Over the last few weeks, Mater Christi School fourth graders have been developing a deeper understanding of author’s craft and purpose. Students have been immersed in the works of Kate DiCamillo, a popular author of both the realistic fiction and fantasy genres. They have read some of her books, participated in literature circle discussion groups, learned about the author’s approach/voice, identified common literary themes, and they have analyzed DiCamillo’s writing to better understand what makes her stories so compelling.
As a culminating activity, students have begun recording podcasts. The first of the podcasts develops collaborative and cooperative working skills as students play the part of interviewer or book character (from either Tiger Rising or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane). Students use paraphrasing and reading from a prepared script to demonstrate character qualities and to show an understanding of concrete and inferred details from the story. The second podcast will discuss DiCamillo’s style and technique as a writer, asking students to ask questions and draw conclusions about the author’s writing style, similarities and differences among her works, and connections to the text. The podcasts are available for both students and parents to enjoy.
Grade Four and Five Literature Teacher