The newest batch of middle schoolers are introduced to the wonderful world of literature. This quarter, the sixth graders are immersed in literary and reading skills through engaging yet structured group activities. Called as literature circle, this activity can be briefly described as follows:
- a gathering of small groups to discuss a piece of literature in depth
- a book club that has more structure
For this activity, students are divided into groups and are assigned different tasks per story. These tasks include Super Summarizers, Wise Word Finders, Quick Question Makers, and Imaginative Illustrators.
At the end of each given time, students gather in a big group to talk about the story, focusing on their assigned task.
As we approach the second quarter, students are more familiar with the literary skills and terms that will be useful as they take on more advanced literary pieces. Said skills will be necessary when we tackle the novel “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.
The Grade 5 students began the year reading about myths. I’ve observed how students from all over the world would be fascinated with myths. They’re even more excited to write their own!
After reading several myths and watching videos, they were very eager to start writing one. Some chose to write about the beginning of a natural phenomenon, while others wrote about clashes among gods and goddesses. Most importantly, they incorporated morals. Of course, no writing would complete without having it published. We ended the activity with having each student read his/her own myth aloud for the class to enjoy.
Here’s a sample student work which was also featured in the school’s newsletter to parents. Happy reading!
The Grade 12 Language and Literature SL class presented and listened to a series of further oral activities which highlighted the representation and construction of gender.
One group focused on how the Bond girls are represented in various movie posters from the ’60′s to the 2010′s. The students noted the common aspects of Bond films:
These elements remained throughout the franchise. The students also considered how the context shifted with each decade:
In the earlier posters, the women were normally scantily clad and were normally shown to be smaller when compared to the image of the debonair Bond. However, by the 2010′s women were depicted to be powerful forces, of equal stature (or even greater) to Bond:
Another group focused on women’s association with the color pink and selected 3 films from different decades:
The group identified qualities associated with pink and discussed to some extent how the color affected perception of the different characters.
The further oral activities depicted the many perspectives one can take in evaluating the construction of feminine identity.
If one were asked what the Lord of the Rings and Iron Man have in common, it wouldn’t be surprising to see furrowed eyebrows and quizzical looks. After all, one is written by Tolkien and another a product of Marvel Comics. The hero of one is a Hobbit of simple tastes while the other is a flashy billionaire with sleek armour.
However, as the Grade 9 studied the Epic Hero Cycle for the Battle between Hektor and Achilles and the Journey of Theseus, they applied the same to modern films.
As it turns out, the journey of Frodo Baggins and Tony Stark are similar. Both were propelled into a journey, accepted help from others, suffered losses and yet overcame them to gain new perspectives. The Epic Hero cycle then is not only for the time of the Greeks; it has set the template for stories and films and shaped storytelling as we know it.
Over the first part of the first quarter, the Grade 8 students were exposed to a variety of creation myths. They read “Panku Creates the World” and “Nuwa Creates People” and discussed how these myths reflect on Chinese values and traditions.
The class also read “The Origin of Japan and her People” and “Marduk Creates the World from the Spoils of Battle” (Babylonian) and they noticed how creation myths have similar plots. In fact, they were able to trace some elements of the myth to modern-day adventure stories.
We’d like to thank all the parents that came to Open House. It was a lovely opportunity for us to connect with you and to share our curriculum goals.
For those parents who weren’t able to attend, we’ve attached our presentations for Grades 6 to 10 and for the IB courses for your perusal. This also includes the reading list for all grades this year, for those parents who were requesting a copy.