Marlene H. Kennedy
Classroom activities will require students to keep a composition notebook for both parts of the unit, the response to literature and the process in writing components. Within these composition notebooks, students will respond in writing to what they have read, complete classroom written assignments focusing on the daily objectives, or they will write responses to questions raised during mini lessons. These notebooks can also be used to create Venn Diagrams, to make predictions, and to record new vocabulary.
Drawing or creating works of art will also be a part of the classroom activities, through the literature circles' illustrator role, the option of designing the covers of the three-page journal entries, or by creating collages representing images from the 1930s and 1940s, using old magazines and other print materials.
Discourse, through active literature circles, can take place daily or every other day, depending upon whether students read the literature in class or at home.
Through the process in writing, students will write journal entries during class time and edit peers' work. Students will complete the entire journal entry within class, over six class periods, but second drafts and final copies may take a few more days to complete. If there are enough computers in the classroom, students may share them on a rotating basis to complete the final, typewritten versions of the assessment pieces, or all students may work together in a computer laboratory.
Other classroom activities include watching movies, listening to cassette tapes or compact discs, and reading a variety of literature related to both eras. This literature, in the form of children's picture books, such as
Uncle Jed’s Barbershop
Number the Stars
, would be made available in the classroom and offered to children to read during Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time. Children who choose these books would be able to write book reports upon their completion and earn extra credit for their efforts. Since the reading material spans the elementary grades from kindergarten and beyond, children with various reading levels would benefit from the offerings, with students reading at higher levels taking the more challenging books and those with lower abilities being given the opportunity to choose picture books or simpler novels.