Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Reports?

4th grade has definitely raised the bar for expectations this year. Noah is still keeping his hold on all A's but some of the requirements are taking a wee bit more guidance than in the past.

Every month he has had a different type of "book report" that have been increasing in requirements and elaborate details. I have tried very hard to stay as uninvolved as possible so that his projects are indeed his own. Because the projects are elaborate though, I have helped with time management, having him do small portions each weekend so that it isn't all left until the night before.

For October he had to read a mystery and then create a cereal box with a different part of the story on each panel, and then pick an item to put inside as a "clue" as to what the mystery was.

For November he had to read a biography (he chose Neil Armstrong) and complete a detailed outline about his person.
This was followed up in December by presenting a biographical speech to his class as the person, including dressing up as the person. It was definitely a challenge to come up with a costume, and the preparation of a speech took a LOT of practice runs in our living room. I am kicking myslef that I didn't take a picture of the final costume nor did I record his speech. They were pretty good.

For January, he had to read a Newbery (yes, one R is correct) winner and create a very detailed poster with specific criteria. He picked a book of which he had seen the movie, which prompted me to question him profusely to make sure he was reading the book and not basing his poster on the movie. I was amazed at how different the book of Tale of Despereaux was from the movie. He thought that was pretty cool too and when we watched the movie after his presentation, he spent the time telling us us time the movie
was different from the book. His poster turned out great. I loved the illustrations he created.

This month took the cake. They had to read a legend, myth or fable...and then wr
ite a script based on the fable, create puppets of the characters and finally present the puppet show to the class. I don't think I could have done this in high school, let alone 4th grade! I had Noah write out the script on the computer (so editing was easier) and I found that not only was he learning to write a script with dialogue, but he also was learning a lot more word processing along the way.

So here is his puppet show. It did get a little better and a few more details after this taping but you can get the gist of his play. I love the expression on his sun's face and that he made a puppet of himself to tell the moral :)

His presentations are getting more confident as each one comes and I am proud that he is taking more ownership each time. I do, however, dread the last few projects though. Who knows what else this teacher will cook up? And kind of worried about what FIFTH grade is going to put us through.

Oh, and even 2nd grade had a project this month as well. Come up with 100 items that are small and light enough to glue onto poster board to hang in the hall celebrating the 100th day of school. When did 100's day become a holiday? sometime between when I was in school in the dark ages and now. Aaron picked cards, which end up super heavy and after he did his project and went to bed I ended up having to re-glue and also tape the cards to ensure they didn't fall off. But he was very proud of his idea.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of "school projects that take over our lives"

1 comment:

The Bumbles said...

As one addicted to puppets and puppet shows as a child and now an adult, I was very fond of your son's puppet show. Clever way to make finger puppets. I loved his script and the way each frog "disappeared" at the end. Great moral and creativity. I'm sure he got an A+!