“Not Just Smoke Signals” Week 25 Fourth Grade
Messages Without Words (Non-Fiction, Level 14, Stage 3) by David Corke
The Bush Telegraph (Fiction, Level 14, Stage 3) by Jacqueline Crompton Ottaway
Airport signs, mathematical symbols, Morse code, marker buoys, maps, torch messages, traffic lights, sign language, umpire signals, road signs, and more – These are the various ways the human race communicates without words, and we had so much fun learning about all of them this week. Messages Without Words is a non-fiction book that describes in detail the various ways we communicate and why each one is used, and The Bush Telegraph is a story that illustrates how this can be valuable for kids in distress. These two books were so good that the entire family learned something new!
The activity I want to highlight this week is the Survey Chart. AlphaSkills is primarily a reading curriculum – I’ve always known that, but I am always amazed at how many different skills can be built through the use of just a couple of books and some very well-written lesson plan activities. Through the Survey Chart activity this week my fourth grader was able to survey the book in search of visuals that gave important information about each chapter title, change the subtitles or headings into questions to display the content in a new way, extract a few things the author reveals as important about the content, find answers to questions posed in the text, and write the main ideas of each chapter. All of this was in addition to the other activities listed in the Guided Lesson as well as the various learning areas highlighted in the Independent Assessment Booklets for each book.
As you can see, I always feel like I am getting more than enough bang for my buck with this program – So much to learn each week, and always in a way that is right on-level! For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.