Monday, October 19, 2015

Vivid Verbs

In Mrs. Essenburg's class we have been writing personal narratives.

What is a personal narrative? 

We have been working hard to make sure our narratives paint a vivid picture in the mind of our readers so when they read our narrative they can feel like they are there with us.

One way to do that is to choose exciting verbs when we write.

Okay, so what are verbs?

Verbs show action. So to get a good understanding of what a verb is, we brainstormed a lot of examples of verbs and we acted them out! Check out the video below to see some of the verbs that we thought of.

Now that we have a good understanding of verbs we need to use them in our writing. However, when we write, we want to use STRONG verbs. 

If we say someone is going somewhere, there are probably better verbs than the word walk. How about the words trudged, or raced, or shuffled? Those verbs give us so much more information about our character and make our writing more interesting.

For example, look at the sentences below.

Kaitlyn walked to the park.

Mason looked out the window.

Ethan ate an apple. 

Third graders, now it is your turn. 

Look at the sentences above, and notice the verbs. Those verbs are boring and that makes the sentence boring.

Comment below and change the boring verbs to strong, interesting, exciting verbs. 

Make the sentence even better by giving us more details, adding interesting adjectives, or any thing else you can do to make the sentence come alive.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Nonfiction Text Features

In Mrs. Essenburg's class we have been reading and learning about nonfiction. What is nonfiction?

There are lots of different types of nonfiction, such as books about animals, sports, history, biography, or different states or countries.

Mrs. Essenburg loves nonfiction books about history!

Authors write nonfiction in a different way than they write fiction. Authors use special text features to help the reader understand the facts they are reading about.

What are text features?

Text features are things like captions, which tell what a pictures is about.

 A text feature might also be a heading, which explains what the section of text is about.

Don't forget about the Table of Contents! The Table of Contents lets us know what each of the chapters are about and also what page they are on.

A map is one of Mrs. Essenburg's favorite text feature, because if we are reading about a place it shows us exactly where that place is.

Don't forget about bold-faced words. Bold-faced words are words that the author thinks are important, so the author makes them darker than the other words. 

Charts and graphs are very important text features. Charts and graphs organize information in a way that is very easy to read. 

 Glossaries are the last text feature we will talk about here. A glossary is like a very small dictionary just for the nonfiction book you are reading. A glossary tells you what the bold-faced words mean and how to pronounce the word.

Those are just some of the text features authors use to make nonfiction books more interesting and to help the reader understand the facts in the book.

Check out this great video Jordan and Cordelia made about the text features of this nonfiction book about animals!

We practiced using text features.  In Social Studies we were learning about the Midwest Region. After we read about the different food, fun activities, and music of the Midwest we used the Pic Collage app to make headings and captions about what we read. Here are some examples of what we made.

Here are Korin's and Mason W.'s headings and captions about food in the Midwest.

Here are Andrew's and Kaitlyn's headings and captions about things people do for fun in the Midwest.

Here are Sydey's, Riley's, and Addison's headings and captions about things people might do for fun in the Midwest.

Here are Omar and Julian's headings and captions about some food you might find in the Midwest.

Here are Dorothy and Jordan's headings and captions about the music you might hear in the Midwest.

Here are Lainie and Selena's headings and captions about the music in the Midwest.

Without text features nonfiction books would not be nearly as interesting! 

Think about the nonfiction books you like to read. What type of nonfiction do you like the best? Which text feature do you find helps you the most to understand the book? Why is that text feature so helpful? Please comment below and let us know. Make sure your comment is a Quality Comment

Monday, October 5, 2015

Global Read Aloud

We are participating in the 2015 Global Read Aloud.

What is the Global Read Aloud? It is a story read aloud at the same time by schools all over the world. Classrooms can discuss the books and learn with each other.

The book we will be reading is Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

We are very excited to be collaborating with other classes as we read and think about this book. We will be collaborating with Mrs. Remedios's class in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and Mrs. Kiabacka's class in Pointe Verde, Florida. 

We started thinking about the book today and connected with Mrs. Remedios's class on Padlet. Both classes had a chance to look at the front page and the title and make a prediction about what the book is about based on those clues. Here is our Padlet of predictions!

Now we are going to watch this book trailer about Fish in a Tree. 

After watching the book trailer, does your prediction change? What is it now and why do you make that prediction? Is there anything you are wondering about? Parents and visitors to the blog, we would love to hear from you as well!