The past few weeks we have been reading Hatchet, a great piece of writing by Gary Paulson. It's a story about a young teenage boy struggling with his feelings about his parents' divorce and fighting to survive in the wilderness after a freak plane crash on his way to visit his father. To introduce the story, children were asked to make a list of items they would want if they were stranded in the wilderness. But there was a challenge, they couldn't use any technology. They will revisit these lists today.
Every week, the students are met with a reading inventory highlighting five vocabulary words they could easily add to their own writing. They read them over and decide their familiarity with the word. Extra boxes are given for other interesting words they encounter.
These words are given to them as classwork. Every student writes sentences that are at least 7 words long living up to their newly developed personalized writing goals. The definitions are on the page and they have the direct link to these words in Quizlet. They can use Quizlet to study, take practice tests and play quiz-like games.
Later in the week, groups are given one of these assigned words to demonstrate using a part of speech, definition, synonyms, antonyms and finally a drawing. These words are later added to a classroom student alphabetized dictionary.
Throughout the week, we listen to the book on tape as we follow along on the iPads. The iPads have vocabulary words highlighted and linked to their definitions, questions for discussion and the opportunity to answer embedded questions. The responses can be seen by all students encouraging all members to work toward the best responses. Students have received direct instruction regarding how to answer who, what, when, where, why and how questions.
As the book ends, students are asked to revisit their initial lists and finally write a persuasive piece trying to convince the reader to bring along the most perfect survival item. What item would you bring?