I was so happy when I saw that The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds had been translated in French which meant that I could use it in my classroom. I love the story about a little boy who enjoys words so much that he collects them. Eventually he makes sentences with his collection; and when his collection gets too big, he shares the words with everyone.
This week I read the story to my grade 1 and 2 students and afterwards I opened a centre at which they browsed through some books and found words to record in a notebook. My plan is that at the end of every week, my students will take the notebook home in order to practice reading and writing the words they have collected.
The children love the activity – especially as they are able to write using colorful gel pens. This is one task that they will all complete with joy!
This week I am grateful for authors and illustrators who create stories that inspire my lessons and centre tasks. It always makes me smile to see the children enjoying both the stories and the activities.
Her mind flashed back to a party game they played as children: blindly they had pinned the tail to the donkey. Mistakes were laughed at and the consequences for errors minimal.
Now the consequences were fraught with danger. Going in blindly to complete the task meant the loss of their company and possibly their lives. What they were planning was no game and had to be done correctly!
Planning and thinking of solutions for all scenarios led to success. The result was not perfect but they had a man in and the transmitter was set and in place.
Her mantra for the last few months echoing in her head, Sandra padded softly to the edge of the pool. She wanted to slice her way through the water but could not allow herself to sink into the contaminated liquid. Her last attempt to fight her allergy had landed her in hospital for a few days.
The sound of women’s chatter and the splash of water roused her from her reverie.
“Morning everyone, welcome to your Aqua Fitness class. My name is Sandra and I will be your instructor today.”
The bleak, arid land stretched out before them. Her search for shelter seemed hopeless but she would not give up! Shifting the weight of the sleeping child in her arms, Lily strode forward determinedly. The car had broken down but surely there had to be a homestead somewhere in this godforsaken land. Over the hill, she saw it in the distance. Help. Water. Refuge from the blazing sun.
“Mama, are we nearly there?”
They were welcomed with generosity. The homestead came to be the perfect place to change an identity and to hide from a killer.
Hidden among the modern edifices of the sprawling city, the building suggested religious observance, a strict adherence to rules, and practices steeped in history. Instead it housed a rising Phoenix, the spirit of those that revolted against the oppression of the Romans. Centuries later, the small group planned to fight against the oppression of the current rulers.
“This time we need to get leaders in government and business on our side. Let’s be smart so that we can prevail. Think French Revolution!”
The embers stirred as one of the most powerful men of the country walked into the age-old synagogue.
My teaching on adjectives using the book Je Veux Un Monstre! by Elise Gravel did not stop with colouring monsters. (If you missed my post on colouring in monsters, you can click here) The next step in the learning goal was for the students to draw their own monsters. I loved the drawings they came up with – they were so creative. After completing their drawings, and colouring them in, I was happy to see the children using the adjective anchor chart I had up on the wall as well as the key rings with vocabulary cards attached to write down the adjectives they would use to describe their monster.
After noting down adjectives, the next step in the task was to write sentences to describe the drawn monster. After correction, students created their neat copy. These I put up on the wall outside the classroom for everyone to read.
We have stopped working on descriptive writing for a while as we finish our inquiry on structures. When I re-introduce the need to use adjectives, we will be describing objects and living things that can be found in the world.
The gloomy tunnels seems to stretch on forever with no end in sight.
“When are we going to get out of here?” she whispers to brother. “I don’t like it down here.”
Marsha turns around, hushing them with a stern look. Their hurried footsteps echo in the cavernous spaces. Down here, they could not hear the sounds of fighting above. The shouts of hatred; the clash of swords. She could not understand why the people who had looked after her and her family all her life were suddenly enemies. Why would they want to hurt her? “They are merely servants, dear one.” Her mother’s words made no sense to her. But then neither had the sight of Mark – a beloved friend who had often carried her on his shoulders – wielding a sword and fighting against her father’s soldiers.
“We are almost there. Be extra quiet now.”
They creep through an empty space in the tunnel, keeping low. Exiting the tunnel, they find themselves outside the city walls and on the edge of the coast. The scent of the sea beckons and the small group of women and young children hurry to a boat hidden behind the rocks.
“Quickly! We need to set sail before dawn breaks.” The reunion between parents and children is hurried as they venture into the hull of the ship. “Mother, I am scared.” Her mother’s warm embrace mutes the clatter of footsteps above. The tension in the cabin is palpable as the head of the family paces the wooden floor. Finally, they feel the ship moving. Will they make it? Holding their breath, they will the boat to move faster. After what seems like an interminable wait, the Captain enters the room.
“We have made it Sir. No one noticed us leave and we are now in neutral waters.”
The family go up on deck and watch the burning city. They had made it! Looking ahead away from the land they had once owned and ruled, the group watch the dawn splash its colours over the sky. A new day was breaking; a new life was beginning.
The excitement of the small group on the ferry was palpable. Finally they had arrived! Not only would they experience island life, but would also explore their family’s roots. The hotel manager did not share their excitement. He knew why their grandparents had left – and the islanders did not welcome the family’s return. Their arrival would open old wounds and stir up the embers of hatred. Standing on the dock, he had a choice to make: treat them as any other group of tourists; or begin to pay them back for the crimes committed against his family.
The Homestead was eerily silent. It looked like the workers had gone for a coffee break, and yet not a sound could be heard. The mugs in the kitchen were still warm. “I do not like this Caleb,” I whispered. In response, Caleb growled low in his throat. Breathing quickly, I moved quietly through the living room. I saw no-one. Heard no-one. I had the sudden urge to leave. Quickly! Grabbing the the keys off the mantle, I ran for the truck. I had a bad feeling about this and needed to warn the townspeople. The Reaper had returned.
The cold icicles on the trees outside matched the ice that encased her heart and prevented her from feeling any more pain. The heartbreak had been too much. First the man to whom she had given the best years, had left for a younger woman. So prosaic! But what had broken her even more was the wound left by her child, the one for whom she had sacrificed so much. His acrimonious departure had severed all ties. Instead of shrivelling up, she was determined to forge on free of emotion and protected by an icy sheath.