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Poetry Generator

27 Aug
Image source: https://www.theelephant.info/culture/2019/07/04/poetry-is-dying-and-poets-are-an-endangered-species/

Grade 4 students at the American School of Lusaka are doing a unit on poetry. Here are two nice websites, poetry generators, that I discovered. They are fun for all ages.

Poetry Games (LINK)

Poetry Generator (LINK)

The Things They Carried (Vietnam War)

23 Aug

A brief introduction or overview of the Vietnam War.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail not only connected North and South Vietnam during a brutal war but also aided Vietnamese soldiers. The trail shaved nearly five months of time off of the trip and was used as a secret weapon of sorts. Cameron Paterson describes the history and usage of the infamous trail. Lesson by Cameron Paterson, animation by Maxwell Sørensen. This is a great video from Ted-Ed.

In Grade 11 IB DP Language (Literature), I am supporting an English language learner as he reads one of my favorite novels, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I created this slideshow to enhance his understanding of the novel and the Vietnam War. I also found the novel translated into Spanish, his native-language. The teacher liked the slideshow, a work in progress, and shared it with all of his students. :>)

Ted-Ed Tuesday: How Many Verb Tenses Are There In English? / The History Of Chocolate

28 May

How many different verb tenses are there in a language like English? At first, the answer seems obvious — there’s past, present, and future. But it isn’t quite that simple. Anna Ananichuk explains how something called grammatical aspect, each of those time periods actually divides further. LINK to Ted-Ed

Think about/Discuss:

Do you think the way we speak about time in our mother-tongue influences the way we experience time? Why or why not?

If you can’t imagine life without chocolate, you’re lucky you weren’t born before the 16th century. Until then, chocolate only existed as a bitter, foamy drink in Mesoamerica. So how did we get from a bitter beverage to the chocolate bars of today? Deanna Pucciarelli traces the fascinating and often cruel history of chocolate. LINK to Ted-Ed.

Think about/Discuss:

Chocolate is made into cakes, cookies, candy and ice creams. What are the chemical properties of chocolate that enable the product to be transformed into so many other items?

 

Parents as Partners (Literacy)

13 Dec

As we prepare to go on winter break (or summer depending on your hemisphere!), I am sharing some nice resources for parents who want to prevent the “summer slide” with reading. Our school has a long four-week vacation, so it’s important to read and write on a daily basis. Keep it fun! Here are two articles which provide a number of ideas for how you can read with your son or daughter. There are also many other ideas to make learning fun (Museums, galleries, board games, etc.). I hope you like them!

Your child has nightly reading homework. What should YOU be doing?

Parents: Inspiring Readers Through the Summer Slump

‘Single-Use’ Is The 2018 Word Of The Year, Collins Dictionary Says

7 Nov

The English-speaking world’s growing concern for the environment and the ubiquity of disposable items that are used only once has pushed the word “single-use” to the top of Collins Dictionary’s list of “Word of the Year.”

Collins says there’s been a four-fold increase in the usage of the word since 2013, in part thanks to news coverage of environmental issues. Click on this LINK to see (and learn) other notable words of the year, including floss, VAR, Gammon, backstop, etc. The 2017 Word of the Year was actually two words: “fake news.”

Understanding Text Features

6 Nov

Here is a helpful video, as well as a document to help you understand how to read text features. 

Language Arts: Book Trailers

1 Jun

Mrs. Hall and Ms. Jaya asked me to share your book trailers on our blog. I look forward to watching them. Good work, everyone!

GarageBand Tips – Fading Music

21 Apr

We are completing our first “Book Talks” podcast activity. Most of you are in the process of completing this activity and working on final touches. Part of these final touches could include adding a loop or music to the beginning or end of the interview. Choose appropriate music that is not distracting. Using music that might match the theme of your book is a great idea. Many of you have asked how you can fade the loop on the music. The video will help you do that.

Reminders:  When you save your podcast, save it by the episode #, book title, and the name of the person/people talking about their book. Example: Episode 16 Middle School – How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill (Ben)

Sadako Photos

20 Apr

Here are some photos that Mrs. Hall took during her recent trip to Japan. They features scenes from Hiroshima and are related to Sadako, a story we read earlier in the year.

Our Year of Reading (So Far!)

17 Feb

Image source: MorgueFile

Image source: MorgueFile

Students this week will finish reflecting on our visit from author/illustrator, Lauren Stringer. Please remember to keep your 40 book challenge updated. It is expected that you are reading for a minimum of 20-30 minutes each night.  We always love to see book reviews on our book review blogs, and we encourage you to share your favorite book with each other.

Screenshot by Rob Martin

Screenshot by Rob Martin

Image source: Title Wave (Facebook page)

Image source: Title Wave (Facebook page)

 

Visiting Author – Day # 2

11 Feb

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On Tuesday, Language Arts classes from blocks G and H worked with visiting author Lauren Stringer. We learned about the ‘drama’ of turning a page in a book, and she told students to look at themselves as directors making a movie. “You want a book to change as a scene in a movie,” she said. In addition to pagination, we learned illustration terms like ‘full bleed’ and how illustrators use the entire page or part of the page. We also learned about the ‘gutter,’ or the line going through the center of the book. “You don’t want anything going into the ‘gutter.’
Bring your poem and six page booklet to class this week, so we can continue to work on it. Also, the deadline for the Raptor Reader is Friday. Consider sharing a piece of writing from the first or second semester with a wider audience. What were your reflections on Book Week and our visiting author, Lauren Stringer.

 

Visiting Author – Day #1

10 Feb

Monday marked our first day of Book Week. Students in the B and D Block L.A. classes had a one hour session with our visiting author and illustrator, Lauren Stringer, and created poems, thumbnail sketches, and a storyboard for a simple booklet she called a ‘dummy book.” This is what she sends to her publisher in the beginning stages of the writing or illustration process. Students also learned about such things as pagination, or the process of dividing important content into pages.  All students also attended an assembly and had time to ask Ms. Stringer questions. G and H Block L.A. classes will work with our visiting author and illustrator today.

Please share a poem you wrote or take a photo of your work. You can share it in the comment section here and/or on your e-portfolio. 

Making Bookmarks!

6 Feb

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Make a book mark during lunch today. Next week is Book Week! Vote on the poll question.

 

Book Week – Feb. 9 -13

5 Feb

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Yes, that’s Mr. Martin. Not my mask though!

 

Book Week is quickly approaching. Read the M.S. morning bulletin and find the link to the sign-up sheet for some fun lunch time activities next week.  Read more about author Lauren Stringer on this recent blog post in Linking to Thinking. This will be a fun week with great activities. Take full advantage of it and sign up as soon as possible. Spots are limited.

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Student Activities (Feb. 5 – 13): 
Make Your Own Bookmark (for MS, to promote first-ever Book Week in MS!). MS Lunch in the FAC, Thursday, February 5th and Friday, February 6th.
1) Theatre Arts: Readers’ Theater – Come bring out your inner actor as we act out short plays.
Where: CIC Ground Floor & When: Tuesday, February 10th, 12:30-12:55 (Limited to 20 participants)
2) The Visual Arts: Mural Creation – In this session, we will work together to create a mural illustrating a line of text from a famous story. Bring some creativity and collaboration skills as we work together to create an artistic vision.
Where: The BBT (across from the main office) & When: Wednesday, February 11th, 12:30-12:55  (Limited to 20 participants)
3) The Performing Arts: Creative Movement/Dance with Guest Artist Ruby Smith
Let’s move! This workshop, led by our visiting artist/dancer, Ruby Smith, will focus on creative response to literature through dance and movement. Please wear something comfortable for moving around.
When: Friday, February 13th, 12:30-12:55 & Where: CIC Ground Floor (Limited to 25 participants)

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Raptor Reader Deadline – Feb. 13th

5 Feb

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The Raptor Reader, AISC’s literary journal/blog, is calling for submissions. If you have a story, poem or writing piece you would like to share with the AISC community, please email it to the raptorreader@aisch.org by Friday, February 13th.  The Raptor Reader link: http://raptorreader.com/

See Mr. Martin, if you have questions. Thanks!

 

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Great Quotes

26 Jan

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Plot Elements Review

23 Jan

This video is a nice review of plot elements, something we have been learning about in Language Arts.

 

2015 Visiting Author

16 Jan

News from the ES/MS Library and Mr. Jet:

This year we have the pleasure of bringing Lauren Stringer as our author and illustrator for 2014-2015. An award-winning writer and illustrator, Lauren has been entertaining students for years and now she is coming to AISC. She will be with us the week of February 9-13. If you would like to find out more about Lauren Stringer, click HERE and visit her website. Lastly, Lauren Stringer is joining us as part of this year’s Book Week. This year’s theme is “Books and the Arts.” More information about Book Week and the author will be coming out soon!

Image source: screen shot from Lauren Stringer's website.

Image source: screen shot from Lauren Stringer’s website.

 

 

A Book and a Hug – Find a New Book!

1 Dec

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.31.32 PM

Click this screen shot to make enlarge.

As it has for years, A Book and A Hug hosts reviews of thousands of books for young readers. You can search for books by keywords, age of the reader, genre, geographical setting of a book, and reading level. A Book and a Hug is a book recommendation site that we just discovered. There is a ten question quiz that you can complete to find out what kind of reading “superhero” you are. The quiz is designed to help you determine the type of books you might be interested in reading. The site also has a book review form that you can complete to submit your own book reviews (you could copy book reviews from our book review site to this one, if you wish).
How can this site help you? Along with our book blogs, this site is a tremendous aid in your search for your next favorite book. We will add a link of this site to our book blogs. Check out this site!

External vs. Internal Conflict

24 Nov

This playlist features many examples of external vs. internal conflicts in literature and movies. Can you think of other examples of the conflicts in movies you have watched or books you have read? Comment and add some examples of books or movies, or add links from Youtube of scenes showing external or internal conflict. I can also add them to this playlist, if they are appropriate.

Positive vs. Negative Character Traits

18 Nov

Positive and Negative Character Traits

Here is a list of positive and negative character or personality traits. How many of these words do you know? Remember to post a comment on the other blog post and tell us how your friend would describe you. Click on this image to make it bigger.

The Benefits of Reading

16 Nov

Designed by: gosiarysuje.pl

Designed by: gosiarysuje.pl

Character Traits

13 Nov

In Language Arts, we have been studying characters in the books we are reading. Here are some video playlists which are helpful for understanding character traits. Other materials have been added to Moodle for our current unit. If I asked your best friend to describe you, what three adjectives would he/she use? Please comment.  Also, remember to vote on the poll question we posted last week (scroll down).

I Want a Great Book!

13 Oct
s49wzrp1xg2ax9d9o8cnStudents are always looking for new books to read. We have reviewed many places where you can find new books. Here is a list of some links. Remember, your friends are always the best source of ideas!
Mrs. Hall/Ms. Jaya’s Book Blog
Mr. Martin/Ms. Jaya’s Book Blog
Popular Grade 6 Books from goodreads (scroll down and click the next page to find more!)
Great books for boys 
Great books for girls
Awesome 6th grade books
You can also find books by reading level, as well as other links on our Moodle page.

Remember to write a book review this week!

 

 

 

Writing Tips from Marshfield Dreams Author

4 Oct

In our Language Arts class, we have been working on writing our memoir and hearing read ‘alouds’ from various memoirs, including Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher. Author Ralph Fletcher has a nice website and it includes some helpful links for young writers. Check out this page on writing tips and a Q & A (question and answer) page with for the author, as well as a list of other books by him. If you have enjoyed Marshfield Dreams, you can find it in the library along with other books by him. Please continue to work on your memoir with the aim of finishing your first draft by next class.  Have a nice weekend!
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