Week 5 Fifth Grade
Five Strange Packages (Fiction, Level 15, Stage 2) by Mark Littleton
What could be more intriguing than a few young friends discovering 5 mysterious packages in a storm drain, hearing whimpers and wines from those packages and realizing there is an ensuing storm? This week’s book had all of that and more, which was really engaging for my mystery-loving 5th grader. And not only did this story hold his attention, but thanks to the activities provided in the guided lesson, this book helped him build prediction, comprehension, critical thinking, and problem solving skills as well.
The activity I want to highlight this week is the Problem and Solution Chart for Five Strange Packages. For this activity the following columns are provided for completion across 5 days: Characters, Problems, Then, and Solutions; and the following instructions are given: For levels 11-21 the activity is completed by the student independently since he/she should now be able to use the graphic organizers (charts) in various types of reading assignments. When I asked Elijah to do this on his own, as he is now accustomed to, he had a little trouble identifying what each character’s problem was, but once I told him he could include personal issues as well as issues that pertained to the storyline and gave a small example, he then had no trouble at all. The only difficult part about including personal issues was the Solution portion, but of course, this gave us the perfect opportunity to talk about how many times personal issues are not something that reach a solution but rather they act as challenges that can be overcome or endured in order to accomplish something (such as Peter’s missing arm). In the end I think we were all surprised at the courage of these young children to rescue the packages, which turned out to be puppies, and we had a healthy discussion about what my little guys should do if they come across a similar situation. I must say it was interesting to hear what they thought about risking punishment and even their lives to save 5 cute little puppies, and I am so thankful for the opportunity given by this book and guided lesson to talk about so many different things!
For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.