After wrapping up our informational books, we have been hard at work crafting persuasive speeches! Each student has picked a topic they are passionate about and are busy finding facts and examples to strengthen their opinions. We’ve already had a number of great debates inspired by our writing – the battle of dogs vs. cats standing out. Through writing their persuasive speeches, students are learning new skills and bolstering a few old ones. Organization has been a skill we’ve been working on this year and is essential in speech writing. Students are using a persuasive speech graphic organizer to develop strong, concise arguments and seeing how organized writing reinforces their opinion. We’ve also been strengthening our language. We learned what a thesis statement is and how to write a powerful one! Finding great evidence and examples to support our thesis has been a major goal as we write our speeches. Most importantly, we will be working on our public speaking! Students watched examples of powerful speakers such as Martin Luther King Jr. last week and saw how crucial voice and body language are in delivering a persuasive speech. We will be working on producing strong voices, presence, and body language as we develop our writing in order to present the most persuasive speeches ever! Stay tuned for the date of our final Writers’ Celebration – students will be presenting their speeches then. See you there!
Reading Lesson Series: Making Inferences
For the last several weeks, students have been delving deeply into our reading comprehension toolkit. We are just wrapping on the strategy of making inferences! Inferential thinking is vital in reading as it engages the reader with text at a higher level – it requires us to reflect on information, make judgments and draw conclusions in response to what we are reading. Through making inferences, we’ve swum with the Titanic and decided whether the tragedy could have been prevent. We rocketed to the moon and figured out how the moon felt when men from Earth visited by reading between the lines. We journeyed to Mt. Everest and learned what makes the climb so dangerous through asking and answering our own questions. And finally, we traveled to the 1880s and reflected on the emotions and themes of a young Native American boy being taken from his family and sent to a boarding school, using our great supply of empathy in our rich discussion. Through these explorations we’ve made inferences, using our background knowledge and text clues to draw meaning from the texts. I have been amazed by the inferences the kids have made and their passion for history! Ask your child what questions and predictions they have made while reading their novels and see just how skilled they are at making inferences!