Cinquain Poetry

4KJ wrote cinquain poems today.

Cinquain poems have five lines and follow this structure:

Line 1: Noun or subject of poem (one word)

Line 2: Two adjectives that describe line 1

Line 3: Three verbs that describe line 1

Line 4: A short phrase about line 1

Line 5: A synonym of line 1 (one word)

***

Read our Christmas cinquain poems below…

What do you think of our cinquain poems?

Can you write a cinquain poem in your comment?

Haiku Poems

Today the students in 4KJ wrote haiku poems in our literacy block.

Haiku poems are a Japanese form of poetry, and they do not rhyme. They have three lines and each line has a specific number of syllables. The structure of a haiku poem is:

Line 1: Five syllables

Line 2: Seven syllables

Line 3: Five syllables

*****

Here is a haiku poem Miss Jordan wrote about her parents’ labrador, Mocha.

Mocha is cheeky.

Always hungry and playful.

A beautiful dog.

*****

Read our haiku poems below.

*****

What do you think of our haiku poems?

Can you write a haiku poem in your comment?

The One and Only Ivan

In 4KJ we love to read. At the start of the term we began a class novel titled The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.

About the book

Ivan is a gorilla who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade with his animal companions. While he is very used to this existence in his domain, he makes a change in his life and the lives of others, with the help of his friends. The One and Only Ivan is a work of fiction that is based on a true story.

Mrs Hembree is a teacher librarian in Seattle, USA. She introduced The One and Only Ivan to Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan last year. She recommended it to us because the students at her school enjoyed it so much.

Mrs Hembree made a fabulous book trailer. We watched the book trailer before reading the story to tune us into the text.

*****

Our reflections

We have been reading a bit of The One and Only Ivan every day this term and we enjoyed it very much. Here are our thoughts and reflections. Please be aware that our reflections contain spoilers!

*****

What did you think about The One and Only Ivan? Do you have a reflection to add?

What did you think of the characters in this book?

Were there any special messages in The One and Only Ivan?

Can you recommend any other books that the students in 4KJ might enjoy?

Storybird

 This week students have enjoyed using Storybird to create stories.

Storybirds are short online stories that are inspired by art. Miss Jordan signed up all of the 4KJ students through her teacher account.

There are all sorts of different artwork you can choose from to illustrate your Storybird. The students chose their artwork first to help them think of story ideas.

Here are some of the stories…

What did you think of the Storybirds?

What would you like to write a Storybird about?

How do you think Storybird can help improve your creative writing skills?

Idioms

Last week our reading strategy focussed on learning about idioms.

Idioms are phrases that have a different meaning to the actual words in the phrase. For example, if something is described as “a piece of cake”, it is an idiom. It means that something is really easy, it doesn’t actually have anything at all to do with cake.

In class we discussed the literal and the inferred meaning of lots of idioms.

  • The literal meaning is when you imagine the words in the idiom as being the real meaning.
  • The inferred meaning is what the phrase actually means when used in conversation.

Example: To “spill the beans”.

You might imagine someone tipping over a bowl of beans BUT this idiom really means that you have revealed some secret information.

*****

On Wednesday, each student chose an idiom they liked. They had to draw the literal and the inferred meaning for their idiom. Check out our work and see if you can identify any of the idioms!

Learning about idioms is important because authors often use idioms in books, so we need to understand them in order to understand what we read. Throughout the week we also realised that we use idioms all the time in our conversations!

*****

Did you guess any of our idioms?

Do you have a favourite idiom?

What idioms do you often hear people say?

Understanding Apostrophes

In 4KM and 4KJ we have been learning about apostrophes.

An apostrophe is a type of punctuation.

apostrophe

On a keyboard, you can usually find an apostrophe to the left of enter.

keyboard apostrophe

Apostrophes can be confusing. Here are some tips that might help.

Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t know how to use apostrophes correctly. In an effort to teach the community about correct apostrophe use, 4KM and 4KJ students created some posters using Kerpoof. They chose one of the apostrophe rules to demonstrate in their poster.

Check out our work…

Tip: click on the full screen button for a clearer view.

Did our tips help you learn about apostrophes?

Can you make up a sentence to demonstrate your understanding of one of the apostrophe rules?

Pippi Longstocking

Mrs Morris has recently been reading 4KM and 4KJ the novel, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. This was one of Mrs Morris’s favourite books and movies when she was younger.

Pippi Longstocking is about a nine year old girl with superhuman strength. She lives with her monkey and horse in a cottage and gets up to all sorts of wonderful adventures with her neighbours, Tommy and Annika. Pippi loves to tell stories about her travels around the world. She is great at exaggerating, tricking adults and doing things in an unusual way.

Although this book was written in the 1940s (nearly 70 years ago) it is still fun to read today.

Leo enjoyed reading too!

While reading this book, we have been practising the comprehension CAFE strategy “make a picture or mental image”.

When readers picture what is happening in a story, they can understand and remember more of what they hear or read.

Certain details in the story help us to make this mind movie. Many 4KM and 4KJ students could imagine themselves right there as the story was unfolding. When we return to the book after a break, we can revisit the pictures in our mind to remind us what has happened.

We often need to bring our imaginations and prior knowledge to a text to complete the details and make it our own. Our mental pictures often change as we read.

Sometimes books are made into movies and the picture we had in our minds might be similar or different to the pictures we see in the movie. Here is the trailer to the Pippi Longstocking movie which was made back in 1988.

Does the movie seem similar or different to your mind picture?

What did you think about Pippi Longstocking?

What is your favourite book?

Descriptive Writing

Good writers can create a picture in their readers’ minds.

They can do this by:

  • using interesting vocabulary
  • elaborating on details
  • showing, rather than telling, some of the details
  • describing all five senses (what can be seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelt)
  • using lots of adjectives (describing words)
  • using metaphors or similies to compare two things
  • using synonyms (words with similar meanings) to make interesting word choices.

Found Blur Motion

The students in 4KM and 4KJ were given the following short, uninteresting recount.

Miss Jordan and Mrs Morris went to the beach. They put down their things and went for a swim. They sat on the sand. Then they went home. 

The children were asked to edit the writing to make it more interesting. They only had a short amount of time to do this but many students did a great job of creating a mind picture for their readers.

Here are some improved recounts by Ella, Harry, Logan M, Paris, Millie and Rochelle.

Could you leave a comment with your own improved description of the beach recount?

Do you have any tips for making writing more descriptive?

4 Pics 1 Word

Thanks to our friends in Mrs Phillips’s class for the inspiration for this lesson and post!

4 Pics 1 Word is a popular app available for iDevices. The game involves solving word puzzles. Each puzzle contains four pictures that have something in common. You have to guess what the common word is.

Here is an example:

I’m sure you can guess that the answer to the puzzle above is SIGN. The pictures show the verb (doing word), sign and the noun (name of thing), sign.

4 Pics 1 Word can help us improve our spelling, logical reasoning and vocabulary.

4 Pics 1 Word often uses homonyms. These are words that are spelt the same, sound the same but have different meanings.

For example, the word bat is a homonym. This can be an animal (noun), a thing used for hitting in sport (noun), or a verb (eg. it was his turn to bat next in the cricket match).

***

The students in 4KM and 4KJ created their own 4 Pics 1 Word puzzles for you.

They used Microsoft Word and learnt skills such as:

  • sourcing Creative Commons images and using attributions (or using clip art)
  • setting transparent colour
  • spacing and aligning objects well
  • formatting text, images, text boxes and shapes

Can you guess the answers to these puzzles?

 

Leave a comment with your answer. Don’t forget to say which student’s puzzle you’re solving!

Do you play 4 Pics 1 Word? What do you like about it?

Reading Strategy: Tune in to Interesting Words

Reading is a big part of our day in 4KM and 4KJ.

We use the CAFE model in our Literacy Block every day. Each week we focus on a different CAFE reading strategy in class. CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expand vocabulary. All of these areas of reading are extremely important and good readers know they need to read regularly to improve their skills.

Last week our reading strategy was Tune Into Interesting Words. This strategy is part of the expand vocabulary area of reading. Good readers have a great vocabulary, which means they know and understand the meaning of lots of different words.

Tune in to interesting words means you stop and think about words that are new, different or unusual while you read.

Knowing what these words mean helps you in all areas of literacy, as it improves your comprehension while reading and you can use the interesting words in your writing. Understanding interesting words also helps you with your speaking and listening.

Miss Jordan looked through some books on her bookshelf at home and found lots of interesting words. She used Tagxedo to create a word cloud to share the words.

We would love to know what words you have come across when reading. Submit an interesting word you have noticed during reading into our AnswerGarden below.

What interesting words do you know?

Can you write us a blog comment including lots of interesting vocabulary?

What is your favourite reading strategy?