I recognized International Day of Peace with most of the grades this year and for the fourth grade classes I read Jean-Francois Dumont’s book, The Chickens Build a Wall. After reading the book, I posed several questions about the book and asked them to respond to one of them.
Padlet: Student Writing
I introduced Padlet to these students. The questions were posted in columns and the students used their tablets (we are a 1:1 school) to access Padlet and write a reflection. Time did not allow for the students to respond to their classmates ideas, but I hope the teachers will take this digital tool and use it in the classroom where they have more time. They did enjoy reading what other students wrote.
Making a Connection with the Real World
One of our students made a connection with the central idea of the book to something they heard was happening in the United States today. Check out Kate’s response:
We recognized the United Nation’s International Day of Peace during the week of September 18-22. I wanted the students to be aware of and reflect on the concepts surrounding IDP, but I also wanted to introduce/use a digital tool to 5th grade students.
I read the book, The Enemy: A Book About Peace by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch. I think some the students were a little surprised by the simplicity of the illustrations and text. But, for the most part they really got into the story and had definite opinions about it.
Padlet as Response Method
We are a 1:1 school so I had the students bring their tablets with their keyboard and mouse so that the students could share their ideas on Padlet. (I attempted to use Padlet once in the past without a keyboard and mouse and it was a disaster. The tablet case’s covering bounced as the student typed and Padlet kept opening up multiple windows!).
I handed out the questions after I read the book and we went over them as a group and they chose one question to respond to.
My time with each class is limited so the students did not have the opportunity to respond to each other, although they did enjoy reading their classmate’s writings. I will use Padlet again with this grade and as they have been exposed to it, time will likely permit a more interactive experience.
Have you ever had one of those special moments when the stars seem to align (maybe it’s the lining up of the 5 planets this week)? On Tuesday morning I was looking for a good title to read to 5th grade students the next day (yeah, I know, but sometimes that is as far in advance as I can plan) for Friendship Week. Over the long weekend I had looked through the WorldLit suggested titles and nothing really grabbed me. I was looking at a box from Junior Literary Guild that had been beside for my desk for a week or two and just decided to finally open it up and catalog the books that were inside (I had no idea what was in there). I pulled out, Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco. Read the blurb on the inside cover and BINGO! A story of friendship set in
Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco was the perfect read aloud for Friendship Week
the Philippines during World War II. The 5th grade students had just started studying World War I and will soon be covering WWII. A match made in heaven and what a touching story. Just the right length for a read aloud to older students.
Read Aloud then Student Response Using Padlet
I used an atlas to orient the students to the location of the Philippines and then read the book. I’ll admit that each of the three times I read it, I choked up at the end where…well, I don’t want to spoil the story if you haven’t read it. You just have to check it out for yourself.
I then had the students answer the question: “What book would you recommend to a friend? Include the reason why.” I had our students bring their Dell Venue tablets with them so they could each respond without having to wait for a computer. I used Linoit for the first two classes, but I had a problem with the stickies all piling up on top of each other. I then turned to Padlet for the third class (I did go back and copy and paste all of the responses from the first two classes into Padlet). The students really enjoyed reading each other’s responses. This was the first time they had used this type of technology and I think we will do it again.
Padlet completed by 5th grade students on book recommendations.