Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the life of a scribe or the "I Spy Literacy Center" by donna grimm


Front view of the literacy center.
Topic: The Life of a Scribe or the “I Spy Center”
Grade: k-6th - Because I will be displaying my center in a classroom for students ranging k-6th, I chose to cover all of those grades with literacy projects that were applicable to my classroom.
Literacy Objectives: Because I will display this center inside of an art room, I will be most interested in teaching the comprehension of ideas and professions associated with the fine arts. Literacy is a subject easily reinforced in the art classroom by including it in the methods and practices of lessons daily. However, it is not the primary goal of an art teacher to ultimately teach children “how” to read in specific. This is why my stated objectives lend themselves to broader analysis of what children will absorb from having a literacy center in the art classroom in specific.
  • After reading or hearing “Marguerite Makes A Book” and/or “The Medieval Scribearticle, students will understand that scribes must interpret what they read and write in order to illustrate those ideas and stories accurately.
  • After reading and looking at the books on display, students will comprehend how those skills needed in literacy activities are important to people who choose the professions associated with scribes.
  • Students will learn spelling, comprehension, reading, and gaming skills needed to better achieve literacy goals, within the parameters of their own age group, after playing the games at the literacy center.
Books On Display:
  • Marguerite Makes A Book” by Bruce Robertson, Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (This book is published by the Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and is primarily written to teach children about the arts and literature during the medieval era.)
  •  “I Spy A to Z” by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
  • “A to Z of Animals” by Peter David Scott
  • “ABCD3D” by Marion Bataile
  • “The calligraphy bible” by David Harris
  •  “Masterpieces of Illumination” by Ingo F. Walther and Norbert Wolf
  • “Word Fun” by Sara Gray
  • “ABC A child’s first alphabet book” by Alison Jay
  • “Calligraphy Techniques” by Mary Noble
  • “D is for Drinking Gourd” by Sanders and “D is for Dancing Dragon” by Crane any books published in this series will do
  •  “How Many” by Ron Van Der Meer
Closer view of the literacy center with the "I Spy" cabinet
doors open.
Activity books for young students:
  • “Follow the Letters” by Sandy Creek publishers
  • “Colors and Shapes Discovery” by Disney publishers
  •  “Write & Slide Phonics” by Hinkler Books publishers
Materials Needed: If another teacher were to create this center, these are the materials they would need.
  1. One large box covered with newsprint and letters. I used Mod-Podge to put this together quickly and economically.
  2. Inside of this box I hot-glued a wide variety of small toys and letters to create my “I spy” cupboard.
  3.  Cut the backboard for the display from a large refrigerator box and cover this also with newsprint down one side and a more decorative paper down the opposite half. I used a medieval looking printed paper for the half of the display representing the time period of my characters in “Marguerite Makes A Book”
  4.  I also used small boxes wrapped in the same papers to display may card games and vocabulary strips. After wrapping these I glued them to the backboard. This application helps teachers to use space effectively and also helps with organization.
Four Literacy Activities Are Required: Teachers may develop literacy activities for their classroom from this plan even though I would use it also to introduce art activities associated with it’s theme. Because most people who will be viewing my center are to become “homeroom” teachers, I have decided to list here the literacy activities in particular. I also have art lessons planed to use with this center but these are not included on the discussion board at this time.
1.) Read “The Medieval Scribe” and fill out the graphic organizer is an activity for 5th and 6th graders: This is a reading activity that helps students discern important facts about scribes from the Medieval Era.
Above are the alphabet soup bowls made from paper mache and yarn.
I also include many different letter styles, types and fonts for students
to work with.
2.)“Alphabet Soup Game” Spelling Game Activity for 1rst- 3rd Graders: This activity can be played by many children all at once but they need the guidance of an older student, teacher, or a child who can read relatively well. The activity reinforces phonics and many other important literacy strategies depending upon the lists of words the instructor chooses to use with it. I included these lists to read from:
  •  High Frequency Words like: a, about, be but, call, called, did, down, each, eat, find, for, get, good, had, how, into, it, just, know, like, made, no, of, out, people, said, then, up, us, was, water, etc...
  • “Word families” lists such as: phonograms using ill – bill, chill, fill, hill, kill mill, pill, quill, spill, still, and will
The teacher or student in charge of the lists simply reads words aloud from them while students playing alphabet soup use the letters in their bowls to spell out the recited word. I’ve also included small sand timers so that the students will be limited to the amount of time they take to spell the word out correctly.
A closer look at the "I Spy" game cabinet that I made for my classroom.
This game also doubles as an interesting still life presentation for budding
young artists to draw from!
Optional “Alphabet Soup Game” Activity: Older students may also roll dice in order to make spelling games more challenging. Each player would roll the dice to discern the number of letters in a word they would be required to spell. After words have been used by one player, other students should not be allowed to repeat those same words during the same game.

3.) “I Spy Game” for emergent readers and beginning readers: This activity helps young students visually identify shapes, letters, colors, and also to solve riddles/clues associated with those objects.  Practicing these skills will help young readers to identify the visual differences in the alphabet. Students may either play this game alone or with two or three other people.  This game may also be played with a larger group. There are two sets of cards for the “I spy” cupboard. One set of flash cards has objects listed for the students to find, the other set of  cards gives students the more difficult option of solving a riddle before finding an object.
4.) Play “Medieval Trivia” for 4th – 6th graders: This comprehension activity helps students remember the characters and vocabulary found the book, “Marguerite Makes A Book” Students should read the book first, then partner up with one other student to play with the flash cards. (I will also read aloud this book to a younger class in cases where the students are to young to read the story on their own.)
I made this alphabet pocket chart from felt and
then trimmed it with blanket stitching.
 5.) Play with an “Alphabet Pocket Chart” for emergent and beginning readers: This activity helps early readers identify their alphabet letters and the phonemic sounds these make. Students are given pictures of objects and asked to categorize these according to the first letter used to name the object, action, or person pictured. An example of this would be:
·      If the child has a picture of an apple he or she would put this picture in the pocket labeled “a” for apple.
·      If the child has a picture of two people hugging he or she might put this picture in the “h” pocket for hugs or he may put the picture in the “p” pocket for people. Both answers would be right but, you may need to ask the child why he or she has put it in a particular pocket in order to assess his/her success at this activity.                          
Word Walls: I included two word walls and tag board vocabulary strips as well. The vocabulary of a medieval scribe is pasted on the right hand side of the display and the vocabulary of a modern scribe is pasted on the left hand side of the display. I felt the two lists would give my center greater flexibility in the future because I would be able to use it when teaching any future units on illustration/web design as well. I have yet to find a book based upon the modern subject but, I will be looking for it during the summer months. After I have purchased it, I will then develop a compare contrast activity to go with the two word walls. 
Left, is a close-up view of the modern language word wall. Vocabulary listed 
here is used in modern publishing: scene, gutter, hard copy, editing, author,
illustrator etc... Right, is a close-up view of the medieval word wall. 
Vocabulary list here is much older: manuscript, quill, scribe, gold leaf etc...