During our literacy time together, we will work on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, as is outlined in our state Standards of Learning. These skills are listed in this document:


We will have reading materials with writing tasks embedded, and work on words in ways that incorporate both spelling skills (word study) and vocabulary study (word work.) Students will also be able to write for their own purposes on their wikis and blogs, and pose questions and problems they will study and explore.

Our units of study will be listed here along with links to what we are doing, if applicable.

What is the Importance of Literature?


1st Unit: John Smith--Was he an historian or a liar?
Our first one will be embedded into historical thinking--exploring the history--both real and invented--of Captain John Smith. Our work with this topic will mostly be posted here.

Assessment of the John Smith work is here.

2nd Unit: Reading and discussing books
This unit will begin to explore essential concepts/themes in the books we will be reading this year. As students leave elementary school and journey into the world of teen years and middle school, they often struggle with self concept, identity and they wrestle with moral dilemmas in which they find themselves. Our books this year will center around main characters who often find themselves in similar situations. Through our readings students will discover and state the concept (or concepts) that bind our books with common themes. We will then use those concepts for class discussions, deep thinking and writing.

3rd unit: Theme and synopses of stories
In this unit we will begin to talk themes of books and evaluate book reviews and synopses to begin recommending books to others in ways that last. We have begun writing reviews in Alexandria, our school book cataloging system and we will also add to our wikis. The two books we will center on in November and December include Grandpa's Mountain and Blood On The River. We will also analyse pre-prepared book questions (such at those for Grandpa's Mountain found at http://teachers.greenville.k12.sc.us/sites/gkoontz/Pages/Grandpa.s%20Mountain%20Questions.aspx) and begin to create our own to use in our Book Talks.