We’re still having lots of fun with Fairy Tales in our classes. One of the great things we get to do as teachers is share with our students some of the lovely books that have been read aloud to us, or that we’ve acquired over the years as parents to our own children and teachers of our students.
A couple of classic Fairy Tale books we wanted to read were ones that we were given as children. The Treasury of Fairy Tales is my book that I received when I was five years old. The Hansel and Gretel pop-up book was a Christmas gift when I was six. We’ve read Hansel and Gretel to our classes and they just loved the vibrant colours of the pictures and a different version of a familiar story.
A new Fairy Tale classic is The Balloon Tree by Phoebe Gilman. This sweet story is told in the traditional manner of a young princess whose mean uncle wishes to take over the throne from her Dad, the King. When the King is away at a tournament, a plan is hatched by Princess Leora’s uncle to destroy all of the balloons of the Kingdom so the princess has no way to communicate with her father. Princess Leora is locked in her room, but with the help of a wise wizard and a young friend, she is able to find a single balloon and then the magic happens.
We’ve been learning about the story elements (plot, character, setting, theme) and using Fairy Tales as our primary literature source to teach these important concepts. We’ve talked about a story’s structure, beginning, middle and end (as a prelude to discussing plot) with Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.
This week we focused on good and bad characters in Jack and the Beanstalk. We compared the qualities of what makes good and bad characters, and the differences between main and secondary characters.
We decided to focus on setting in Hansel and Gretel as it’s an excellent example of the literature theme, “Home is Best.” Although we’ve typically taught this theme with Grade One and Grade Two, we thought that our children would be able to make the connection between the story and how they feel about home in their own lives. We recall all of the places Hansel and Gretel visit in the story and list them in the correct sequence. Then, we create a story map by drawing in those locations. Revisiting the story, talking about the sequence of events and what happened at each of those places enriches the children’s understanding of the story. They love to look at the pictures for clues and recall the details of each place.
After we’ve created the map, we label the locations and then orally retell the story again. The children have multiple engagements with a familiar story, which in turns enhances their understanding and appreciation of this important genre.
As part of our integration of the subject areas, we decided to create the Royal Kinder Portraits, another fabulous art idea from the website, Deep Space Sparkle. We give the children a template for the crown which they trace in pencil, then outline in pastel. With guidance, we demonstrate how to draw the face in pastel and then complete it in watercolour. The oil pastels help to “hold” the watercolour paints from mixing together.
Presenting their Royal Highnesses….
This Week in Our Room: May 31-June 3, 2016
Thank you, everyone, for coming out to support us on Sports Day! The children had a marvelous time, enjoying their mini teams and participating in the fun relays. We saw many children love carrying the balloons with their foam chopsticks, jumping in the potato sacks, and pulling with all their might in the Tug of War. They couldn’t wait to show us their tongues after eating their freezies!
We had a good snack afterwards, Activity Time and many children also got a little bit of face paint (or arm paint) done as well. All in all, we had a super successful first Sports Day, and the children can look forward to many more!
Upcoming Events and Reminders
It’s Home Reading Book exchange on Monday so please remember to return your home reading books.
On Wednesday, Elmer the Safety Elephant returns to talk to us further about bike safety.