Thursday, October 9, 2014

Language Arts with a Castle Theme

Castles! During our writing block, we've been working with a castle theme.  I shared some of the resources I was using in a Five for Friday post.  There are links to the products if you want more information.

So far:
We've reviewed castle vocabulary and did vocabulary sorts.

We've closely examined the structure of expository pieces.  We've matched main ideas to details with partners.

We've used sentences about castles and medieval times to review subjects, predicates, and types of sentences.  I created a Power Point, which was projected on the Smart Board to review these skills. Then, students took their castle vocabulary lists  and worked on a "sentence graffiti" activity.  I placed four large pieces of chart paper in different spots in the classroom (one for each type of sentence).  A group of students was sent to each piece of chart paper.  The instructions were to write the correct type of sentence using castle vocabulary.  Each sentence had to have at least six words. Then, the groups rotated to a different chart paper so they could practice different types of sentences. I was a stickler for correct capitalization and ending punctuation. I haven't done much of anything yet with compound sentences, so I didn't expect perfect comma usage yet!  Perfect spelling was not a requirement for this activity. I DO expect "dictionary spelling" on most assignments and on all final copies.

Next up:
We'll be writing descriptions of knights.  First, of course, we'll be reviewing how to add specific vs. general details and doing some brainstorming.  We will also review sentence variety and do some modeling. 

We'll be working in a little bit of science (force and motion concepts) by building catapults in small groups.  Then, we'll write a how-to piece describing the construction step-by-step.  The amazing idea for building catapults came from Leslie on her blog The Science Girl.  You can click [here] to read her post.  I'm definitely be back to share photos of our catapult-building adventures!

Note: The cute castle clip art was created by Scrappin Doodles.  

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