Term 2 at Primary MattersJanuary – March 2017 Next term at Primary Matters we are embarking on an important unit of work – Literary Essays. ‘Literary Essays’ may seem like a rather grand title for what we will be doing but for the older students this is most appropriate. For the younger students, particularly those in Years 4 and 5, the writing we will undertake could more appropriately be entitled ‘Personal Written Responses to Literature.’ Please note that next term’s work will not be a book report or a book review; some students, as well as parents, may envisage something quite different to what we will be teaching! In this unit students will be asked to read a novel, one that has been chosen specifically for their age group. Students will cover the unit at an age appropriate level, and will be asked to ‘read like writers’, paying attention to every detail – details that young readers often overlook in their rush to get the story finished. They will learn that, for literary essayists, some aspects of a book merit special attention e.g. character. Students will be invited to ‘live’ with the story and gather entries of significance in their readers’ notebooks. From these entries they will select a ‘seed’ idea that will be developed into one or two essays; in the case of the younger students, the outcome will be a series of short ‘essays’/responses. An essential component of the course will be 'book club' get togethers to discuss important aspects of the novel with peers; this part of the reading workshop looks and sounds like an adult book club, where readers come to the session prepared with theories and ideas to share. After a few group book clubs sessions students will be asked to write a ‘thesis statement,’ which will focus upon what the text is really about - in most cases the emphasis will be on how characters change or learn across the story. As with all ‘Writing about Reading’ units, the work we are doing next term will help students become better writers, thinkers and readers. Skills and Strategies students will be taught next term: 1. How to make entries of significance in their notebooks. 2. How to write 'inside' the story to flesh out ideas. 3. How to think and write interpretively - how to embed quotations, anecdotes and observations in paragraphs. 4. How to develop provocative ideas and discover how stories connect with real lives. 5. How to find and test a thesis statement. 6. How to find evidence from the text to support claims. 7. How to use higher order thinking skills: comparing, analyzing, hypothesising, synthesising and evaluating the text (older students will learn how to 'critique' the text). 8. Students will learn that literary essayists read and re-read texts to dig deeper into what the story is really about. To sign up for next term’s workshops, contact Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 25261153/94654468 for more information. The closing date for registration is Friday 9th December. Home Tutoring Groups If your child is unable to attend our school venues do get in touch to find out more about our tailor made Home Tutoring Courses. Groups of 3 - 6 students can be accommodated in these settings. All classes next term will start the week beginning 9th January. Parents should note that priority is given to students who already attend our courses. Registration for January 2017 Registration is open for Term 2 and application forms (for new students only) are now available on the website. Completed forms should be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Please note that some of our classes fill up very quickly indeed: it is always best to reserve a space as soon as possible so as to avoid disappointment. If you have questions do give us a call.
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