ladybugsteacherfiles, and our upcoming transition to Common Core, I am ready to launch "Love of Language Learning Fridays" in my classroom (trying to think of a more catchy name for the kiddos, but haven't yet). Shouldn't Friday be a little different (and exciting) anyway? So, while we are winding down the year, I am obsessing over how Language Learning Fridays will look. My plan is to incorporate language learning throughout the whole day. I'll explain some of my ideas for modifying our Friday schedule in the next few Weekly Poetry Posts.
First, let me explain that my POETRY POSTS will not always focus strictly on poetry, but on this love of language learning. We can find poetic language in lots of other texts (of course you know this!), and this revamped day for my students focuses on learning interesting language, content-area vocabulary, interesting new words, and a Poetry Workshop component. During reader's workshop, we will revisit examples of figurative language, challenging words, idioms, juicy words, etc. that have come up throughout the week's read alouds. This will allow us to spend more time talking about the language the author used and also help us develop interpretive skills and our ability to use context to figure out the meanings of unknown words and sayings. Examples from our read alouds will also help me teach the difference between figurative and literal language, and how figurative language often makes reading so much more interesting.
Here's an example of a read aloud excerpt that would be EXCELLENT for coming back to at the end of the week:
"Rose, the older sister, was mean and cross and didn't know beans from birds' eggs. Blanche was sweet and kind and sharp as forty crickets. But their mother liked Rose the best, because they were alike as two peas in a pod--bad tempered, sharp-tongued, and always putting on airs."
~The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci
Students will have some format for collecting these language examples and doing some analysis with them. I'm hoping the notebook or whatever will be something they refer to when doing their own writing or analyzing other stories/characters. I am also hoping that this will spread like wild fire with students collecting their own figurative language, challenging word examples, etc. throughout the week to be shared and analyzed with the group on Fridays. I love how Kristen (ladybug'steacherfiles) displays her word detective/word wizard work and I think I will do a similar bulletin board for collecting our Love of Language work.
To plan for Friday's read-aloud re-visit, I am going to keep a running list of examples in a google doc. Each day as I read aloud, I will pay close attention to interesting language, challenging words, etc. and leave myself a sticky note so that when I get a chance that day, I can type up the examples. Of course, students and I may quickly discuss these words or interesting language while reading the story to make sure we understand before we move on, but since my focus will most likely be another reading skill, we won't spend too much time on working with the words or language. Also, if you teach, you know it's probably likely that not every child is paying attention, so the Friday revisit will ensure that everyone has had ample opportunities across the year to enrich their language.
What if I have very few examples to choose from with our weekly read alouds? I've already thought about this. Lots of great picture books (like Raining Cats and Dogs by Will Moses) can serve as fillers for any Friday that is lacking in great examples.
Stay tuned for more ideas.....