Homophones and Homonyms

This week in 4KM and 4KJ we have been learning about some special words – homophones and homonyms.

Homophones are pairs of words that have:

  • the same prounciation
  • different spelling
  • different meanings.

The words pair and pear are homophones. Here are two sentences that show the different spelling and meaning of the words. Mrs Morris is wearing a pair of pink shoes. Miss Jordan ate a pear at recess.

Some other examples of homophones are:

  • there, their and they’re
  • see and sea
  • where and wear

We played the Pairs Word Game to help us learn more homophones

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Homonyms are pairs of words that have:

  • the same spelling
  • different meanings.

*** Homonyms can have the same or different pronounciation.

The word bat is a homonym because it has multiple meanings but is always spelt the same. For example: Mrs Morris saw a bat hanging from the tree. Miss Jordan grabbed a cricket bat for an outdoor game. Mrs Morris used all of her strength to bat the ball to Miss Jordan.

Some other examples of homonyms are:

  • skip
  • wave
  • blue

Try The Homonym Game to discover more homonyms

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Are there any particular homophones or homonyms that confuse you?

Can you write an interesting comment using some homophones or homonyms?

Me, Myself and I: How to Use These Words Correctly

4KM and 4KJ have been learning about a grammatical error that is very common; the two personal pronouns me and I are often used incorrectly. This is a mistake that can be made by people of all ages.

There are times when the word me is needed in a sentence and other times when the word I is needed. For some reason (maybe because they think it sounds babyish), some people are nervous about using the word me so they use the word I instead.

How do you know whether to use me or I?

Generally, the word I goes before the verb (doing word).

Examples:

I went to a party.

She and I went to a party.

Jane, Mike and I went to a party.

***

Generally, the word me goes after the verb.

Examples:

He made some lunch for me.

He made some lunch for Fred and me.

He made some lunch for the teachers, Fred and me.

***

Still not sure?

Take the other nouns of the sentence and try both I and me. See what would make sense.

Example:

Would it be “She took a photo of Sally and me” or “She took a photo of Sally and I”?

She took a photo of I (NO)

She took a photo of me (YES)

She took a photo of Sally and me (YES)

In an effort to teach the community about how to correctly use me and I, 4KM and 4KJ made posters with examples. 

Thank you to Emily and Becky for taking the photos.

What about myself? When should you use that word?

Sometimes people use the word myself when they really mean I or me.

Example:

Please talk to Mrs Hill or myself if you have any questions (NO)

Please talk to me if you have any questions (YES)

Please talk to Mrs Hill or me if you have any questions (YES)

Myself is a reflexive pronoun. That means it expresses something you do to yourself. Sentences that contain the word myself also contain the word I.

The word myself is not supposed to be a commonly used word. It should not be used instead of I or me.

Examples:

I taught myself how to play the piano.

I thought to myself, “I should be more careful!”

I hurt myself when I fell off the monkey bars.

The word myself can also sometimes be used to emphasise the fact that you did something (not someone else). In this case, myself is an intensive pronoun.

Examples:

I did the whole project myself (ie. no one helped you).

I myself cleaned the whole classroom (ie. you did this task alone).

 

Can you leave a comment demonstrating how to use me, myself and I?

Have you seen or heard me, myself or I used incorrectly? What was the mistake?

Procedural Texts

During the year, 4KM and 4KJ have focussed on a variety of text types or genres during our writing lessons.

This week we have been writing procedural texts.

A procedural text instructs the reader how to do or make something. There are usually three parts to a procedural text:

1. The goal or title – this tells the reader what will be achieved.

2. Requirements or materials – a list of the items needed to achieve the goal.

3. Instructions or method – a step by step description of what the reader needs to do to achieve the goal.

Common procedural texts are recipes, rules for games, science experiments, instructional manuals (eg. putting furniture or toys together) and operating manuals (eg. how to operate a vacuum cleaner).

We learnt that it is very important to be specific when writing the instructions. Every detail possible should be included so that the reader knows exactly what to do.

Here are two examples of procedural texts that were written in our class this week…

How to Eat a Banana

By Trent

What you need:

  • A banana

Method:

1. Firstly, you must get a banana.

2. Hold the banana in your hand with the stem up.

3. Hold the stem with your hand.

4. Pull skin back in any direction.

5. One strip of the banana skin should be off.

6. Get the other two strips of skin and pull them down.

7. All strips of skin should now be down.

8. Hold the banana up to your mouth.

9. Put half a mouthful of banana into your mouth and bite it off.

10. Take the banana away from your mouth.

11. Chew it.

12. Do everything from step 8-13 until done.

13. When finished, put the banana skin in the bin.

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How to Brush Your Teeth

By Liv

Requirements:

  • A soft bristle toothbrush
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Sink
  • Mouthwash or water
  • Cup (optional)
  • Floss (optional)

Instructions:

1. With the toothbrush in one of your hands, squeeze a centimetre of toothpaste onto the bristles of the toothbrush.

2. Turn the tap on cold, and wet your toothbrush to let the toothpaste soften.

3. Put the toothbrush into your mouth and slowly brush in small circles.

4. Make sure you brush all of your top teeth and your bottom teeth, back and front.

5. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes, twice per day.

6. Once you have finished brushing your teeth, before removing your toothbrush, gently brush the top of your tongue to get rid of any bacteria.

7. Take the toothbrush out of your mouth, turn the tap on cold and rinse your toothbrush out.

8. Grab the cup, fill a quarter of it with water and rinse out your mouth.

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What did you think of Trent and Liv’s procedural texts?

When have you used a procedural text to make or do something?

Do you have a favourite text type or genre of writing?

Apostrophes

In 4KM and 4KJ we are focussing on 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 about how to use apostrophes correctly. A lot of people think that any word that ends with an s needs an apostrophe. Remember, plurals do not need an apostrophe.

What is wrong with this picture?

Image: ‘Sofia’s Pizza’s Calzoni’s Kebab’s Burger’s Pakora’s’
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34427470616@N01/2392092122
Found on flickrcc.net

Did our tips help you learn about apostrophes?

What is wrong with the picture? Have you seen any businesses use apostrophes incorrectly before?

Can you make up a sentence that has an apostrophe before an s, after an s and in a contraction?

The One and Only Ivan

When Mrs Morris was in the USA in June/July she enjoyed meeting many of her blogging buddies. One of the online friends she spent some time with was Mrs Hembree. Mrs Hembree is a teacher-librarian in Seattle, Washington, USA. She writes the Bulldog Readers Library Blog.

Here is Mrs Morris in San Diego with her friend, Mrs Hembree.

Mrs Hembree kindly gave Mrs Morris a gift to take back to 4KM and 4KJ. It was a copy of the book, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. This is a book that Mrs Hembree and her students really enjoyed and recommended.

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’s posts

Mrs Hembree has written some great posts about The One and Only Ivan on her blog.

  • Mrs Hembree was lucky enough to have the author, Katherine Applegate, visit her school. Read about it here.
  • She has a friend who visited the “real” Ivan at Zoo Atlanta. That post can be found here.
  • Sadly, Mrs Hembree also published a post about the real Ivan passing away recently. You can read about that here.
Mrs Hembree has even made a fabulous book trailer.

Our reflections

We have been reading a little bit of The One and Only Ivan every day this term and we enjoyed it very much. Today we finished the book! Here are some of the students’ reflections.

 

We would like to say

to our friend Mrs Hembree for introducing us to this wonderful story!

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

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

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

CAFE Strategy: Making Predictions

Each week in 4KM and 4KJ we focus on a CAFE strategy. CAFE stands for

Comprehension
Accuracy
Fluency
Expand Vocabulary

We learn and practice strategies under these four areas as these are the strategies that good readers use.

***

This week’s comprehension strategy in 4KM and 4KJ is

When we are reading, we can use the clues, our background knowledge and our imaginations to guess what will happen further on in the text. As we read on, we can see whether our predictions were correct, almost right or way off.

Good readers are always thinking about the story as they read.

We invite students and other blog readers to read the story introduction below and then write your prediction in the comment section.

The door creaked as Sam carefully pushed it open. It took a few moments for Sam’s eyes to adjust to the dark. Her heart was beating rapidly and she could hear herself breathing heavily.

Sam’s mind was racing with thoughts of what she might find inside the small room. She made herself take a step forward. Suddenly, something caught her eye and she jumped…

Leave a comment now and make your prediction!

Cinquain Poems

4KM and 4KJ have been writing cinquain poems this week.

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)

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Here is a cinquain poem about Miss Jordan’s cat, Bella.

Bella

Cheeky, playful

Purring, eating, sleeping

Always full of energy

Cat

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Read some of our cinquain poems below…

 

What do you think of our cinquain poems?

Can you write a cinquain poem in your comment?

The Tale Trail – Part Six (Conclusion)

Three weeks ago we launched our latest global project.

The Tale Trail is a collaborative story telling project. We worked with five of our blogging buddy classes to compose a story.

We voted on the topic of the story and the winner was “An underground tunnel is found under the school. It takes you to…”

The story so far

Part one: Mr Salsich’s class blog (Connecticut, USA). Find it here.

Part two: Mrs Yollis’ class blog (Los Angeles, USA). Find it here.

Part three: Mrs McKenzie’s class blog (New Zealand). Find it here.

Part four: Mr Avery’s class blog (Massachusetts, USA). Find it here.

Part five: Mrs Watson class blog (Sointula, Canada). Find it here.

This week it is our turn to conclude the story. This was no small task. The students had so many different and wonderful ideas!

4KM and 4KJ’s conclusion to the story

From a distance, Tiffany watched in despair as the golden cage landed with a thud over her friend. The Two Headed Rattlesnake and the Jolly Giant laughed with glee, thinking they had another victory under their belt. To celebrate, the evil pair grabbed all the blue cotton candy and walked away, bragging about the success of their plan.

Tiffany stared in disbelief as their chance for freedom disappeared in front of her eyes. What would she do without that cotton candy?

With only the evil Benjamin Franklin for company, Tiffany did not know what to do. She needed help from something or someone. Tiffany could hear Max whimpering and knew it was up to her to find a solution.

Feeling helpless, Tiffany wandered away, hoping she would think of some way to rescue her friend and return to school. Her mum was cooking roast chicken for dinner and she did not want to miss out on her favourite meal!

Wanting to steer clear of the frightening Franklin, Tiffany dawdled over to a row of stalls that she hadn’t noticed before.
A sign saying “Sylvestor’s Secondhand Books” caught her eye. Tiffany had always loved reading and despite her current predicament, couldn’t resist exploring the stall.

Hidden amongst some old children’s books, Tiffany noticed a bulky hardback covered in cobwebs. She began to curiously turn the pages and was astounded to realise that the book was a biography about one … Benjamin Franklin.

Suddenly, Tiffany realised this was a sign. This was the key to freedom. She raced back out to the ferris wheel to confront her captor.

Overcome with a new found confidence, Tiffany shouted up to the cackling Franklin, “Listen to me, Benjamin, you need to know what you’re really like. Evil does not suit you!”

Benjamin paused mid-cackle and listened intently to the brave Tiffany. She read out page after page of all Benjamin’s achievements centuries ago from his biography. There were many references to his kindness, such as how he gave his inventions away to help mankind. Benjamin Franklin was a man with many strong virtues.

Shock washed over Benjamin’s face and something changed in his heart. He wanted to assist this girl and her poor friend. Benjamin realised that helping other people is a gift and he felt totally ashamed of his recent behaviour.

“I’m coming for you, Max,” Benjamin announced as he leapt from the ferris wheel.

“Finally, I’m free!” Max exclaimed when Benjamin opened the cage with the key he wore around his neck.

Max and Tiffany hugged with relief. It was finally time to go home.

“Hurry along, we’ve got to get you back to class,” exclaimed Benjamin, “I know the way.”

Making their way back through the tunnel, Tiffany and Max could not stop talking about their adventure. Benjamin Franklin was so happy that these young children had helped him to rediscover his true self. Dr Drakken’s unfortunate mishap with the time machine was reversed. Benjamin looked forward to finding Dr Drakken and making amends after he returned his new friends to class.

“Our teacher is never going to believe where we’ve been,” announced Tiffany. “We’re going to get an A on our next history project,” added Max as he stared in disbelief at the iconic figure from another time. This was a school day like no other.

Thank you to our illustrators Adam, Bronte, Emily and Max.

What did you think of our ending?

How would have you ended the story?

What did you think of The Tale Trail? What was your favourite part?

Reading Day!

Today 4KM and 4KJ had a special Reading Day to celebrate the joy reading.

Mystery Skype Call

We began our day with a special Skype call. The Skype name of the person we called was

We had to ask this mystery person some questions to figure out who they were. They didn’t have their video turned on at first. We thought it might have been the Easter Bunny, an American president or the Statue of Liberty.

It turned out to be our teacher friend, Mr Avery, from Massachussets, USA. He heard that we were having a reading day and wanted to read one of his favourite stories to us.

It was fun to hear this story about a popular American sport and we enjoyed taking the opportunity to ask Mr Avery some questions too.

He is a big fan of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Mr Avery also enjoys many of the movies that are popular with 4KM and 4KJ students. We even got to meet Mr Avery’s dog, Oscar.

Favourite Book Show and Tell

Everyone brought their favourite book to school and had one minute to tell the class about it. It was fun to hear some new book suggestions from our friends!

Some popular authors in 4KM and 4KJ are Enid Blyton and R.L. Stine. Some popular series are the Percy Jackson books and The Diary of a Wimpy kid.

Reading Activities Rotation

Our next activity for the day was a reading rotation. We worked in six groups and rotated around six different activities over two hours.

The activities were:

  • Reading big books
  • Reading instructions on an origami iPad app
  • Listening to a story on the iPods
  • Reading stories on the website, Ziptales
  • Making words on a game on the interactive whiteboard
  • Seeing how many words we could make out of the letters in “happy holidays”. Congratulations to our winners Trent, Loren, Thomas and Paige.
Here are some photos from the rotation. Thanks to photographer, Trent, for 4KM’s photos.

There’s Nothing Like a Good Fit Book

The Australian tourism commercial, “There’s Nothing Like Australia”, has been very popular in 4KM and 4KJ this term. Mrs Morris hasn’t been able to get this tune out of her head and thought of the song “There’s Nothing Like a Good Fit Book!”

In 4KM and 4KJ, we love reading good fit books. These are books that we are interested in, can comprehend and include words that are just right for us.

Here we are singing “There’s Nothing Like a Good Fit Book”. We hope you enjoy our performance!



What a Great Day

We finished the day by visiting the library to get some new books for the holidays, reading some blog posts and using some reading websites. Reading Day in 4KM and 4KJ was a big success!

What is your favourite book, author or series?

What did you think of our Reading Day?

Readers’ Theatre: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

We have been focussing on using expression when reading as part of our CAFE reading program.

Using expression can mean changing:

  • rhythm – saying some parts slow and some parts fast.
  • pitch – making your voice go up and down. When you are asking a question, your voice goes up.
  • tone  – changing the sound of your voice for different characters or different parts of the story.
  • volume – saying some words louder or softer makes them stand out.

Last week we looked at some readers’ theatre performances on Mr Salsich’s class blog. You can find them here. We also read a range of readers’ theatre scripts to practise using expression.

Readers’ theatre is like a play but you don’t have to memorise your lines, you just read them. Instead of using costumes, sets and props to act out your performance, you just use an expressive voice.

The 4KM and 4KJ students liked the way Mr Salsich’s class had performed their scripts so much, they wanted to create their own.

Below is our performance of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka.

Below is a copy of the script if you want to perform it yourself with your friends or classmates.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

If you do decide to perform the script, we’d love you to leave a comment and tell us about it!

What did you think of our performance?

Did you notice the students using expression?

What do you think about readers’ theatre?