Thursday, December 6, 2012

Run, Run As Fast As You Can...

Since Thanksgiving, we've been working with the gingerbread stories.  So far, we've read The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Boy, and The Gingerbread Girl.  The kids are really enjoying it, and I've been trying to incorporate more Common Core type questions for them to answer.  On Monday, our "Mad Scientist Monday" activity was this fun one:

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You can download it for free at Teachers Pay Teachers (just click the link to go directly to the product).
I know we're all getting used to Common Core (some of you are way more advanced with it than I am), so I'm trying to get my students to get used to the type of deep thinking required with Common Core.  So, instead of the weekly selection test that comes with our basal, I decided to write my own "selection test" based on the gingerbread man story.  I asked the kids to think of a word to describe the gingerbread man AND cite text evidence to support their decision.  Well, let me tell you... my intern and I thought we were going to LOSE OUR MINDS!!!!  The kids just wanted to write their word and then say that they know that because they read it in the story.  But - we stuck it out and encouraged the kids to keep trying.  We kept leading them to see that they had to write what the "it" was that they read in the story. 
After only about an hour and a half, they finally started to understand what we were saying.  Then, I got the most creative and amazing thinking from them.  Some examples:
"The gingerbread man was fast.  I know this because the characters couldn't catch him."
"The fox was sneaky.  I know this because he tricked the gingerbread man."
"The gingerbread man was hungry.  I know this because on the bottom of the second page, it says that he ate the gingerbread man."
"I know the gingerbread man was yummy.  I know this because everybody wanted to eat him!"
"The gingerbread man was smart.  I know this because he came up with the rhyme, 'Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!"
This week, we've been reading The Gingerbread Girl and The Gingerbread Boy.  I came up with a test for these stories too.  On this one, I ask them to compare and contrast the gingerbread boy and girl, to  explain how the gingerbread girl knew not to trust the fox, to choose a word to describe the gingerbread girl and give text evidence (similar to the ones above), and finally, to tell which story they liked best and explain why. 
I can't wait to see what they come up with!  If you'd like a copy of either of these worksheets, just leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you!

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