Sunday, May 19, 2013

Adventure #5-More Conflict, with a Twist

One of our big focuses this year was to take conflict in literature a step further so students could really understand the plot of a novel and then apply it to the world in which they live.  After all, the heart of all disputes is conflict.  And what would good literature be without it?  By being aware of and analyzing conflict, we can better understand the character (s) motivations and why characters act the way they do.  The next step, is to apply that same form of thinking to real life.  Why do people act in certain ways?  What motivates them to respond in the manner they do?  How can we learn about our past by studying the conflicts in it?

This was the premise of the project I created for my accelerated readers.  I knew they could tackle reading an extra book (in addition to their reading contract books--which is a whole other blog entry that I will tackle later).  Students had to choose a historical fiction book about a time period they found interesting.  Many students chose World War Two and the Holocaust.  We've talked about Hitler throughout the year (in our revolutionary thinking unit and in our government unit in Social Studies).  We watched several book trailers on YouTube and I book talked several books in my classroom library--historical fiction happens to be one of my favorite genres.  Students made their book selections and wanted time to read.  When they were done reading, they wrote a book review that focused heavily on the conflict of the story and if they felt the author did an adequate job portraying that conflict through the actions of the characters.  After they read and wrote the book reviews, students then had to find an article relating to the central conflict of their story.  For example, if they read a book about the Holocaust, they had to find an article about the Holocaust.  Students did this through internet searching.  They found some interesting stuff!

Below, I've linked a PowerPoint presentation that one of my students created to share with the class to show the similarities and differences between the book and article and the conflicts each presented.  Students had free range of how to present their findings.  Some did a written report and orally shared their finding with the class, some did PowerPoint presentations and shared with the class, and some created posters to share.  This particular PowerPoint demonstrated the linkage between the book and article quite well for a 5th grader.  I was impressed and so very glad I challenged them to take their learning to the next level!

Check out this great Power Point about the book The Boy Who Dared.  The Boy Who Dared Power Point Presentation

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