Second graders spent much of May completing their Chloe stories/illustrations from last month and also wrote an autobiography. It was a lot of fun for the students to share their autobiographies in class and learn things about one another that they may not have known. Finally, we rounded out the year the way we began...with a read-aloud Stanley adventure!
This month our second graders were ready to try their hand at being both authors AND illustrators. Each student wrote a short story based on the character Chloe from the book Chloe and the Lion. Second grade students wrote more about Chloe and the merry-go-round to create their very own book being sure to include as many details as possible to help their illustrator with their job when the time came. After writing their story, their book was given to a different student in class who would become the illustrator. As illustrators, students had to be sure to read the author's details carefully and create illustrations that went along with the story.
At the beginning of March, 2nd graders continued using the computers to research where their Flat Stanleys had traveled to. At the end of the month they read a story called Chloe and the Lion in preparation for their next project. In the story the author and illustrator are not getting along. The author fires the illustrator but then the whole story comes to a stand still when he realizes he really needs his illustrator friend to properly draw the pictures for the book. The students really enjoyed this story where the original story of Chloe kept being interrupted by the author and illustrator arguing with one another. This book was used to illustrate the importance of BOTH an author and an illustrator in creating a good book. The illustrator must read the author's words carefully to be sure they are drawing the correct things. In the story we read the author says that a LION jumped out at Chloe but the illustrator drew a dragon feeling that would be more exciting. But was that what the author had wanted? The classes had some great discussions about details in writing and how illustrations should go along with the story.
Second graders spent some time in the library computer lab doing some research about where their Flat Stanleys had traveled to. They completed a worksheet with questions such as: How far did Flat Stanley travel from Bolton, CT? What is the state flower of the state he visited? What is the capital?
With holidays and snow days, January has gotten off to a slow start!
The Flat Stanleys that 2nd graders sent out before Thanksgiving have started to return to Bolton Center School. Students have been enjoying reading about the adventures each Stanley had and seeing pictures of the different things they did while they were away. Some of them were fortunate enough to escape to warm, sunny places! Once all of the Stanleys have returned and we've read about their travels, 2nd graders will begin a small research project based on the adventures their Stanley had.
During December the second graders were able to attend the book fair. To keep them thinking about their Stanleys, and get them excited for their return, I gave them a glimpse at some of the things the Flat Stanleys brought back with them last year and what some of the projects the students completed looked like. To get ready for the New Year, we read the book Exclamation Mark and talked about how each of us could make a mark in 2015. Students wrote their ideas on an exclamation mark and I've created a bulletin board with their work outside the library.
Second graders spent the month of November being introduced to the non-fiction section of the library and learning a little bit about the Dewey decimal system. They were amazed to find out that the numbers on the spine labels actually represent a specific subject or topic. This month they also filled out letters and colored their Flat Stanleys to be mailed out to family and friends for several weeks.
Throughout the month of October the second graders have been getting ready to send a friend on some travels! The book Flat Stanley was read aloud to each of the 2nd grade classes and is being used as the basis for future mini research projects. Flat Stanley is
the story of a boy who was flattened by a bulletin board that fell on
top of him while he was sleeping. Stanley has many different adventures
while he is flat and one of them is that he gets to visit his friend
who lives in California. But Stanley doesn't travel to California the
way most of us might travel, his parents put him in a giant envelope and
MAIL him to his friend's house! Second grade students are preparing
their own Flat Stanleys to mail to family and friends and will track the
adventures he has.
Second graders started off the year with the story Goldisocks and the Three Libearians." This book is a great kick off for teaching students how to find "just right" books. Students came to realize that, even though they may all be in the same class or the same grade, they don't all read at the same level and aren't all interested in the same types of books. They learned the five finger rule and how to find books that would be "just right" for them to read.
Second graders also read the book The Shelf Elf Helps Out. Most students were familiar with the shelf elf named Skoob from reading about him in first grade. In this book, Skoob introduces the non-fiction area of the library and students have begun to learn a little bit about how the non-fiction section "works" and that is arranged by subject and not by author.