Today I was able to teach a lesson to sixth graders! First I read out loud to them to catch them up to the other sixth grade classes. Then I started the lesson, which I had prepared on character/narrator within their book, Jericho Walls. The first thing I did was lead a group discussion about the narrator and wrote some notes on the board for the students to follow.
The focus was on narrator—details, physical description, attributes, etc. I had the students flip to the first few pages and give some details about where the setting of the book was, why the narrator and her family had moved there, and some background information. Then, together, the students and I made a list of a few of the narrator’s characteristics.
I made a Jericho Walls Character Sketch Worksheet for the students on character—it had different circles where the students would draw a symbol of something that represented Jo (the narrator). Then they had to define their symbol and why they drew it, then a page number that inspired their symbol.
We did the first circle as a group, drawing a symbol of strength: fist, flexed muscle, angry face, etc. to represent Jo’s physical strength and often short temper. We defined what the pictures were, explained why, and then referenced page 3 which talked about Jo punching a boy in the nose when she was angry.
After having the students do this as a class, I had them work in partners to complete the second bubble/symbol. I thought they did well working together! I had them share at the end which was useful! The ending part of the activity had the students predict what Jo would act like as the book continued; this is one of their learning targets, so it was great to integrate that!
As for the eighth graders, I took aside two students during their Book Club and did a miscue analysis with a short reading passage. [Ex: Student 1 & Student 2 Miscue Analysis] This was great experience for me, especially since the students had previously seen this passage and could read it very quickly! Not only were they reading for speed, but they were also trying to get through the text with as little miscues as possible. This made for a very challenging, but relevant practice session for me!