• "I saw that each of us, in our kidhoods, was a Huckleberry Finn...I saw that each kid is a population unto him or herself, and that a child's bedroom is as much a window to the universe as an orbiting telescope or a philosopher's study."  -Jerry Spinelli

    We have begun our Author Study of Jerry Spinelli! 
    In class we will be actively reading his Newbery Medal award winning novel Maniac Magee . We will be working together to identify literary elements and figurative language use that is specific to Jerry Spinelli's writing style. We will begin to recognize an author's purpose for writing something in the process. Table groups will be introduced to a second published work written by Spinelli to assist in their analysis of his writing style and of the specific writing techniques he uses to craft his novels. As well versed and engaged readers, we will be able to discuss with one another our comprehensive findings and wonderings as we read and be able to construct a well crafted comparative essay between the two Spinelli texts as our second published piece in 6th Grade. We will use elements of figurative language as our guage of comparison.
    Students are encouraged to use the CLOSE READING STRATEGIES that we use in class with their at home reading to enhance their overall reading experience and build their comprehension skills. These strategies are as follows:
    1) First read text through without stopping to gain an overall glimpse at what the text is mainly about, what genre it is written in, and potentially gain a grasp of what the author's purpose is for writing it. This first read builds overall fluency and reading stamina as well.
    2) Closely read the text using ANNOTATION to help highlight, circle and underline key facts, important details, unfamiliar words and to jot paragraph summaries in the margins.
    3) Refer back to annotations and the text when answering questions to ensure that textual evidence can be used to support claims and answers.
    Students are delving deeply into a variety of literature and gaining an independent confidence to engage in reading and discussing texts of complexity. As readers broaden their exposure and close reading of a variety of texts, they will gain skills in identifying and applying writing mechanics and conventions in their writing. We are learning to read as writers and write as readers...