Students crave information about the world around them and how it works. From the history of the first humans to the exploration of space, reading nonfiction texts, quenches students’ curiosity, motivating them to find out more. Readers are captivated by the many ways in which writers organize, display, and present facts and opinions. Rich informational text encourages purposeful re-readings through different lenses: reading to discover, reading to remember, reading to learn how to do something, and reading to rethink an assumption.
During our cross-curricular module, the Grade 6 students explored possible answers to the essential question: “How can the remains of ancient peoples give us a window into their lives?” They listened to, read, and viewed a variety of texts and media that presented them with information about archaeology, mummies, and Ancient Egypt. A focus on a nonfiction narrative text genre provided students with opportunities to identify central ideas, text and graphic features, text structures, literary elements, and ideas and support in order to better understand unfamiliar texts. Students also encountered informational texts, persuasive texts, and biographies to build knowledge across genres. As students built their vocabulary and synthesized topic knowledge, they learned that the remains of ancient peoples help us understand the society and culture in which they lived.
Continuing with the focus on nonfiction text, the students were exposed to a variety of written works and media that presented information about the exploration of outer space. They realized that outer space offers exciting avenues for exploration and learning.
To celebrate Reading Week and the warmer, sunnier days, our Grade 6 class took every opportunity to read outside the classroom too – in the plaza, or at the park. During this special week, they visited the University Library, participated in the book swap, and they were captivated by the presentation made by the latest LIS Speaker Series guest, the writer Noah Charney. They learned how one’s passion for reading can be turned into fabulous writing skills and an amazing career.
Just before Spring Break, the students had the opportunity to participate in a screen-printing workshop where they learned about printmaking techniques. The emphasis of the workshop was on the development of a motif that expressed the identity and values of young people and allowed productive creativity.