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Elementary School Book Club: Animal Minds
Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking? Or imagined what it would be like to be a gorilla at the zoo? This class will explore the world from an animal's perspective, examining several works of literature and science that attempt to answer the question: What is it like to be an animal? Animals are a favorite topic of many young readers, making them an excellent foray into the more advanced reading and writing endeavors that the class features.
Each day of class includes lessons designed around the core components of reading, writing, vocabulary, and public speaking. Throughout the day, students engage with several different texts through deep, independent reading and guided analysis. The class features one longer work that students read both in class and at home, and multiple shorter pieces that we close-read together in class. Our daily writing exercises are balanced between activities intended to foster a love of writing and lessons that target specific academic writing skills. Students spend time not just writing, but also critiquing, revising, and reflecting on their writing with the guidance of their instructor. Each day also features interactive games and public speaking exercises, including class discussion and debate, readers' theater, and competitive team activities.
Woven into all of our reading, writing, and public speaking activities are key academic vocabulary terms, which are built into the lessons to arise at exactly the right moment when they will be the most relevant and memorable. Students practice this new vocabulary throughout each class, and end every day with a cumulative vocabulary game that challenges them to apply all of the new words they have acquired.
Students will leave this course having fortified their reading and thinking skills, prepared and excited to tackle new texts. In particular, this course aims to help students:
- build more advanced reading skills, including comprehension and analysis,
- foster a sense of pleasure in reading and writing,
- hone more sophisticated writing capabilities,
- expand their academic vocabulary, and
- gain confidence in public speaking.
This two-week course meets Monday through Friday for three hours each day, and is designed for students entering grades 2-5.
Space is very limited for our summer programs. Please do not wait until the last minute to enroll. If there is more than a week before the course starts, a $200 deposit will be due when enrolling, with the balance due one week before the course begins.
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