Puns & Memes

Many people think puns and memes are low level writing used to get an easy laugh.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Crafting puns and memes requires a sophisticated awareness of words and images.

The easy laugh is just a bonus.

During our state testing week, I always bring in a unit on puns and memes for students.  They are a natural extension of social media and the kids are thrilled to have fun and get grades for something they partake of daily.  Don’t get me wrong, there is talk of the different type of puns:  homophonic, homographic, close-sounding.  We even discuss how a meme must have an image to be funny, but puns rely on word-play.  But the magic is when students spend time creating personal and original puns and memes to share with the class.

To wrap up our unit, we all dress up as a pun or meme and spend the day puzzling other teachers and students with our wit and creativity.  Our principal even got in on the dress-up fun and visited the classroom to share a giggle or two.

It is my favorite time of the year!  Thoughts?  What is your favorite unit to learn or teach?

How Do You Read?

We have style when we read!

In February, students engaged with a new style of reading; book clubs run by students.

After a month of participating in weekly jobs, discussions, and independent reading; the first projects were created.  With over 8 project choices, the results are incredible.  The most popular by far was a project called “Packing It Up”.  See below for photos of the tiny suitcases packed with myriad character related items.  Not only are they inventive, the students show a complex understanding of the character they analyzed.  I am always humbled and proud of the variety of risks my students are willing to take.

Students sewed wardrobes, manufactured tracheostomy tubes, built tiny jellyfish, and even baked cookies to show off their character, setting, and theme analysis.

Comic Strip artist, Jackson, shared this about the project:  “The thing I liked about the book projects we made was the spectacular experience of creating the project and brainstorming it to create a marvelous project that represents us.”

This week, students are starting a final group project collaboration and will present each result to the class.  Stay tuned for more amazing, engaging reading!

So, back to the first question:  how do you read?