Saturday, May 18, 2013

Send-Offs and Appeals

As is tradition at USM, students in first through eleventh grades said their formal goodbyes to this year's graduating class.  It was a great opportunity for the school to come together as a community centered on a common activity.  While each grade had its own unique way for sending-off this year's seniors, the sixth grade imparted some tried and true advice.  Allowing every student to share wisdom would be time prohibitive, so each of the four homerooms brainstormed ideas and voted for their favorites.  Below are some of the many wonderful suggestions for what the Class of 2013 should take with them on the next stage of their journeys.  I hope this tickles your funny bone!

Don't forget to pack:

  • Your blankie and teddy bear, so that you have something to hug when you miss your family
  • A season of Spongebob Squarepants to teach you life lessons
  • Lots of underwear, so you don't have to wash them
  • Lots of Easy-Mac, because your mom won't be there to cook for you
  • A snow globe to remember Wisconsin's weather
  • Sunglasses to make cool first impressions
  • A nightlight, because you can't run to Mom's room when you have bad dreams
Peer Conferencing - Click to view gallery

Composition students have completed their initial drafts of their persuasive arguments aimed at you!  We will be working next week to make thoughtful revisions as well as to hone some very specific writing techniques.  As a way to spotlight the persuasive genre, students listened to a read aloud of the powerful picture book, Why War is Never a Good Idea, by Alice Walker.  You may recognize her as the author of The Color Purple.  This amazing book masterfully employs emotional appeal along with plain folks and repetition, and wraps it up in a poem with incredible art.  Following a thoughtful and in-depth discussion of Walker's themes and techniques, students were asked to reflect on their writing.  How could Walker mentor their own pieces?  

After studying Greek mythology and reading (or rereading in many cases) Rick Riordan's, The Lightning Thief, students have a pretty good handle on the elements of a myth.  Of utmost importance is its unique role in explaining natural phenomena or commenting on the human condition.  For the past few weeks, the kids have been diligently writing their own original myths.   The topics range from the bumble bee to Mt. Everest (inspired by Mr. Moreno's trip?), and the methods of conveying those myths are no less diverse.  Next week, classmates can expect to see radio call-in shows, StoryJumper books, and read alouds.  I have been impressed with the students' commitment to creating a great story, and I'm excited for them to share their wonderful creations with their peers.

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