Sunday, April 26, 2015

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Seventh grade language arts students have been into the library recently to celebrate poetry during National Poetry Month. They "wrote" poems during two different activities: book spine poetry and found poetry.

During our look at book spine poetry, students worked with partners to "write" poems using books mainly from the fiction collection. While the shelves looked "well loved" after the activity, it was definitely worth it!

Students came into the library later for another activity--found poetry. With two options for "writing," some students chose to extract words from a scene in an independent reading book, like this poem based on a scene from Divergent.

The second option students had to "write" a found poem was to choose only the words they wanted from a page from a weeded book. After looking at several examples, the creativity flowed!

Check out some of their work below:

Monday, April 13, 2015

And the Winner Is. . .

Today the Iowa Association of School Librarians announced the winners of the state award books. Already students at the Middle School voted Prisoner B-3087 as the building-wide winner. (See this earlier blog post.) With more than 8,600 Iowa students voting from over 50 schools, Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero was announced as the statewide winner.

Remember, you can access next year's book list HERE and get a head start on reading the requirement to vote again! You'll probably recognize a few favorites. . . like The False Prince, QB1, See You at Harry's, and Unstoppable.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HP & the Goblet of Fire Book Club Meeting

Book Club met again today, this time to talk about--and cast several different votes for!--Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The focus of our conversation was three areas students voted on when they entered: the three triwizarding tournament challenges or tasks, new magic introduced in this book, and Harry's abilities as a wizard.

After an all-boys 6th grade Book Club vote, the coolest new magic was overwhelmingly decided to be the unforgivable curses; however, when the all-girl 7th grade Book Club met, aparating was closing the gap. Portkeys were considered new magic, as was the pensieve, but they each received very few, if any, votes. 

Students also voted on the most outrageous or challenging of the tournament tasks, and facing the dragons was the hands-down winner. The water task and maze both tied for second place. The dragons' unpredictability was most often cited as the reason why they were the most difficult task.

The final vote concerned Harry himself. Students voted 2-to-1 that Harry was a very lucky wizard versus a very talented wizard. Many noted, though, that he had to be a good wizard to have some of the lucky breaks that he did.

Join us at the end of the month when we'll be talking about book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Students also took time to recommend several different titles that we hadn't already talked about, many of them books in a series. Maybe you see one of your favorites on the list.