Sunday, January 24, 2010

Retelling of Greek Myths

A few weeks ago Mr. Weiland's six grade language arts and literature classes studied Greek Myths in preparation for their novel studies of The Lightning Thief and The Adventures of Ulysses. Each group read online and print versions of their stories. Then they worked with their groups to write their own version of the myth. Finally they created illustrations and made VoiceThreads with their versions of the tales.

Here's the story, Orpheus and Eurydice, retold by Maddie, Catherine, and Kasey:

Here's the story, Pandora, retold by Tim, Jesse, and Stefani:

Here's the story, Hercules, by Natalie, Andrew, Drew, and Henry:

Here's links to some of the other projects:

Check out some of these stories! Any comments?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Write in the Middle

Highland's Literary Magazine, Write in the Middle, is looking for submissions for its second issue. Last year we had a really successful publication. This year the magazine will include artwork as well. Highland students and staff members are invited to submit poetry, short stories, essays, and artwork for consideration.

All work must be submitted to Ms. Wyatt by Friday, February 5.
We have some amazing talent at Highland. Please consider participating!

You can check out last year's publication online at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I've Been Reading

It's been so great to be able to choose my own reading materials lately. In the fall I was teaching a young adult literature class. It was really fun but very intense. I may have overdone it on the reading list with the six to seven young adult books per week. Needless to say, I didn't have much recreational reading time despite reading A LOT of books.

This past weekend I treated myself. I read three books of my choosing for fun!
First, I read Whirlwind by David Klass. It was a sequel to Firestorm, a book that I listened to during winter break. While I thought this book was just ok, it had lots of action and kept me turning the pages. A combination of action, scifi, and adventure, the characters from the book (some of whom were from 1000 years in the future) worked to try to save the Amazon from the Dark Lord.

It was a weekend for sequels. I've really been looking forward to the release of Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I loved the first two books about DJ and the folks in Red Bend, WI (Dairy Queen and The Off Season). It was great to catch up with the characters and see what was happening in their lives during DJ's junior year basketball season. This is realistic fiction with sports, family stuff, and romance all mixed in.

Finally, I read the next 7th Grade Lunch Bunch Book Club Book. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is all the rage at Highland (like everywhere else, I'm guessing). For book club we chose another mythology inspired story, The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh. Jack has a near-death experience which has left him with the ability to visit the New York City underworld. He's looking for his dead mother and ends up having quite an adventure with Euri. It was a fun read, but it didn't knock my socks off. I'm looking forward to hearing what the book club members have to say.

Since I can choose my own books now, I'm looking for some recommendations!

Works Cited
Front and Center Cover. Library Thing. Web. 22 Jan. 2010.
The Night Tourist Cover. LibraryThing. Web.
22 Jan. 2010.
Whirlwind Cover. LibraryThing. Web.
22 Jan. 2010.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fractured Fairy Tales

Before break, Mrs. O'Connell's classes created fractured fairy tales. After the students studied different types of tales like folk tales, fables, and fairy tales. They wrote and illustrated a story of their own working in small groups. Students created the images using Tux Paint and then recorded their stories using VoiceThread.

Here's an example that was created by Katie and Emma called "Rapunzel Twist".

Here are links to some of the other projects: