September 15, 2023

A Captivating Journey Through Literature

In Ms. Murrill’s sixth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) classes, students recently embarked on a captivating journey through literature. As a cumulative project for their summer reading novels (“Ungifted” by Gordon Korman, “Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Gennifer Choldenko or “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio), students were given the exciting opportunity to express their understanding through a variety of alternative assessments that allowed them to showcase their creativity, critical thinking and comprehension skills. Ms. Murrill’s innovative approach to assessing her students’ comprehension and literary analysis skills involved providing them with six diverse choices for their projects. Each project option encouraged students to explore their summer reading novels from a different perspective. Here are the options students could choose from:

  1. Beyond the Pages: Crafting a Captivating New Chapter: In this project, students were challenged to write a new chapter or epilogue for their chosen novel, seamlessly integrating their own creativity while staying true to the author’s style and themes.
  2. Imaginative Pages: Transforming a Novel into a Picture Book Adventure: Students could choose to convert their novel into a captivating picture book, using their artistic talents to illustrate key scenes and moments from the story.
  3. Novel Melodies: Transforming Stories into Song: For those musically inclined, this project option allowed students to compose and perform an original song inspired by their summer reading novel, highlighting its core themes and characters.
  4. Literary Assessment Adventure: Crafting a Comprehensive Story Test: This option required students to design a comprehensive story test, challenging their peers with thought-provoking questions that delved into the plot, characters and literary elements of their novels.
  5. Seussify Your Story: Creating a Dr. Seuss-Style Book: Students had the opportunity to reimagine their novels in the whimsical and rhyming style of Dr. Seuss, making their books engaging and accessible to a younger audience.
  6. Visualizing the Story: Creating a Graphic Novel Scene: For the visually inclined, this project allowed students to craft a graphic novel scene, capturing the essence of a crucial moment in their novel while paying attention to details, character expressions and panel layout.

Each of these alternative assessments challenged students to apply their knowledge, organize their thoughts and analyze the plot and relationships within their novels. They were encouraged to synthesize their understanding, evaluate literary elements and ultimately create something unique that showcased their deep connection with the text.

To explore the amazing projects created by Ms. Murrill’s sixth-grade ELA classes and witness their creativity in action, click on the links below:

  1. Beyond the Pages Project – Aiden Leyrer
  2. Imaginative Pages Project – Emma Buckson
  3. Novel Melodies Project & Song – Connor Michalak
  4. Literary Assessment Adventure – Clara Boerboom
  5. Seussify Your Story Project – Justice Potts
  6. Visualizing the Story Project – Paxton Malone

This approach not only engaged students in a meaningful exploration of literature but also empowered them to reach the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, promoting critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the texts they read. Congratulations to all the students for their outstanding work and creativity in Ms. Murrill’s ELA classes!

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