Friday, February 22, 2013

Knots on a Counting Rope

I found an amazing story called Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr. If you have never read this book it is wonderful story about a Native American boy who ask his grandfather to tell the story of when he was born. There is symbolism and theme all throughout. I love the story and wish I had found it years ago. It is a 5th grade Common Core book. 

I did so many things with this book! 

First I read the book aloud but did not show the pictures. Then I gave copies the story text only, no pictures, to the students. They created list of character traits for the grandfather and Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses. The students used their story text to find proof from the story to support each character trait. 

On day two the we discussed the mood of the story when the boy was born and when the boy raced for the first time. Again students used the story text to find proof for the mood of the story. This was a great conversation! On day three we discussed the theme of the story.

Day four was the best day! The students had not seen the pictures from the story at this point. The students had discussed the book so much they were very excited to see the pictures and story. We watched a read aloud on YouTube, Knots on a Counting Rope. After watching the read aloud the students realized that Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses is blind. A few of my students had caught on to this earlier in the week but we did not discuss it until now. The students looked for clues in the text that showed that he was blind. 

Our week was cut short because of county testing or we would of spent another day on this. :(

This has been my FAVORITE lesson with 5th grade this year! It was so much fun to read this book and spend so much time digging deep into a book.

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