The 6th grade students that step into my classroom come with a desire to learn, to discover, and to be challenged. Within the classroom I strive to build on their reading, writing, and language foundations to prepare them to be successful individuals for the future, not only in school, but in life.
All of my students come wanting to be successful in school, however, sometimes they can get easily frustrated at this age when they do not understand how to do something.
Going from 5th to 6th grade is a huge stepping stone in my student's lives because they are entering the middle school world. With that being said, they are also stepping out of their comfort zone in reading and trying out new genres, new authors, short stories, etc. It is definitely a time of new things and challenges for them.
These books will be the springboard to my students' Genius Hour projects. Jennifer A. Nielsen, the author of "The Mark of the Thief" blends fantasy with historical fiction. She does this in such a way that students who are somewhat interested in mythology are drawn into the world of Roman mythology, Roman history, and the adventurous world of literature.
For most of my students, this Genius Hour (inquiry based learning) is a completely new process because it puts the learning 100% into their hands, which makes them more engaged.
The teacher, which is me, is the guide, and many times, I am a learner right along with them. This gives the students ownership of what they are learning and how they are learning it. As the students read the book, they will each develop their own inquiry based question that they want answered in regards to either the story "The Mark of the Thief,” Roman mythology, or Roman history. They will then create projects of their choice to answer that question. This is where the creativity comes in.
The book "The Mark of the Thief" is the starting block to this creativity. Jennifer A. Nielsen masterfully builds ancient Roman times within her story line and her characters that the students can imagine it within their minds. This allows any child who has a slight interest in history and/or mythology to deepen that into a love of history/mythology.
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