Read all about how 6th graders at Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy are using SMART in their ELA class!
In 6th grade English we are writing narrative stories. Narratives are my favorite because they allow students to unleash their imagination while they are learning structures and elements of an essay. In this particular essay they are writing about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. We got to explore the biomes of the mountain and learned about my own personal experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Being able to integrate other subject areas into mine, is my favorite part of teaching English. It is a joy to see an extra layer of excitement about their narrative because they can talk to someone that completed the journey. Narrative writing is my favorite genre, and its amazing being able to share it with my students.
- Alycia Barlow, 6th Grade ELA Teacher @ChangeMakers Academy
A recent interview with two 6th graders:
Tell me more about the narrative project you are working on:
Kendall: “Well, we are making up a story about what happens as we climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. We write about the biomes we are going through and the challenges we face. This assignment is helping us think about important writing skills and pushing our imagination.”
Jeffrey: “This type of writing let’s our imagination out and let’s us be more creative. In elementary school, they didn’t let us do this, everything had to be a specific way. Also, with this assignment we mix Science and ELA!”
Tell me a little bit more about your own narrative piece:
Kendall: “In my story, I am in a big group and we have one cook that makes all the food for everyone, but the food gets stolen and that’s where my adventure starts.”
Jeffrey: “My title is “Mt.Kili the Abominable Adventurer." My story has an unidentified character that decides to climb the mountain.”
Why is this kind of writing important for students to do?
Jeffrey: “You add so many voices to your writing, even though we are writing this on our own. I think it sets a path for us and gives us practice in our writing. Before we wrote things just to write, but we are learning to use quotation marks and commas. We are learning where they belong or and how these set apart characters.”
Kendall: "I want to be a geologist when I grow up and I want to write books about geology. The writing I am doing today is helping my prepare for my writing in the future. This helps make our writing better."
How is this project related to the SMART pillar?
Kendall:“This type of writing helps us be mindful about what is happening in places that you never imagined! We can connect subjects like Science and ELA. That is the SMART pillar!”
Jeffrey: “You have to teach yourself when you are writing! You realize that you can create and solve your own problems through writing. That is SMART!"
If you could share one piece of wisdom or insight related to these narratives and the SMART Pillar, what would it be?
Kendall: “Creativity is important because you catch a reader's interest!“
Jeffrey: “In narrative writing, you can combine reality with fiction.”