Reading Strategies: Visualisation

We really enjoyed the book “Sahara Special” and it generated some really rich discussion.  Throughout each chapter we practiced predicting, summarising, inferring and visualising – all things that great readers do.   Once we had finished the book, we re-read pages that described Miss Pointy, a teacher from somewhere else and took what we visualized and turned it into an illustration.  The students created portraits of Miss Pointy – they could be abstract or Miss Pointy-ish.  I loved how they turned out…

Check them out on our classroom sliding door on the day of our Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences.

You may also like to check out this website: 

Sahara Special Writing Challenge

We have almost come to the end of our third shared novel “Sahara Special.” Apart from the fact that the chapters are REALLLLLY long, we have been loving this novel.

The story is set in a Grade Five class which has a very interesting teacher, Miss Pointy.  Chapter Twelve is called “Name calling” and the students are invited to share the story of how they got their names.  The main character shares what she wrote in her journal and the way she tells the story if her name is breathtaking.

I wonder if you would like to write the story of your name?  Many students seemed to know a little bit about where their name came from but perhaps it would be necessary to have a chat at home and go deeper into the reason, inspiration or story behind how your parents decided upon the name you carry every day.

Will your writing be sticker worthy?

Happy Good Friday.  I hope everyone has been having a great holiday.  How are you going with collecting ideas for things you are interested in writing about in your seed (glad) bag?  I look forward to everyone arriving back at school next week with bags full of interesting “seeds”.  These seeds will be being used as we begin to write in our very own “Seed books” or writer’s notebook throughout Term Two with Mrs Ciavarella.


I came across this little chart that might give you a few more ideas of things that could be being added to your bag…

Reading & Writing Fables


Our next writing focus is going to be learning to write FABLES.  Fables are a great way to begin to explore the genre of Narrative.  This week we will start to explore the features and structures of FABLES by reading them in class.  As we read we are identifying 5 main elements: exposition (setting & characters), rising action, conflict, falling action and the moral (lesson).  You may like to read some fables at home together (these can be added to your nightly Reading Journal).  You can find some at this website: Fables for children

After reading you could complete an organiser: CommonCoreFablesGraphicOrganiser

“What features make a GREAT procedural text?”

We have continued to investigate “What features make a GREAT procedural text?”  We have been focusing on understanding that to be able to write a great procedure, we have to think about “How can we explain an idea clearly & compellingly.”  Being clear is really important and making it interesting for the audience is too! The sequence of the steps is also super important.

We watched a Mister Maker clip about making an Elephant Peg Holder.  We used this video to practice writing our own procedure.  I loved reading each one and could see evidence of students being clear and compelling, correctly using imperative verbs and even people using brackets (to add extra information).

We also had a lot of fun making our own as we revised our writing:

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You might like to write a procedure for this easy craft activity:

Follow Me

Our literacy focus is investigating “What features make a GREAT procedural text?”  We are reading procedures, we are following procedures and we have begun to start writing our own.  To be able to write a great procedure, we are thinking about “How can we explain an idea clearly & compellingly.” Being clear is really important and making it interesting for the audience is too!

We loved reading and innovating on the story “How to sneak a monster into school“:

We had ago at following a light procedure to make a spectroscope:

We even learnt how to do Humming Breath

Can you find some examples of procedure texts at home? What features make a GREAT procedure? What are imperative verbs? Can you think of a topic you could write a procedure for? Could you write a procedure to match this YouTube video: 

Daily Five: Building Reading Stamina

Stamina is necessary for all areas of learning: reading, writing, sitting, listening, meditating, etc. We have to grow the ability to do all tasks while staying focused and without getting tired. We can build super readers, writers, listeners, etc. one minute at a time! 






As part of our reading block, we incorporate Daily Five activities.   Two of the daily five tasks are READ to SELF and READ to SOMEONE.  These both require reading stamina:


You can work on tracking your stamina when doing your nightly reading at home: Stamina Meters.  This week we will be using “Whisper Phones” during our READ to SELF session. These will also help us focus on improving our fluency.  The Whisper phone allows the reader to hear themselves and no one else…

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Descriptive Writing

We are continuing to explore how authors use language to describe.  This week we have explored the use of similes as we prepare to record our own descriptive text innovation.  Hopefully we will include adjectives, adverbs and perhaps even some similes in our own writing.

You might like to have ago at doing some simile writing at home:

Simile person

I am….

I would love to read some of your simile writing 🙂

If you were an adjective…

We are tuning into our new writing unit: DESCRIPTIVE WRITING.  In order to be able to record really great descriptive writing you must be able to use adjectives and adverbs.  We have been finding out and expanding our knowledge of these types of words.

Today we thought about adjectives that we would use to describe ourselves.  Each student selected ten adjectives that describe themselves…

We have also been hunting for adjectives as we read and thinking about the categories adjectives belong to (personality, appearance, time, colour, etc.).

When you are doing your nightly reading you might record adjectives you spot author’s using.

Here is a reminder about what adjectives and adverbs are: