Archive | March, 2013

First Impressions

I was delighted this week to finally get to share the first hour of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring with my students.  I showed them all of the material that corresponded to the first 6 chapters of the book.  They were ecstatic to finally get to see Middle-Earth as they had only been able […]

Question Everything

I have always encouraged my students to frequently ask questions.  In my classroom, they know they are in a safe environment where there is no such thing as a dumb question and no one will mock them for not having an answer.  This is very comforting to my students, as they cannot always guarantee they will be treated […]

Courage in the Classroom

“Courage is found in unlikely places” was the thought-provoking quote from Fellowship that my students chose to focus on today.  I began the class by asking all of them to write those words in their steno pad and take a few minutes to reflect silently on what that might mean to them.  Prior to responding, there […]

Dark Days Ahead

I began today’s class by asking my students to participate in an active learning strategy, prior to reading Chapter 4 of Fellowship.  Active learning is an educational term that refers to instruction that places the responsibility of learning on the learner.  Many of the reading strategies my students employ on a regular basis fall into this category and […]

An Attitude Adjustment

There is much to be said about the state of mind affecting the way one approaches a book.  As Emily Dickinson wrote, “There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away.”  Escaping into a book can do much to alter state of mind and conversely, coming to a story in an altered state […]

For What it’s Worth

An inspirational story has the potential to directly influence and transform the lives of all who allow themselves to fully submit to its power.  This requires the reader to be open to the message the writer conveys, the imagination to place yourself in the setting of the story, and the ability to connect and empathize with the […]

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Power was the theme of today’s reading focus as we continued to make our way through chapter 2 of Fellowship.  As my students read of the ring’s origins with its creator Sauron, we were faced with the timeless pursuit of power and the natural desire of mankind to possess it.  Stories with themes of desiring […]

Visualizing Tolkien’s World

Visualization is a helpful tool for young readers to understand figurative language and to fully embrace the beauty of an author’s word choice, style, and rich descriptions. Tolkien’s works are prime examples for applying this strategy as they provide readers with ample opportunities to visualize the fantasy world he has created through his words. Today […]

It’s Party Time!

Yesterday my students celebrated our completion of chapter 1 of Fellowship of the Ring, A Long-Expected Party. The children became enthralled with all the happenings in Hobbiton surrounding Bilbo and Frodo’s joint birthday celebration. We even integrated some math skills by adding Bilbo and Frodo’s ages to arrive at the number of guests invited to […]