Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The extended portion of our LA block has started off with a bang, working with the "Perfectly Proper Pronouns" story to gently introduce the kids to the concept of proper pronoun usage. The story is pretty mild (the above summary is pretty much all there was to it -- of course the story was much more detailed than that, but that was pretty much the entire content), and both boys complained about it after I read it to them on Monday. "That's it?!" asked J, with a note of disgust in his voice. "I like stories where things happen," commented Zoo Boy. He's still disappointed that we're not reading any more Word Family Stories.

So Tuesday we recalled the story and composed the summary, then drew our story pictures. I decided that, after 4 weeks of free drawings, it was time for another led-drawing. I was probably right, as the kids didn't follow me real closely with their drawings. I'm going to switch off between led and free drawings for awhile to try to find a balance. Anyway, above is J's drawing, and this is Zoo Boy's.

Then today the boys wrote the summaries out. J's is at the top, and Zoo Boy, who was instructed to choose one sentence to write, chose the key sentence in the story -- The new King walked in front of the Old King.

Then we played a game based on the story. One of us was the poor subject and one of was the old King (indicated by a crown). The subject hides some jewels, then recites a verse about showing the king where there are jewels, and the King insists that the subject should keep the jewels for his hungry family. The subject leads the way to the jewels, then the King puts his crown on the subject's head, and he's the new King, while we all recite "Our lives may be changed as we wander the Earth, but our names stay the same from the day of our birth". We played several rounds before the kids moved into free play -- during which they, of course, dressed up as a knight and king and continued to play out their own version of the story.

My drawing, for comparison. The funny part of this drawing is that I think I really should have them headed in the other direction for it to make sense when writing a sentence based on this concept, but didn't realize that until I was nearly done. It didn't end up mattering much, since neither of the kids drew their kings in the same configuration I used (Zoo Boy's are headed the way I should have done mine, and J's are facing each other). Oh well. Should have given it more thought first! While I was muttering to myself about it, J was working on writing the title on his drawing, so, ever the comedian, he wrote "Perfectly (well, not really) Proper Pronouns." What a card.

ANYWAY! Our game will morph over time into a more direct use of pronouns (for example: "I ate breakfast. She ate breakfast. She and I ate breakfast.", etc). The lines from the game we are playing now will serve as reminders when the kids make mistakes. For example, if they were to say "I and she ate breakfast," I could remind them "You lead the way and I'll follow behind" (or more simply, the new king walked in front of the old king). If they were to say "I ate breakfast. She ate breakfast. She and me ate breakfast," I could remind them "Our names stay the same from the day of our birth." The visual image that we established with the story, drawing and game will support their later understanding of proper pronoun use.

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