Saturday, September 20, 2008

Venn Diagrams Help Organize Our Thinking

Do you remember using Venn diagrams in school? It is a great graphic organizer and one that students of all ages like to use. After using them in Kindergarten, via Reader's Workshop by comparing Eric Carle books, Venn diagrams were utilized again, using two Mem Fox books. The students compared the books "Possum Magic" and "Koala Lou." They were asked to work in table groups. Each was given a drawn Venn Diagram and invited to write the titles of the books on each circle. Then reminded to write what is different about each book under the titles and in the middle, what the two books shared. Post it notes and copies of each book were supplied to each table so that each child could write their thoughts and place it in the corresponding circle. To hear and see the conversations about each book, the accountable talk, and the ability to work as a small group was amazing. What helped this activity run so smoothly was the student's familiarity and understanding of each book. They have heard them read several times either by us or online. They have written responses to these books and have acted them out. In all of these ways, students have internalized the stories and when it came time to list similarities and differences between them, it came very naturally. Afterwards, each group was called to the front and they eagerly shared their diagram with the class.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mrs.Mallon! Love, Chelsea and family

Anonymous said...

Thank you for teaching me that "Koala Lou" is Mem Fox favorite book.
My mom likes to read the blogs and see what we do at school. Then we talk about it.