2L has been doing an author study of Tomie dePaola throughout the year. Tomie has written over 210 books and is still publishing wonderful works across all genres. We have been focusing as a class on his books in the Strega Nona series, using these books for read alouds, reader’s response writing activities and in depth character studies.
We have spent class time exploring Tomie’s website www.tomie.com and his blog www.tomiesblog.blogspot.com. As part of our letter writing lessons in March, each student in 2L write a letter to Tomie. We shared information about ourselves, what we love about his books, questions we have and ideas for other books he could write.
Miss Lane recently received a very special package-mail from Tomie! The letter that he wrote to us is below. He also put pieces of a few of our letters on HIS blog; we were so excited! Check out his blog post on April 5th 2011 entitled Strega Nona’s Safari. As if that didn’t excite us enough, he sent a printed picture of himself and his dog, Bronte for each of us!
We are very excited that Tomie wrote to us and sent things all the way to Tanzania to us. We can’t wait to read more books that Tomie writes!
In READING this term, students are focusing on making inferences. Making inferences is a comprehension strategy where readers use clues from the book along with their own background experience to make conclusions and read between the lines. The ability to go beyond the literal meaning of a book enables readers to gain a deeper understanding and grasp the meaning of what is implied by the author.
After listening to your child read or reading together ask the following questions below and discuss ideas.
– What is the most important event in the story?
– Why do they think it is important?￼
– What do you think the author is trying to tell you in this story?
– Why do you think it is important?
In WRITING this term, students are focusing on reading and interpreting poetry. Students will be focusing on the poet’s use of words to enhance the meaning; in particular we will be looking at the poetry terms:
Alliteration: When several words begin with the same sound are next to each other or close together Example: sly, sleek, slips.Onomatopoeia- When a word sounds like the noise or sound that is stands for Example: buzz, sizzle.
Simile: Comparing one thing to another using the word ‘like’ or ‘as’.
Lines of cars inch along in the fog
Rising and dipping with the humps of the road
Like a mechanical caterpillar
(from “Fog” by Nancy R Wadhams)
During the next few weeks we will be experimenting with these literacy techniques in our writing.
Students enjoyed working with Ms. Lane today during Literacy time investigating the many context clues hidden in the book Flotsam written by David Wiesner. Students used clues from Flotsam to make inference and identify personal connections to the amazing pictures found within.
This book has no words, but is told in pictures. A boy is at the beach and finds an old camera. He takes the film to get it developed, and sees photos of fantastical undersea cities and inventions. The last picture is the most interesting, though: it’s of a girl, who is holding a photo of a child, who is holding a photo of a child, who is holding a photo of a child, and so on. The boy figures out that he should take a picture of himself holding this photo. So he takes the picture, and tosses the camera back into the ocean; it is carried across the ocean by a variety of fish and sea life, until it again washes ashore and another child finds it. –from wikipedia.org
Flotsam won the Randolph Caldecott Medal in 2007 – watch this video to see some of the beautiful imagery presented in this award winning book:
Flotsam is just one of the many books students will be exploring during our six week investigation using inference to comprehend and understand author’s message.