Fourth Graders learned an incredible amount about developing characters and plots for their realistic fiction stories this week. First, we discussed how characters have both internal and external qualities. Students created t-charts for their characters where they mapped out not only their physical features but also their characters’ personalities. Next students learned that fiction stories tend to go in a pattern where the main character’s problem gets worse and worse until there is a turning point and the problem starts to be resolved. Students spent the second half of the week creating these “story arcs” for their own works of fiction.
Students began reading their first novel of the school year, “Because of Winn-Dixie”, during Reading Workshop this week. While reading this book, students learned how to pay close attention to the descriptive language the author uses to describe both the characters internal and external traits. Later in the week, students enlisted this same close reading to analyze the setting in order to understand the characters on an even deeper level. Ask your child who their favorite character is in this sweet story about friendship and family.
This week students began learning about how to engage in whole-group discussions like scholars. We began with what it “looks like” to talk like a scholar. Students practiced tracking the person speaking with their eyes, not raising their hand while others were talking, and speaking to everyone in the group instead of just speaking to the teaching. Once we have mastered these skills, we will begin learning about what is “sounds like” to speak like a scholar.