Syllabus for LAF Students (4th-5th Grade Literature) 2016-2017

LAF 4th & 5th Grade Literature Class Schedule/Syllabus

The LAF 4th-5th graders participating in literature class in the 2017-2018 school year will have a fun and whimsical group of readings to keep them learning important life and writing concepts all year long. Starting with the endearing Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary, the kids will be able to relate to Ramona’s sparkling and charmingly winsome ways. We will continue our school year with the exciting tale of early America and Native Americans in Sign of the Beaver by award-winning Elizabeth George Speare. For November, we will read the inspiring and historically accurate and amazing biography of George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet Benge. December will keep us in suspense with the hills and trails of Mountain Born. We will spend January rattling through the cages of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, February will be our high adventure My Side of the Mountain with survivalist Jean Craighead George and in March we will read Laura Ingalls Wilders’, Little House in the Big Woods, a pioneer girl’s story of rising America! The spectacular allegorical writings of C.S. Lewis in The Silver Chair won’t be lost on us as we finish the year off with a wonderful celebration of Aslan’s adventures in Narnia.

Here is our book list for the year in list format. Reading schedule, complete syllabus, recommended supplies and classroom info are posted here below!

LAF Book List 4th-5th Grade, 2017-2018 

September – Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary

October – Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

November –George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet Benge

December – Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates

January – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

February – My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

March – Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

April – The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

*If you are concerned that your child won’t be able to follow the more advanced readings, consider family read-alouds and/or if necessary (or even possible), the Libravox app (very popular with LAF families on the road!).

*As usual, I will bring the books to light in class, so even a student who is lost in their reading can participate and understand the book’s most important elements.

Class Materials

(All materials to be brought to class on the first day):

2 Sharpened pencils.

2 Pens.

1 package index cards and one index card holder (for index cards and bookmobile bucks).  Here is one example of a holder, but any type is fine.×5/-/A-13429687

1 package colored pencils, crayons or markers (whatever they prefer to illustrate with).

2 red pens or markers.

Wide-ruled spiral notebook with holes as journal/writing tablet.

1 small dictionary, paperback if possible (often available at Dollar Tree).

Class Party Info:

We will have monthly parties as we finish books at the end of each month, so parents should be aware that they can;

A. Give me $10 at the onset of the year to buy one dollar store item per month for your family’s contribution,

B. Make or bring any foods, supplies or drinks theme or non-theme related to all of some of the parties (some kids even do foods as their monthly projects), or

C. Not bring food to all or some parties. We are fine with anything, and I will always do something simple but celebratory so there is always a “party,” as we build enthusiasm in our budding authors and readers.

Breaks/Holidays: No Co-Op Classes

Orientation: Tues, August 22nd, 10AM

First Day of Class: Tues, Aug 29th, 2017

Thanksgiving Break:  Monday, November 20th, 2017 – Friday, November 24th, 2017

Christmas Break:       Monday, December 18th, 2017 – Friday, January 5, 2018

Spring Break: Monday, March 26th – Friday, March 30th, 2018

Last Day of Class: Tues, April 10th, 2018

Class Helpers

Moms: I love class helpers! Any interest in getting us Book It info (you need an early start if so!), doing Scholastic Book orders or organizing a book fair, helping students with basic grammar and editing, or otherwise helping in class is appreciated, especially for help with scoring games, behavioral assistance and distributing/keeping track of bookmobile bucks!

Literature Circle

This will be a book club feel to the first 5-10 minutes of class most weeks, where students take turns filling in their classmates on the chapters they were individually assigned to review throughout the year. Your child will do this once or twice, simply sharing the basic premise of what has occurred in the last week’s reading as well as helping to facilitate discussion within the group. I will mostly lead, but in their review, they are welcome to read aloud from chapter if they liked a certain quote, bring something interesting in that goes along with the reading, use notes or simply add-lib a few details. Please make sure they read their chapters always, but especially when they are assigned.  This will be a casual but good time for review together!

Weekly Emails

I will try to give weekly updates but I will also include the syllabus here and make changes accordingly. Please keep me aware of your most current email.

Class Projects

These vary from specific writing assignments such as a peer biography and five-paragraph essays to making fun projects having to do with book themes. I will give specifics about these each month, and they are always due the last class period of the month and participants receive a bookmobile buck good for one used book (taking donations for these ALL year but I do have a good start from last year and my own stash!)

For Kids – Young Author’s Corner:

If any children wants to talk to me about writing poetry, writing a book, or short stories, I am available during the LAF snack time period which is just before class. I do a writer’s workshop at my home once per year in summer, usually in July, on my own so email me if you like about that.

Class Schedule:

Pre-class work

Book for August/September: Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary. Vocab words: linger, subdued, indignant, annoyance, sullenly, ensnared, hesitate

August 29th – Introduction to class and materials, bookmobile, vocabulary words given and explained, seating chart completed as necessary (favorite authors or books discussed here), etc. literature circle introduced, explained, and reading of Ramona and Her Father assigned, HW: Chapter 1-2, complete vocabulary on notecards (word on one side, short definition on the other, add a sentence for extra credit).

September 5th – Discussion of story arc for Ramona and Her Father, Literature Circle presentation, vocab words discussed, play Junior Jeopardy or Vocabulary Taboo. Remind them to begin autobiography, paragraph lesson. HW: Writing a paragraph assignment (using handout) and reading through Chapter 3-4.

September 12th – Literature Circle presentation, critique groups in class discussed and assigned (stroke, punch, stroke), basic punctuation discussion, basic sentence structure discussion, prefix, suffix, root discussed, peer autobiography practice for those who want to work with a partner. HW: Read through Chapter 5, work on autobiography in class and/or for h/w.

September 19th –  Literature Circle presentation and book discussion (third person narrative/story arc), alliteration, in-class autobiographies prepared, party planning, vocab taboo or jeopardy HW: Read through Chapter 6-7, finish autobiography project.

September 26th – Literature Circle presentation, class party, revised autobiographies presented, book discussed (story arc, vocab words fleshed out), presentations, bookmobile book can be selected for those who completed the book. HW: Read 1-4 in Sign of the Beaver

October: Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Vocab words: pewter, loft, ruefully, drawl, lustrous, chinking

3rd–  Literature Circle presentation, vocabulary and word games, Speare and historical fiction, theme, developing grit as a literary and personal pattern of character growth. HW: Read CH 5-10, complete vocabulary terms, The 3 Day Diary historical fiction diary project assigned.

10th – Literature Circle presentation, literary devices discussed, character mapping, learning about writing, (sandwich) paragraphs, historical fiction writing prompt including your pseudonym. HW: Read Ch 11-15, work on diary.

17th – Literature Circle presentation, class critique groups, in-class illustrations completed, story structure revisited, novel topics discussed and vocabulary game. HW: Read Ch 16-20, work on diary and finish it for presentation.

24thHW: Read Ch 21-25 (book end)

31st – Literature Circle presentation, Project/diary presentations, class party.

HW: Read Ch 1-5 in George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans

November: George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet Benge, Vocab words: forge, gullible, fretted, baubles, hysterical, convalesced

7th – Literature Circle presentation, intro to book, book vocabulary, food bank information (choose one to donate to before co-op), 5-paragraph essay re: expository writing project assigned (any topic you can teach and explain to us). Preparation for Literature’s 12 Weeks of Co-op Skit. HW: Read Chapters 6-12

14th – Literature Circle presentation, vocabulary taboo, discuss book elements, expository writing project discussed, and practicing for Literature’s 12 Weeks of Co-op Skit. HW: Read Chapters 13-17. Bring cans in if you have any to spare for the food drive.

21st – Thanksgiving/OFF

28th – Class Party. Expository Essays read. Read 1-3 in Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates

December:  (No vocab words – we will create a special class project in lieu of vocab this month!)

5th – Class project and preparation for Literature Christmas party. HW: Read Mountain Born Ch 4-7 (end of book).

12th – Literature Circle presentation, class project Literature’s 12 Days of Christmas.

Rest of Dec: Christmas Break! Merry Christmas and enjoy! For readers who need more time, begin Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to get ahead over break!

January: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, Vocab words: surge, scarce, prospect, tedius, warily, respite, feasible

9th – Intro to behavioralism and ethics, setting/building fantastic description through language, personification. HW: Read Chapter 1-8 of NIMH, define vocabulary terms.

16th – Literature Circle presentation, discussion of book, vocabulary game, in-class writing assignment on O’Brien using detailed and incredible setting @ LAF. HW: Read Chapters 9-19. Bring dictionaries to class for next week for Synonym Scramble.

23rd – Literature Circle presentation. Work on writing assignment. Play Synonym Scramble (for vocab words thus far) HW: Chapters 20-end of the book including epilogue.

30th – Literature Circle presentation, book review, project presentation (and writing assignments presented if not done), party. HW: Begin My Side of the Mountain Chapter 1-5

February: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Vocab words: snarl, sentinel, folly, tinder, loll, ravine, frantically

6th – Literature Circle presentation, intro to book, persuasive writing, author history, debate (topic to be given), vocabulary terms. HW: Read Chapters 6-12

13th – Literature Circle presentation, conflict management, discussion of debate and persuasive writing, group practice (new groups assigned for this month only), persuasive topics picked for five-paragraph essay. HW: Read Chapters 13-19

20th Literature Circle presentation, practice for debate, discuss essays. HW: Read till you finish (22 chapters total), practice for debate, finish essays.

27th – Class party and debate, class presentations. HW: Begin Elijah of Buxton, Chapters 1-8.

March: Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, Vocab words: rigor, daft, commence, dexterity, persnickity, scallywag, flank

6th – Literature Circle presentation, introduction to book, point of view (first person omniscient, etc), character development, vocabulary, group project ideas, writing for a Christian cause (proposals, etc). HW: Read Ch 9-17, define vocabulary, group project.

13th-  Themes, Point-of-View HW: Prepare projects, read through chapter 25 (end of the book).

20th – Literature Circle presentation, group project preparation, journaling – (How has your view of the book changed?), Writer’s Workshop, HW: Project and The Silver Chair through Chapter 7

27thSpring Break – Enjoy!! (And enjoy reading The Silver Chair by CS Lewis through Chapter 7.

April: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (No vocab words, just study for Bee and read).

3rd – Literature Circle presentation, discussion of Lewis and his many great tales and read/share his legacy, fantasy writing, allegory, writing advice for children. Practice for the Spelling Bee. HW: Study for Bee, Party Prep, Finish Silver Chair, 8-16. Bring signatures back for books read!

10th – Literature Circle presentation, Spelling Bee, Party! Bring food (project optional) from any theme or topic from our year together! Bring signatures back for books read!