English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Sabrina Dunham

Blog 7

Blog 7

 

1.

  1. In this chapter, it was a lot about how each child reader has a “preference” when it comes to books. Each student will have a different idea of what kind of books they want to read (i.e graphic novel, short story, novel, young adult, etc).  In general, I loved that theme of the chapter, because it’s something most teachers wouldn’t really think about when they begin teaching. I know for me, at first, when I thought of my first days teaching, I was planning to know WHAT I would teach and just assume it was curriculum and that it was set in stone. But Miller helped show me that since each child is obviously different, they might be able to learn better if they see things a different way. I tend to be a visual learner, but not everyone is like that. Some kids really like just the cut and dry note taking and studying. While others prefer pictures, or even oral studying so it sticks in their brain. So Miller speaking out children having different book preferences also helped me think of other preferences my students my have in other areas in class.
  2. Like I stated before, I am a much better visual reader than just staring at words for hours on end. That’s why I enjoyed the graphic novel we read this semester more than any of the other book. When I read, my mind already makes a “mental movie” to help me follow along, so having pictures already laid out for me made it even easier.

 

2.

  • My YA novel was “We Are Ok” by Nina LaCour. I decided to focus on the main character, Marin. When reading, I found out that she is blond with “tiny freckles across [her] cheeks” (58). Her mother, Claire, passed due to a surfing accident when Marin was a child. She never really knew her father, she is told he was from Australia. Gramps is her grandfather and the person she lived for the majority of her life until she went to college in New York. It’s no surprise when you find out the plot of the book, you can guess Marin is a pretty sad young adult. Marin’s voice, to me, I would describe distinctive and strong. Marin is particularly nostalgic when she reflects on her past and you can tell she isn’t happy, and her reflections seem almost like a wanting to be back there. Then on the other end, when she describes the present, the sentences are spare and short, and reflect the winter cold and the isolation that she clearly feels.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s on the more sad side, but it’s a great book to help young adults relate to things they may be feeling. I wouldn’t exactly have a freshman in high school read it but definitely someone maybe going off to college for the first time could relate and it would help a lot of younger people see that what they may be feeling is more common than they might have thought.
Blog 6

Blog 6

Reading the article, I was just loving that the author was helping us future teachers with almost any problem with kids I could think of. The “unmotivated”, the kids who don’t get why we even read certain books, and more. They just went into amazing detail on how beficitial a graphic novel can be. The use of pictures give the child a sense of ease because, at least for me as well, reading a book with all those pictures makes it seem less challenging, and like we aren’t reading a full novel.

 

In my novel “Smile”, she included everything a graphic novel needed. I loved this book. It flowed so nicely, super easy to follow, and helped someone like me who usually creates a picture in their head when reading, put that picture in front of you. I loved being able to read like a mini movie. If you took out the narration, I would have been fine because sometimes, it wasn’t even necessary.

Make for Inside Out and Back Again

Make for Inside Out and Back Again

For this make, I decided to do somewhat of an ice breaker. I would do this activity at the beginning of the year, making this book one of the first books we read that year. I would begin by having the students write a short journal entry on who they are and they’re background, like where their families are originally. After this, I would be bring a large poster board with a map of the world on it.  Then each kid would put a pin on the world map on where their ancestors are from. Once all done, we would have a world maps with each of their pins on it to represent how they come from all over the world. Hopefully this would be done with a 4th or 5th grade class, where they know a little about where they are from.

The goal for this activity is not only connecting the book to real life, but to help them get to know each other and see who they have things in common with. This, as an icebreaker, could be useful in helping them open up and making the classroom better as a whole. This would tie in writing, geography, and even social skills. This could lead to other activities for the book, espicially when explaining the war in the book, and where exactly Vietnam is. And showing them where Ha came form in the book and where her family ended up in America, hopefully they can see how far and long of a move they made when they left their home.

Blog 5

Blog 5

When I choose this novel, I first was intrigued when I read what it was about. Hà, a ten-year-old girl flees her home in Vietnam with her mother and brothers, to escape the Vietnam War and try to restart their lives in the United States. Although she escaped the horrors of the Vietnam war, Hà and her family struggle to find their place in the United States.

What I first loved about this novel was the pictures it makes you visualize and poems that appeared in it. Written as a series of short poems, it is a sparse and bluntly honest story of Hà and her journey to adapt into the american lifestyle. With this novel, it would be the perfect story for young children, because it would be super helpful as a way to give them insight on the world around them and the constant domestic wars all over the world. It also would give amazing help to the students who might have come over from over seas as well, as a way to get them and their fellow classmates comfortable with each other’s way of life.

so much depends

upon

the bright warm

light

shinning through a

white window

showing the beauty

of the outside world

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.