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Summer SAVY, Session 2 Day 4, Playing with Words (1st – 2nd)

Posted by on Friday, June 21, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Happy Friday, and thanks for hopping in to read about our last day of Playing with Words!

This week has been a literal and figurative adventure as we have learned all about the wonders of language. We laughed, cried (just a few frustrated tears), danced, and smiled our way through the exploration of figurative language through high-quality literature. Here’s a glimpse into how we spent our day today.

We began by playing WordPlay review games, which required students to generate similes and metaphors, homonyms and homophones, adjectives and nouns for given categories, and identify personification of various objects and entities. We read the book, Autumn, aloud and then created sentences that personified our favorite season of the year. Next, we learned about symbolism in literature. We began with a discussion of symbols seen in students’ everyday environments and then expanded into symbols seen in literature. Students came away with a solid understanding that symbols are objects or representations that hold a deeper meaning than their primary purpose/intent. The books, Drinking Gourd and Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, were used to demonstrate this literary device.

After lunch, students wrote a paragraph on their favorite season being sure to incorporate some of the figurative language we’ve learned so far. We used peer editing to provide feedback, once again. Students were receptive and caring in their feedback using the Glows and Grows model with great efficacy.

After our Organized Recreational Activity time, we explored wordless picture books and how they progress a plot using the book, Flotsam. Students enjoyed generating titles and captions for various images shown on the projector. This activity got quite humorous!  We rounded out our discussion and learning today by exploring Concrete Poems, or poems where the arrangement of words on a page plays a role in the function and purpose of the poem. Students then created their own Concrete Poem representation.

To showcase our learning and put our figurative language knowledge to the test, we did our final Design, Describe, and Write challenge this afternoon. Students had to design a creation and then write a fictional tale about a change that their creation undergoes using the literary devices we learned about this week: similes, metaphors, personification, homonyms/homophones, and symbolism. We were blown away by the concrete representations they created and by the quality and depth of their writing.

As a reminder, the objectives for our course set forth at the beginning of the week were as follows:

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Develop analytical and interpretive skills through exposure to a variety of literature.
  • Recognize, analyze, and use figurative language in writing.
  • Develop persuasive writing skills through the creation and revision of authentic literary pieces.
  • Use context clues and analogies to discover word meanings and develop vocabulary skills while reading selections.
  • Deepen their understanding of the concept of change, especially changes related to language.

I am confident in saying that your students have mastered these course objectives over the past four days of instruction.  I have taught many gifted learners over my teaching career, and this was one of the kindest, most caring, and intellectually advanced group of kiddos I have ever been privileged to work with. It has been an honor and delight to take part in such amazing growth in your students this week, and I hope to see them again next year!

-Dr. Nadia Rylander