Students Take A Literacy Journey

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7th Graders Teach 5th Graders About Characterization

Ms. Green’s seventh grade English class from JFK and Ms. Ostrom’s fifth grade class from Central Boulevard have been working together on developing a deeper understanding of Literacy through reading, writing, speaking, and listening to independent and shared reading experiences in both buildings. Ms. Green and eight students visited Ms. Ostrom’s class on Friday, February 4, where the seventh grade students taught a mini lesson to the fifth graders on characterization that illustrated the difference between ROUND and FLAT characters in two different historical fiction books. The fifth graders also had an opportunity to share a writing piece about their favorite book character.

In an ongoing effort to scaffold prior learning, the two classes participated in a live SKYPE video conference on Friday, March 25. The seventh graders created a “kidspeak” version of The Cay, which summarized the plot and provided illustrations to entice the younger readers. The fifth graders presented
group projects that analyzed characters in the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins and that helped them apply what they learned about ROUND and FLAT characters. Both groups had the opportunity to share and broaden their appreciation of literature while utilizing cutting edge technology.

JFK Librarian Michelle Phillips orchestrated the conference and helped develop an interactive lesson that incorporated all four of the Literacy "strands,” while CBS Librarian Ann Tracy played an active role in documenting the entire event. This was a rewarding experience to share and discuss literature for all
involved. Ms. Green and Ms. Ostrom look forward to making more meaningful connections between their Language Arts classes in the months to come.