English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Sabrina Dunham

Blog 4

Blog 4

My book I chose was Hello Universe, by Erin Estrada Kelly. A general overview you could say about this book, is that it’s a book for children to help with the problem of bullying. The center of this book is around Virgil, an 11-year-old Filipino American whose grandmother, Lola, helps him to come out of his shell and face the world. When Virgil and his pet guinea pig, Gulliver, end up trapped in a well in the woods at the hands of a bully, Chet, they have to find a way out before it’s too late ! Throughout the book, unlikely friends who would have never glanced twice at eachother help one-another to overcome the horrible CHET.

 

In the classroom, I would use this book as a learning tool to help explain what exactly bullying is, and how even the littlest things could be considered “bullying”. I would use this book at the beginning of the year, to get kids excited to start a journal they would keep through the year, and hopefully this book will help them speak up in their private journals about anything that may be going on with them. And with that, hopefully they feel comfortable opening up to me as a teacher so I could help them have the best year possible.

Make 2: Creating your own story

Make 2: Creating your own story

For my second make, for Series of Unfortunate Events, I decided to have a little fun with it and make an alternate ending. And this lesson is what I would do with my students in the future as well. Since this series in particular is a little, well darker than most, I wanted to let my students (and myself) make a new ending into something each person would like !

So for my ending, I chose a little bit of a twist. So as many of us know, the series starts with a fire, which sadly kills the parents of the 3 children. With that in mind, for my ending, I decided to make it a little unpredictable. Although I haven’t read every book in the series, I chose the last book to end on maybe a little higher note. So through the series, the children have to get themselves out of some really crazy situations. With that in mind, leaving all the twists and turns of the series as they are, I decided to make the ending where the parents somehow ARE alive. We all know Count Olaf wants their fortune because of their parent’s passing. Well in my ending, they FINALLY beat Olaf at his own game and discover their parents are ALIVE, but they were just kidnapped and held by Count Olaf. Huge twist right ? I haven’t worked out all of what would go down, but ultimately, I wanted this dark series to have a meaning. That the kids went through all these crazy ups and downs, to end back where they started, with their parents.

 

As a lesson, I would let me kids do exactly what I did. After reading enough to get a general idea of the story line and what’s happening, they can choose any way they want it to end. Then they would share to the class and then they would write a short story on their ending and make their own little published “book” to show off and be proud of.

Why This Series Isn’t ALL “Unfortunate”

Why This Series Isn’t ALL “Unfortunate”

So for my series book, I chose the series “Series of unfortunate events” by Lemony Snicket. I chose this one in particular, because although I don’t remember all the details, it is a book I remembered reading as a kid so I thought, why not read it again! One of my favorite things about this series, and this book in particular (book number 3 by the way), is that in the very beginning, it says something along the lines of “if you’re looking for a book with a happy ending or without anything sad or upsetting, you can stop reading now” and I thought that was so different and interesting. It made me more intrigued to read it. I admire Snicket for making a children’s series that is out of the norm. It’s a series that not only addresses morals/life lessons, but it’s more realistic then your average fairytale. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, not every part has a happy ending and I love that. I feel like that, in a way, is a good thing for children to read so they have something that will keep their attention, while also being realistic.

I also loved the way he describes each kid. They aren’t just kids without and common sense, they are written as extremely smart individuals who are so creative and brave, they can get out of almost anything (like stealing a boat from a huge man and sailing it across a lake in a huge storm and still saving themselves after the boat starts sinking).

Like how Miller described, I read this book in short increments and each time I picked up the book to read, I was more excited than the last. By not having to sit and read it for an hour or all in one sitting, it made me look forward to reading it, like it was an escape from the other homework and things I had to do day to day. Miller was definitely on to something with that.

Make 1 – Act it Out

Make 1 – Act it Out

What elementary school class doesn’t love a break from writing and reading, and would love to get up and play dress up ?? This is why I chose the make of having them act out their favorite scene from the fairy tale Cinderella. I felt that, at least for me, when i think back to K-5, I don’t remember a lot, but the things I do remember are all things that involved being up and about. As the moral of fairy tales are the most important, that’s what you want to stick with each kid. You want them to learn something ! So why not enjoy a fun, different activity that everyone will love while also making sure they get it!

Below, I added a video to show what I would have them do. To make them more involved in the play, I would want them to first come up with a moral or lesson they think is important, then together, we would create a play ourselves ! I would start by making a general list of each of their favorite fairy tales and why. Figure out what about these stories stands out and means the most to them. Then using that, all together we will create a general story or outline on what we want our play to be. I would encourage each and every student to have an active role, if they love to act and play make believe, everyone will get a part no matter how big or small. But if there are some kids who just don’t like the idea of being on stage in front of people, I will have different tasks for them to help me backstage, like little stage hands so there’s no student that isn’t actively involved in the production. My goal with this lesson is to let them use their imaginations and help them create something from scratch all by themselves, and in the end, of course, learn an important lesson they will hopefully remember for years to come.

 

Fairytales or Lessons?

Fairytales or Lessons?

So in this prompt we were asked the question, “if Cole is right about his point, then what are the stories we’ve been reading about describe?”. And more importantly, what do these struggles in the stories address? To me I wanted to focus first on the story of Cinderella. There are many of versions of this fairytale all over America. What stuck out to me, was in the very beginning they described how each area did their version of the story. Most of them except for our classic American fairytale, actually decide to go the route of punishing the stepsisters and stepmother for their actions. While in America our story ends in a happily ever after. They talk it out and move on, while in other places take more drastic measures to get even.

I think this describes the inner struggle that all of us as humans have. It brings up the moral question, do I talk it out and move on or do I take matters into my own hands and get revenge for what is been done to me. There’s no simple answer to this question, it’s a moral dilemma that each and everyone of us has and it is up to us ultimately to decide what to do with it and what outcome we believe is best for ourselves.

Now, if we look at Little Red Riding hood, It brings up the issue that involves children and how dangerous the world can be yet how innocent they see the world. What I mean by that, is that as parents you have to decide at what age and when your child is ready to do things on your own and if they can handle themselves in a dangerous situation or not. And for the child it brings up the question, do you know what to do if you get into a dangerous situation, And can you find the clues in the situation to make a decision to keep yourself safe. There’s probably a broader way to generalize those questions but I can’t seem to put that into words. And can you find the clues in the situation to make a decision to keep yourself safe. There’s probably a broader way to generalize those questions but I can’t seem to put that into words.

Just like with Cinderella, LRRH Has many different versions across the globe. And just like Cinderella again, each ends in a little more gruesome way than our typical American fairytale. America seems to like to shelter their children, and not in a bad way whatsoever, but as a way to shield our youth From the dangers of the outside world and try and preserve their innocent minds.

When it comes to fairytales as we get older we need to go in depth and analyze them more. What purpose was it made for? What moral are they trying to teach our youth? And it seems like we are the only ones who try and preserve the innocence of children while also attempting to connect it with a moral or realistic struggle they may go through as they grow up.

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Long story short, I’m Sabrina Dunham. And just like my blog, I’m a very short person standing at a nice a tall 4’11 :)

I’m from a small town in east bay called Dublin, born and raised there my whole life with my two brothers and mom and dad. My oldest brother, Matt, who’s now 27, has the best wife and two cutest children who I adore endlessly while working as a fitness coach back home. My other brother Alex, is the star pupil of the house, constant 4.0 GPA and star athlete. My brothers definity set the bar. Then there’s me. I grew up playing almost every sport you can think of, but only stuck with a few. Through high school, I was involved in Cheerleading, Softball, and Wrestling. Weird combo, but even more fun.

 

To me, being a reader varies by person. A INTELLECTUAL reader can analyze and interpret the reading maybe others can’t, but in general, being able to pick up a book you like and enjoy it in any way, is what makes you a reader to me. :)