This week, we combined two of my favorite things going right now: The Writer’s Notebook and Voicethread. It all began about a week ago… I took my third graders to the computer lab to show them how to create pictures using Max Write. Their pictures were then saved, printed, and placed in the “Marvelous Mini-Lessons” section of their Notebooks. The next day, we read two stories that featured several similes (Quick as a Cricket and Owl Moon). After reading, students had to create a list of 20 sentences that each contained a simile to describe their picture. Then, they worked with a partner to rework and refine their sentences. Next, they uploaded their pictures into Voicethread and they had to “gimme” their ten best simile sentences which were recorded onto their Voicethread picture. What was so awesome about this lesson was how diligent the kids were about writing their similes. Since it was going to be on the Internet “for all the world to see,” they worked so hard to create really great similes so that they would look like “a really smart bunch of third graders!” You should have seen how many thesauruses and dictionaries were being passed around!
~ Jenna Wyks, 3rd Grade, Smithville