Writing - Finishing Poppy

by RSBSADMIN | Oct 22, 2013 2:54:14 PM

Poppy is Over  :-(

Every single student in my classroom can now say that they have read a chapter book as we have finished reading Poppy. I’m not sure who is more bummed out, me or my students.

I really enjoy all parts and days of CIA, but the Read In is probably one of my favorite days. For our Read In for Poppy, I called on the students to meet me on the floor and to grab their dots to sit on, as well as a copy of the book. Many students asked me about taking their CIA notebooks with them, I responded no and they looked so confused. I explained how today was a Read In and that we were just going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the book. I was asked if we were going to do Turn and Talks. When I said no to this one, they looked at me as if I had grown a second head. I then explained how we were just going to enjoy the book as we had done all the hard work. I then asked if we could stop talking so we could read it because I really wanted to see what happened at the end. This really got them excited. To top it off, I then surprised them with a lollipop and their very own CIA bracelet. The CIA bracelets were a huge hit, some students had them on during student pictures the next day, and are still wearing them 2 weeks later!

We then got started on the Read In! In the perfect world, we wouldn’t have been interrupted by the phone call (“Do you need to get it Ms. Smith?”) or by someone coming to ask a question of me, but it just showed how hooked and engaged the students were with the book. Sadly, we didn’t finish reading the book during reading that day as we had to go to lunch, but the class was fine with us finishing it after recess. Seriously, I don’t think my class has ever come in from recess so quickly before!

When we had finished the book, the class looked relieved, bummed and happy at the same time. This is when it helps to be prepared. I then pulled out the other books Avi wrote about Poppy and Ereth. Some of my higher readers have since decided to read one of these books, and the other students are looking at it as a challenge to improve in their reading to be able to read them.


We then worked on the synthesis summary of the entire book. I explained how this summary wasn’t to be as detailed as our ¼ summary at the end of the first quadrant. I said it was going to be similar to the blurb, but that we were going to give away the ending which definitely isn’t done in the blurb. We created a list of the most important events as a class. The students then worked on their writing. For writing, we use the program Style and Structure which has the students work on adding dress ups to their writing. I gave the students the challenge of adding 3 adjectives to their writing. This became great practice in not just writing a summary, but made the connection to what we are already working on during writing.

For the past week, we’ve been working on our formal writing. I’ll be honest, in the past I sometimes did this writing, and sometimes did not. Now, I realize I was in a way stealing the students the opportunity to live in the world of the book or the genre that we had just experienced. This formal writing is super and with a strong purpose! The students write a persuasive letter to Walt Disney productions for why Poppy should be made into a movie.

As in other aspects of CIA, Sarah provides the scaffolding so all students can do it. First, she provides a drafting sheet that the students can use to organize their writing. I really liked this, but found my students wrote a bit bigger than the room allowed in the form she created, so I simply recreated the drafting sheet with more space. Then, if you look closely at the drafting sheet the students have already written two of the paragraphs already in their Synthesis Summary, as well as one of the paragraphs in their Turning Point writing. For the other paragraphs, the students need to provide the ideas within the format.

By writing the letters, the students are getting a chance to think about the story as a whole. They are looking at what they think about Poppy and what they learned from her. They are able to come up with why they think it would be a good movie. Students responses to why it would be a good movie have ranged from it is an adventure and funny (Poppy was in Ereth’s toilet is a common favorite part) to viewers can learn about a real hero.

At a training I had attended with Sarah about CIA, she shared how a teacher had mailed the letters to Disney. I really like this idea a lot, so we will be doing this with our letters when we finish them this week. If you are interested, this is the mailing address that I was told about: Walt Disney Productions; 500 S. Buena Vista St.; Burbank, CA 91521.

I would love to give the students more time to work on their letters, but also want to get started on the next story, The War with Grandpa. I told this to the students, and they were in agreement. I shared how I didn’t know when we could finish our writing. They said during science would be ok. I was seriously floored when they were willing to give up science and learning about plants if that meant that they could finish writing their letters and start reading the next book. I think this means my class is hooked on CIA!

I hope you are getting hooked on CIA like my students!

Keep reading!

Written by Dawn Smith --- 3rd Grade Teacher

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