Reading- Writing Connections -Research and Reflection
I have worked in Liana Ketriuk’s Grade 4 classroom at
numerous times over the past two years and
have witnessed the growth of her students as well as Liana’s teaching during
that time. She recently presented a lesson that demonstrated her clear
understanding of the important relationship reading and writing shares. Cairnlea
Liana began the lesson with a discussion aimed at activating prior knowledge. What does the word home mean to you? Turn and talk.’ Students then shared some of their responses with the whole class. She followed this by reading aloud from Libby Hathorn’s thought provoking picture-story book, ‘Way Home.’ The book highlights a young boy’s struggle to provide sanctuary to a wild, stray cat. Set in a city, the story provides the reader with graphic evidence surrounding the plight of the homeless.
Liana encouraged talk and discussion among her students at the conclusion of the reading. In the discussion that followed Liana devoted time to clarifying the use of idiomatic language (a feature of this text) and the use of the referent pronoun through out the text.
What can you infer about the main character?
Has your concept of home changed? How? Tell your partner.
Liana asked her students to spend a few minutes recording their thoughts in their literature journals. She followed this reflective writing by inviting students to participate in a silent share. Each student displayed their journal entries on their tables. The class walked the room silently reading each others words.
Students were asked to return to their journals and continue writing. The follow up responses provided clear evidence that insights had deepened Exposure to a broad range of views had clearly impacted on the writing that ensued.
To further deepen student awareness of this social issue, Liana provided her students with additional opportunities to broaden their world knowledge by presenting a series of enlarged photographs depicting aspects of homelessness around the world. Students were provided with post it notes and as they inspected the photographs they wrote personal responses to the scenes on display. They posed questions, and pondered ways to overcome these situations. Following this, they returned to their journals and continued capturing their thoughts, ideas, and observations. To conclude the lesson, the class gathered and students shared personal reflections, and new understandings. For me, it was interesting to see the writing develop greater depth as the lesson unfolded.
This was a lesson rich in opportunities to read, write, think, discuss and learn. Students were engaged in learning that further developed their word knowledge, as well as their world knowledge. Liana strengthened the reading-writing links for her students through mindful teaching and thorough preparation.