In addition to writing circles, composition students studied the way Mildred Taylor used symbolism in Papa’s description of the Logan and Granger families. By comparing each to a different tree, he helped to create a strong visual image in the minds of the readers. Papa explains, “You see that fig tree over yonder, Cassie? Them other trees all around...that oak and walnut, they’re a lot bigger and they take up more room and give so much shade they almost overshadow that little ole fig. But that fig tree’s got roots that run deep, and it belongs in the yard as much as that oak and walnut. It keeps on blooming, bearing good fruit year after year, knowing all the time it’ll never get as big as them other trees. Just keeps on growing and doing what it gotta do. It don’t give up. It give up, it’ll die” (206). Taking a cue from Papa’s description, students created personal symbols based on their beliefs, values, hobbies, interests, and ideas held dear.
|Mr. Dunning's Personal Symbol|
Literature students are close to finishing their Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry book presentations. I have been impressed with the range of ideas and the students’ creativity. While there is no doubt that the expectations of the assignment were challenging, many kids really stretched themselves and produced amazing results. Stay tuned for a full update and a photo gallery!
After examining the creation story in Greek mythology, students began to explore the Olympians. These twelve gods and goddesses ruled from Mt. Olympus after the defeat of the Titans. Because of the complexity of the Olympian family tree, we have utilized a variety of mind-mapping techniques to keep relationships straight. In particular, students have been working with Prezi to organize who is connected to whom. This Web 2.0 alternative to PowerPoint allows students to create visually stunning presentations. While it requires patience to learn, the results are amazing.