Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Author's Purpose

I LOVE a good book, don’t you? The word literature most commonly refers to works of the creative imagination, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. Literature allows your child to explore new worlds full of new experiences.

Authors help readers discover meaning by the way they say things in the story. Discuss author’s purpose with your children. Show them lots of different types of writing (persuasive, informative, entertaining).

Now it is time to put together our learning activity.
First, make thinking caps for each child. You can make any kind of hat or cap you wish out of construction paper and such, or if you don’t want to make caps, modify baseball caps to work for this activity.
Next, get a box or container to hold strips of paper that have the different types of literature written on them (persuasive, informative, entertaining).
Tell your child to put on his thinking cap because he is going to have to write a paragraph that will either persuade, inform, or entertain everyone playing this game. To help the kids get started on their paragraph, furnish something visual to act as their topic. This will help kick start their thinking. It can be something as simple as some type of snack food, a funky antique object, a weird piece of clothing from yesteryear, a smelly old shoe… Be creative so they will be creative.
Now, have the kids each draw a strip of paper from the box, but tell them not to show anyone what it says. Whatever the paper has written on it is the purpose they must use to write their paragraph.
When everyone is finished, each child will read his paragraph and the others will try to guess if the paragraph is supposed to persuade, inform, or entertain.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Presidents' Day, originally known as Washington's Birthday, falls on the third Monday of February. This year Presidents' Day falls on February 21, 2012. President’s Day combines Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday since they are both in the month of February and are so close together.
Discuss a little about each president with your child. Include what each is best known for and why. What monuments, buildings, money…are made in honor of Washington and Lincoln?

For fun, have your child dress up as Washington or Lincoln and give a short speech as to why they are a good president. If your child chooses Washington, try making a powdered wig. If your child chooses Lincoln, try making his hat.

If your child is too shy to dress up or give a speech, you can still have fun making finger puppets of Washington and Lincoln. Maybe they can have the puppets do the acting for them!