“Secret Agent Kid?” Week 5 Fourth Grade
Double Switch (Fiction, Level 12, Stage 3) by Diana Noonan
A young boy, very tall for his age, who just happens to dress like a spy and slink around town with a briefcase is mistakenly apprehended by the police in place of an actual spy. No, you’re not reading a headline from this week’s edition of Strange News. You’re just reading a synopsis for this fourth grade AlphaSkills book. And as you can see, this one was quite a surprising tale, which turned out to be incredibly entertaining for the whole family.
The activity I want to highlight for this week is the Prediction Chart, which for Level 12 is meant to be completed jointly by the student and teacher. For this activity, the student is encouraged to read a certain passage and think about what he/she thinks will happen next in the story and why he/she predicted this. Then after reading the next selection he/she is asked to go back and record what actually happened and what information he/she learned that will help with the next prediction. As you may have guessed from the snippet above, our predictions were a little off-base on the account of this being such an extraordinary story, but we did learn that while surprises make predictions difficult, they make reading very exciting! I love how the prediction activities are teaching my fourth grader to look for foreshadowing in a story and measure it wisely.
My favorite part of this week’s AlphaSkills lesson was discovering how quickly seemingly harmless discussions with a fourth grader can make me rethink things myself. This happened after Elijah was asked to create a poster advertising a real spy’s services, to which he replied with numerous questions about spies, secret agents, and government agencies. After all, what do real spies do? Is it legal? Is it ethical? How would they advertise for their services? Or would they? Pretty deep, if I do say so myself. For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.