, what they think their book is really about, etc.) and then write an essay defending their thesis. This week, students are diving into their new books, and are stopping and jotting about their book, and their jots will help them when writing their first draft. The students are eager to begin this work, and we are looking forward to see how these essays develop int he next couple of weeks!
- Mrs. Alterman & Mrs. Widis