Bet You Didn't Know..

(And no! It's not the meme; been there, done that!)

Every morning in class, we run literacy groups. The kidlets get to practice their reading, do activities with comprehension, practice their reading, complete spelling games and puzzles, practice their reading, learn about books, and did I mention practice their reading?

Having a support class this year has made literacy groups a real challenge. In the past, I've been able to have groups running independantly, but with this group of kidlets, they really need structured tasks that they understand. Give them something that is too advanced for them, and you've lost them for the hour. It's a very fine line, and I'm still learning how to walk around it.

Regardless of their reading levels, I'm happy to say that most of the kidlets I have this year actually really do like to read. (Sadly, they don't get much/any support from their parents at home, which is very sad.) For that very reason, literacy groups are important to me as a teacher, and for the kidlets as learners, so I make it a habit to rotate my groups so I'm hearing most read aloud every single day.

Today I decided to read with my top group. Their book of choice? Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. 'Excellent!' I thought to myself. 'They'll have an idea of the story, so that should make them much more fluent in their reading.' Er, no. Would you believe that not one of my group had even heard of that fairytale before? Amazing. (So, so different to my own childhood, where I was reading any book I could lay my hands on before I was even at school!)

But back to to kidlets; we did a story orientation, talked about things that happened in fairytales, walked our way through the book together just as we would with any other story. All was well, until we flipped back to the books cover and looked at its features. There was a bit of chatter as they talked about why she was called 'Snow White' (they figured it out pretty quickly!) and then a pause. One little girl put up her hand, and asked 'Miss, what's a d-w-o-r-f?' Silly me, the thought that the kidlets wouldn't know what a dwarf was hadn't even crossed my mind. [insert quick explanation here]

Onwards we went, to our individual reading. It was a long book, but they got through it (despite every kidlet in the group having the sniffles, I predict getting sick within the next week; I ended up having a tissue box in the middle of our circle) and all was well. Are you wondering why this particular teaching moment warrants its own blog entry?

Ha! The reason is this; some key words changed by the kidlets whilst reading today, has given this age old fairytale a completely new title;

'Snow White & the Seven Giraffes'.

Perhaps we ought to send the original authors a memo?

Tomorrow's lesson: Comparing Giraffes and Dwarves. Oh dear.


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