Quote Of The Day: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not!” – Dr. Seuss
What I Am Hanging Hope On: This past lesson was titled ‘Synonym Rolls’ after an activity students completed during the lesson. The EQ to guide today’s teaching was: how can the synonyms help me add detail to my writing? I began by reading two passages- one with detail, one without. Students were asked to compare the two passages and select which did a better job of helping the reader visualize the scene. Students chose the passage with detail- which led perfectly into a discussion on word choice and synonyms!
To create their ‘synonym rolls’ students cut paper into the shape of a cinnamon bun. Each child was given a simple word such as cold or smart to then come up with synonyms for. They wrote out the synonyms around their ‘synonym rolls’. I thought this would be an easy activity, but it proved challenging. Many students would think of only one or two synonyms then give up. To relate this back to my quote, I told students that not trying is not an option! We cannot expect to grow in our knowledge without pushing ourselves. Additionally, I showed them a thesaurus! This proved to be a great resource in the creation of their ‘synonym rolls’!
How I Am Feeling: Overall, I feel pretty good about the lesson! The progression of events flowed smoothly and built off of one another. It was fun to hear students brainstorming synonyms and seeing their excitement over a simple tool such as the thesaurus!
A Wish For Tomorrow: If I were to teach this lesson again, I might think of another way to get students brainstorming synonyms. Once we thought of a few as a class, it seemed their brains suddenly became full of ideas and they couldn’t stop sharing! It was the initial thinking of a synonym that proved challenging. Any suggestions on how to get students thinking and better understanding the concept of synonyms?
I am thinking of starting the year off with a lesson like this. I want to teach my students the importance of word choice. We as writers are great artist. Our paint is the words we choose to create an image. I wonder if their are any great read aloud materials to inspire students to be creative and not be afraid to express themselves via pencil and paper.
Food For Thought: This was my final observed lesson taught at the Summer Learning Place. When I reflect back on the goals I set for myself at the start of the experience, I feel accomplished. I have built relationships with my students and seen much progress. Overall, it was a great experience!