Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A New Literary Device
We began foreshadowing today. I had prefaced the lesson by telling the children yesterday we would be beginning foreshadowing today. It was my sorry attempt at humor by foreshadowing the foreshadowing. :oP
I began the lesson the same way I began atmosphere. I had the kids predict what they thought foreshadowing is, then, I read the explanation from the book as its language and description are far more precise than mine would be. I then introduced another favorite Patricia McKissick book, "Flossie and the Fox". The story is a "Red Riding Hood" story with little Flossie Finley outsmarting a fox.
I began by having the children make predictions as to Flossie's age and when and where the story took place. I then read the Author's Note, which explains the rich dialect in which the story is written. We had a discussion about the fact I'm not making fun of the story or the characters when I read it with my mountain twang, that I am instead honoring Ms. McKissick's granddaddy and his heritage. The kids of course had tales to tell of family members who speak with Southern drawls and all were open and receptive to the tale.
As I read, I pointed out the foreshadowing, as it can be such a difficult concept at first. As I moved into the story, the kids were more and more enthusiastic. They laughed, the predicted, they had comments to share with what I was reading. What a fun story! They particularly enjoyed the ending when Flossie has out-foxed the fox. :o)
When the story was finished, I reread the passages that foreshadowed the story. I then had the children do small group discussions as to how the book would be different without the foreshadowing. We talked about how the foreshadowing made the book more exciting and that without it, we wouldn't really want to read much more than the beginning.
I then told the kids we would be using the foreshadowing in our writing to make it more interesting. I used examples from scary movies and books, reminding the kids that in those situations, someone is usually told, "Don't look in the closet" and they of course, look in the closet. That warning was foreshadowing. I challenged them to come up with a topic and then tell me how they were going to foreshadow the story.
The kids were given time to brainstorm ideas within their groups and then I walked around and conferenced with them as they worked on their circle maps. In one group, two of the children realized they were writing similar stories and decided to have the same setting and have their characters meet up in their individual stories. Their excitement was palpable! When I mentioned this to the other class, quite a number of children decided they needed to create similar stories! :o)
The kids were SO into this creative writing and brainstorming they were very unhappy when class time was up! I promised them I would be willing to listen to the "pitch" their ideas during my recess duty today and I actually had a number of students come up to me to share their stories! I was shocked!
During my conferencing, I reminded the children they could use atmosphere to help us "feel" the creepiness of their haunted houses, that they shouldn't forget the literary device they have already studied. The levels of excitement these children feel generates excitement in me as well! :o)
I know this lesson is going to stretch into two weeks as there is NO way these writings will be ready by next Monday. There are just too many details that need working out. I want these writings to be excellent, and I can tell more time is going to be necessary in order for them to be successful.
I look forward to tomorrow's foreshadowing lesson! :o)