Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This week we are looking at fairy tale settings and characters. The students are reading and making comparisons between a range of fairy tales, particularly focusing on settings and characters. They will be given their learning intentions over the next two days to begin to plan their modern fairy tale using a story plan template. The children will be expected to use a wider range of adjectives to make their story more interesting and visual.
A couple of my parents have commented on how good the online fairy tales are to encourage their children who are reluctant readers, into reading. Hopefully this will flow on into their writing.
The children are beginning to make the connections between fairy tales and other narratives. They have also realised that fairytales generally have a message which is appropriate for them to take notice of as well. We have begun to link the messages to the key competencies and our school values. We have also been reading narratives that have a biographical background. The authors have used cars as their main characters with very human personalities and actions which the children can realate to. It is great to see the children making these connections without having them pointed out.
Our team are looking at Inventions for our Inquiry and have been visited by people that have vehicles across the ages for recreational or practical purposes. Yesterday we had an ex pupil bring in her horse and gig which she uses for competitions. The students were able to make the connections between the way we move around now and in the past. They were also beginning to discuss which fairytales had horses and carts in them. Yay.
Today we had a local businessman land a helicopter on the school field for them to have a very close look at. I overheard one child say Cinderella could have gone to the ball in it (Yay another connection). One of my boys was given a ride in it overlooking Te Awamutu. (I also got a flight - Thanks Bryce). The language used to describe how it felt flying around, taking off and landing was fantastic. It was a great hook to begin developing a poster of adjectives in preparation for their writing tomorrow and next week.
On Friday we are continuing with the transport theme by having my friend bring in their speedway vehicles for the children to have a closer look at. Next week we will have motorbikes on display and a local business putting on a motorbike demonstration.
By using these visits and the vehicles as possible focuses in their story development, I am hoping that the childrens writing will begin to show richer language and encourage them to share some of their visual experiences. I guess we will have to wait and see our first draft.

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