Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Welcome back after a long weekend, friends!  I hope you had some wonderful extra time with your loved ones!

This week, we are studying primary and secondary sources of information in nonfiction texts. 
Here's a small recap of what was discussed in our whole group guided lesson:
Sources – materials that provide information.  You use sources to gather facts and details about topics you wish you learn or write about.
Primary Source – written at the time of an event by someone who was there.  A primary source is also called a firsthand account (synonym).  This is called a firsthand account because you are the one that saw it first.
Clue: one way to identify a primary source is to look for the word “I”.  This means that the writer of the source is reporting his or her own thoughts and experiences.
A letter from a soldier who fought in a war.
Benjamin Franklin told the story of his life in his autobiography.
Diary entries
quotes (a person’s exact words)
eyewitness accounts
even a picture!

Secondary Source – an account of an event that was NOT witnessed by the writer.  The writer most likely used information from several primary sources to write his or her account.  They are useful and important but are one step further away than primary sources are from the events they describe. (synonym-secondhand account)
Encyclopedia articles
magazine articles
book reviews

In groups, students are working on a project about the Wright Brothers and their first flight on December 17, 2003.  They will be given several different sources (a diary entry by Orville Wright; a telegram from Orville Wright to his father, Bishop Wright; a magazine article; a newspaper article; and a letter from Bishop Wright to a journalist) for information throughout the week that they must analyze to determine if they're secondary or primary and evaluate the facts learned from each.  At the conclusion of their reading of each source, they will determine which was the best source for the information needed and write a narrative piece.  It's really a fun project and very interesting to say the least!  For more information on the project, visit THIS WEBSITE.  Here is a VIDEO about the Wright Brothers and here is some fun practice identifying sources.
HOMEWORK: Complete Vocabulary Exercises 1 & 2 (we're in Lesson 11 this week).  Choose ONE activity from the "Tic-Tac-Toe" menu and complete.  ALSO, interview an adult at home about his or her job.  The interview must be documented on the paper provided and at least 8 questions must be asked. 

WOW! Words for this week (2.21.12 - 2.24.12):

I had to attend a meeting at Southern Middle School during math time so Mrs. Fitch came and tended to our math class while I was gone.  Students worked on reviewing adding and subtracting fractions, as well as using improper and mixed number fractions.
HOMEWORK: complete any incomplete activities from this time (MY math class); pages 151-152 for Ms. Frederick's math class. 

Students created a parallel circuit and visited THIS WEBSITE with Ms. Frederick.

We worked on creating the rising action of our narrative pieces by describing the setting and events leading up to the main action which is the topic of these pieces.

Have a terrific Tuesday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

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