Welcome back! Our second year together has had an amazing start and the students and I are excited to share our learning and experiences with you. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us as well. Enjoy exploring!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is it real? Is it fiction? It's Realistic Fiction!

Boy, have we've been busy in Writers' Workshop learning about realistic fiction! We're just about finished this wonderful and complex unit and the finished product will be coming home via e-mail soon.
To begin this unit we had to first learn what realistic fiction meant. Everyone could tell me in their own words what the word realistic means and what the words fiction means, but what do they mean when they get put together? We read many wonderful mentor texts to help learn more about what it means. One of the classroom favorite's was a book called "Mr. Tanen's Ties" by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. This story is about a principal who wears fun and funky ties, which they immediately made a connection to with our very own Mr. Terko. Through reading this story and many others, we quickly learned the traits of realistic fiction stories; they need to have a problem and solution, dialogue where you learn about the characters, and it needs to be about something that could actually happen.
Armed with this new information, the kiddos set out creating stories of their own. They mapped out their stories by using a graphic organizer and sharing their stories with a partner orally, before putting pencil to paper.
The kids dove into this unit with two feet and didn't look back! I was so impressed by their ability to create stories that had an interesting dilemma and multiple ways to try and solve the problem. Their characters are fun and the settings vary from a school to a science lab.
There has been quite the hype in our classroom around this writing assignment, so I'm guessing, and hoping, that they have been talking about this at home. The big and exciting news is that they are typing their books into the iPads and then they are getting published into a book and are available to be read on any iPad in iBooks!
They are very close to being finished and then they will be coming to a computer near you.

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