Monday, December 8, 2014

Some more info from the Harrisons. Enjoy!

I also adore the vocabulary word of the day from tomorrow's SWT slide too: PARSIMONY (which is a Try-GOT, not an EGOT, for those of you who are using our Vocabulary Lessons).  It's a Try-GOT that my kids always enjoy inventing a word that should serve as the word's missing verb form.  Once they've invented a verb form, I challenge them to use it five times before the day is over with their other teachers.  That said, this might be a good week to maybe go back through your students' collected/graded vocabulary and see if they can find any other words that are Try-GOTs, then see if they can invent a brand new word (in the spirit of Frindle, am I right?) to fill in as the word's missing form.  
My kids love to write stories/comic strips wherein they use a good word they've created.  If they come up with PARSIMONIZE (or something like that tomorrow), I can get them writing all about that brand new word!  We'll write comics, we'll write raps, we'll make propaganda, and we will give life to a word that never before existed.

Finally, if you're looking for an enjoyable persuasive/argumentative lesson that can be done quickly in the two or three days before Thanksgiving, WritingFix still features the original "Thanksgiving Turkey Protests" assignment, which you can easily teach even if you don't have the cited mentor text (My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza) to share with your kids; you can just share the basic premise of the story: a fox plans to eat a smart pig for dinner, but the fox ends up exhausted because the pig keeps assigning him chores that--if done well--will ensure the fox an even tastier pig for dinner; the pigs ends up warm and clean, and the fox is too tired to eat.  A great, original story can come from the simple idea formula here: SMART TURKEY + NOT-AS-SMART FARMER or CHEF = funny story about the holiday meal saving himself/herself using good rhetorical strategies.
At one point, when WritingFix was still being sponsored by the NNWP, we had the vision of eventually posting several holiday-inspired writing lessons for every holiday in the school year, and my friend/colleague Barbara Surritte-Barker created this fun Thanksgiving lesson to serve as a a model.  The project never came to fruition unfortunately, but here is the direct link to the lesson, which comes with a graphic organizer, revision tools, and student samples from writers as young as second grade--even though the lesson's author was a middle school teacher:
And wow...that reminds me...last year we did something fun in our enrichment period with the Aristotle's Rhe-turk-ical Triangle, which I happily posted as a five-step lesson on my Pinterest Board:  Follow the links that are provided below each picture in the write-up, and you'll see the whole lesson idea unfold in five steps.  I got funny, smart stuff from my kids last year doing this!
Have a superb holiday with friends and family this upcoming week, if you indeed celebrate this week's holiday!  December's Lesson of the Month is going to demonstrate some new ways to have students create original iPod Playlists in pretty inventive ways -- to teach character analysis AND to teach grammar.  Fun stuff is coming on December 1!  Until then, have fun with unique talents, the word PARSIMONY, and persuasive turkeys!  
Dena and I wish you the best for you and your family!
--Corbett (& Dena) Harrison
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