Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Week 4 and 5

Week 4
We started with an archetypes activity were I set out a bunch of pictures of people in popular movies that have certain archetypes that I wanted to discuss.  They kids then organized them in archetype groups; ordinary man/hero, mentor, comic relief/trickster, sidekick/helper, warrior, bully, villian, shapeshifter, maiden/damsel in distress, etc...

They learned that many supporting characters qualified to go in different archetype groups.  We sorted characters from Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Princess Bride, Moana, Harry Potter, Lego Movie, Cars, Lion King and The Lord of the Rings (even though they weren’t familiar with the movie, they were familiar enough with the characters.  

We then discussed The Book of Three, but didn’t have a lot of time to really get into it.  

Week 5
Last week we took a trip to the Skookum Archery Range.  The Chronicles of Prydain has a lot of archery, so it was a fun activity to do.  Sadly, most of the time was taken up by driving, but they got some good experience and had fun.

We will discuss the Black Cauldron on Oct 25, ( a week from Thursday) so please allow them the opportunity to finish this second book!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Week 3

Yesterday we wanted to discuss the Book of Three, but no one had finished the book, so I am putting it off a week.  This is the only time I can do that with book discussions.  Please help your child have access to the series on audio (they are free on YouTube) or in book form.

I introduced some beginning literary terms and concepts and told them what to look for as they read the books.  We will discuss The Book of Three next week.  The Black Cauldron will be two weeks after that.

This really is a great adventure series, they will get sucked right in!

For the rest of class, Adam Claridge took the lead in teaching a little about metal work.  The kids hammered some copper wire and fashioned rings out of a piece.  A huge thank you to Adam for sharing his expertise!

Week 1 and 2

Week 1 ( pretty much a repeat of the email I sent out)

For our first class, we learned about Lloyd Alexander, the author of the Chronicles of Prydain.  We learned a little about Welsh history because Wales is the inspiration for this series we are reading this semester.  The students colored a Welsh dragon while I talked and then they made a dragon mask (or a mask of their own creation. 😜).   A red Welsh dragon is on the flag of Wales, but there are no dragons in the series. 

Please make sure to supply the books or audios of these books for your student to read. 

Week 2

I was on the Scholar East Coast trip for this week, and missed the class.  Lisa and Cayln lead craft activities inspired by the metal working in the series.  They made pie tin art and dog tags. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Brian's Rescue

The exciting conclusion of our book had us talking about tornados, diving to the bottom of a lake to retrieve the precious hatchet, the changes in Brian's character and building shelters.
We watched two videos:  How to make a survival bow and arrow
                                         How to build a survival shelter

Then, we divided into two teams.  Since Brian had to survive using just the items in his backpack, we, too had to look around us and get creative with everyday items.  Points were awarded (in the form of raspberries) to those who could look at a paperclip and see a fish hook, or a phone charger cord as a shelter lashing. Teams had to successfully "survive" by obtaining the four basics:  Food, Shelter, Water, Fire

Our last week of class, we will celebrate with a BOOK BEE.  This is similar to a spelling bee, only answering questions about the five books we've read this semester.  Points will be awarded to individuals, and the Lit Wit with the most points will get first selection from the prize box.  Prizes may include gift cards, books, tentacle moustache, or notebooks.
May the odds be ever in your favor

Friday, April 28, 2017

Brian's interaction with WILD LIFE

This week's discussion had us examining our own survival skills.
We pointed out that in our previous books of survival, the characters had some knowledge and past experience helped them in their journey.
THIS time, Brian is a city boy.  He has no past experience.  No dad to show him how it's done.  He is surviving using his own ideas and learning from his mistakes.
Which kind are we?  Are we like Karana and Julie?  Or are we more like Brian?

We watched two videos:  The first one was how to survive a bear attack.  
                                          The second video was how to safely extract porcupine quills.

Outside we went with our flint and steel to test our skills at making a fire.  We suddenly had a lot of empathy for Brian.  Getting a spark to land right into the tinder "nest" is a challenge, and takes a lot of perseverance and patience!  However, we were successful a handful of times!  YAY!

Then, we practiced our bear attack survival pose.  Hands laced behind the neck, and protect the internal organs by laying flat on our bellies, legs spread.  "Mama Bear" Nalani tried her hardest to flip her prey over, but it proved impossible, and all of our victims survived!!

Next week, come prepared to discuss the exciting ending of our book!

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Our new book, Hatchet,  is full of intensity.
We learned a bit about the author and his past, and recognized that sometimes our real-life experiences make for a fantastic plot for writing stories.
Since the character in the book finds himself having to pilot an airplane, we logged onto a flight simulator (with Google Earth) and took turns flying over the cities.  It is A LOT more difficult than we expected.  None our of classroom pilots were able to land safely and made for some comical moments.

Continue reading the book, up to at least chapter 14, and come to class ready to discuss porcupine pricks, bear attacks, skunk sprays and starting a fire with flint and steel.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Number the Stars

This past week, we began our discussion of our new book, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
To set the scene of our story, we looked at a map of Denmark and noted how it shared a border with Germany and how close it is to Sweden.  We also learned a bit more about King Christian X of Denmark and the tough choices he had to make during the German occupation.
We saw illustrations of a Nazi soldier's uniform and agreed that it would be intimidating to see in our own neighborhood.  We also reminded ourselves about Adolf Hitler and his crazy ideas about the Master Race and why Jewish families were being relocated.  We all agreed that we would NOT want to have be separated from our families and go live with our friends' family, but that we understood that it was for our own protection from the German soldiers.

(Concentration Camps and Jewish extermination horrors were not discussed- I will leave that discussion up to the families)