Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rhetorical Questions, Silent Letters and the last yeast experiment

This was a worthwhile way to introduce rhetorical questions. So far, just to recap, in our sequence of work on persuasive texts we have looked at their structure and  the use of emotive language in such texts.  Today, we focused on the use of rhetorical questions and looked at some of the letters to the editor in The Mercury.  After viewing this clip, students completed a cloze on rhetorical questions and they generally did a fantastic job. The cloze is below:

A rhetorical question is a figure of ______ in the form of a ________without the expectation of a _____.
The question is used as a rhetorical ______ posed for the sake of encouraging its listener to ________ a
message or viewpoint.

For example, the question, "Can you do anything right?" is asked not to literally evaluate the abilities of the ______
being spoken to, but rather to  imply that the person ______ fails.

While sometimes amusing and even _________, rhetorical questions are rarely meant for pure, comedic effect.
A carefully _______ question can, if delivered well, persuade an ________ to believe in the position(s) of
the speaker.

Write out this text placing the following words in the appropriate postions so the text makes sense.
question   humorous    consider  speech    person   audience    always    reply   crafted     device

We marked this as a class,  and then went on to read through some of the letters to the editor from The Mercury and we discussed some of the background news behind these letters and the literacy skills needed to compose such letters. Students were asked to read through them twice and select the three they understood the most. They had four questions to answer for each of the letters.

Students all have a A3 copy of this 
The questions were:
What is the title that has been given to this letter?
What is it about?
What is/are the rhetorical questions/s?
Why do you think the writer included this/these question/s?

Students will need a further half an hour on this activity tomorrow. Three students were away today so they will need to review this. I am encouraging students to write full sentence answers and to really think deeply about the issue at hand and their responses.  I gave Mr Stafford the same activity so we can moderate our students' responses together at a later stage.

Today, and for the best part of next week also, students will be concentrating on Silent letters. The spelling bingo list until Easter will be:

science                                     doubt

scissors                                    dinghy

sign                                          halves

choir                                        Christmas

hour                                         castle

knives                                      thistle

hymn                                       knowledge

island                                       gnarled

whistle                                     sword

Tomorrow they have to identify the silent or tricky part of the word and highlight it after the game of Spelling Bingo. I would appreciate if parents could do a parent test on the above words.

Today we also completed the last yeast experiment and I must admit I am glad about that. No more scrubbing out bottles after and before school!  Next, we will be looking at bacteria. The homework for tonight was for students to take home their Marvellous Microorganism books and to thoroughly proofread all the experiments and reports they have completed and to make sure their diagrams are clearly labelled, and their conclusions to experiments are written up to the best of their ability. Some students are also taking home their jigsaws. We will continue scanning these tomorrow.  I will be collecting books tomorrow to assess how they are going with the unit and feedback will be given.
Puting the heat on yeast

Yeast and sugar with cold water, warm water and hot water

The class had their usual music lesson in the morning and I was very pleased to hear a fabulous report back about their behaviour from the relief teacher, always a great measure of their respect and self-control when it's not the usual "traffic cop" they are accountable to. Well done class. I was proud of you all. 

I will have up some camp photos in the classroom by tomorrow. I don't have photos of all  the grade 6 students as I was rostered onto certain activities for the day and evening and unfortunately there were some students I didn't really see much of. 
Tomorrow will be a big maths day focusing on the process of subtraction. Monster grid 8 is also on the cards. 
Parents should have also received a notice about the food fair this Friday at the school, and also one about our excursion with our grade 2/3 book buddies next Thursday to see The Lorax. We will be doing a small literacy unit around this film  focusing on plot and characterisation in preparation for the biggie on Storm Boy which some students are still plugging away at reading. A big thank you to Mrs Faul for organising this.

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