Monday, January 7, 2013
It's All Coming Together
I have been anxiously waiting for this term since August. I always look forward with anticipation to third nine weeks for several reasons. This is what we have been leading up to for 18 weeks now. Our author study on Lois Lowry is such a rich journey and experience. My students are eager, after already completing three of her books, to hear more of her stories and about her life. As we enter into this new term of school we will continue in our Giver quartet. We thought this would just be a trilogy until Ms. Lowry, herself, graced our blog with her presence to announce that the fourth installment would be published in October. As soon as it hit the shelves, I picked up five copies. I have read it, and it is such a wonderful culmination and completion of this series. With that said, we are on our third book in that series. The Messenger is the first of the four books that allows its readers to begin seeing connections through the first two books. The students will see how Gathering Blue and The Giver come together in this third novel. We are also embarking on a wonderful adventure through her memoir, Looking Back. Ms. Lowry's life story, told through pictures of her childhood and quotes from her stories, is both amusing at times as well as heartbreaking. While reading this memoir, the students make connections between an author's real life and their stories. They are able to see how an author takes personal life experiences and uses them to create fiction. We will become authors once again this term to create our own memoirs. Lois Lowry's collection of novels would not be complete without Number the Stars. This beautifully written work allows us a glimpse into a Jewish family's struggles during the onset of WWII. The students have also chosen a Lois Lowry book of their own to read independently. What great insight we are gaining as life learners. We are entering the world of an author. Each week the students will design photo projects that connect both with the memoir and with WWII. This week the students are telling a story through pictures. They are working on taking ten photos of themselves. These ten photos must tell a story from the perspective of someone from WWI, the roaring twenties, or the Great Depression era. These are the events we have dsicussed in class that led our country to WWII. I am looking forward to seeing what creativity my students have in store for me. Please stay tuned, as their creativity is shared in the coming days and weeks.