Friday, December 12, 2014

An Amazing Thing! Literature and Writing

It happens that we are making use of a writing program  called Write-On, that I have had for a couple years, to bring back the fun into writing and break it back down into very small pieces.  Instead of just working once a month to finish a "big" assignment.  We are working every day on "fun" writing and slip in more extensive writing projects as we go along.  It just seems like writing is a struggle for all my kids..probably because it was a struggle for me also.  It is FAR from my favorite subject to teach.  

At Learn For Your Life, you can learn a bit more about this writing program.  It has been designed to work for multi-age, homeschooling families.  Even if you school at home with an online school, these are usually fast activities that can supplement composition.

Anyway, it just happened that we are beginning to explore the ideas of "conflict" in writing.

Wikipedia states:  In literature, the literary element conflict is an inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. 

Two words right away that the children will need to consider are "inherent incompatibility".  I'm all about introducing all sorts of vocabulary.   I have found that my children love to be "just told" what words mean but I on the same side....they very seldom remember it later so...dictionary it is.  Takes time but they surely do remember the words and their meanings better!

I often google images, for our own personal use, save and print to put in a binder to help refresh our memory.  I like to give the exact location credit in the blog here but it's not always the easiest task, I have found!

Anyway, we really only discuss the first 4...but it doesn't hurt for them to be aware of the 5th, character vs. fate also.   For the 4th grader's sake, we had to give quite a few examples of INTERNAL conflict (against self) and EXTERNAL conflict.  :-)  

I was pleasantly surprised that the kids had already gleaned this information from their studies.  :-)  Sometimes I had "wondered" how much they really got!  So, it ended up being more of a review anyway.  I was sure I'd have to spend more time on it!

At the last library trip, I picked up all sorts of picture books.  I came across a neat website called READ WRITE THINK and they have a document that I am putting to use.  Picture books that illustrate strong plot development and conflict resolution  No PERSON is too old for picture books!!!  So, now they get to read some for "school" not just for free reading.  You can access the document here.

It worked out that when all said and done I had 4 books for each conflict type without digging through our own book selection.  :-)  Yippee!  

Character vs. Character

Character vs. Nature

Character vs. Self

Character vs. Society
Many of them were "new" to my kids...they never read them that's awesome! get to the point...I was reviewing the lesson plans for Cricket in Times Square
 and what do you know....they are touching on CONFLICT!  Who knew...I didn't go ahead in the literature guide after the first few chapters because they were all very easy to this was a surprise for me.  I love those kinds of surprises.  Perfect!  Introduce conflict types with Cricket in Times Square and move onto using the same concept in Writing.  YIPPPEEE!  How often does that just work on it's own?  Not very....let me tell you...normally I have to tweak it all to make us touch on the same things at the same time.  Lucky Schooling at Home Mommy!  :-D

On the same note:  it just happened that my K student's literature and science went hand in hand also this week!  We were doing Seasons in Science and read the book, Animals in Winter.
A nice little book by the way!  In Literature, we were reading one of the AWESOME
K12 World Magazines and the article was called "Migrating Monarchs".   Both books for science and literature touched on the same topics.  How cool is that?!  Normally I have to plan it all out if I want something to happen that way.  :-D
By the way, I absolutely LOVE K12's World Reader magazines.  
We've had them up to 6th grade...I'm not sure when they stop using them in their literature curriculum.

On top of that, in the NEXT chapter of Cricket in Times Square  is about seasons and the picture book When the Root Children Wake Up, a book I'm reading to focus on settings, is about seasons also.  

I'll have to say that I don't expect this to happen so easily again but woohoo!  I'll take it when it does!

Thanks for joining this Schooling at Home Mom in her MOST exciting adventures.  LOL

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