Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lansing Field Trip and Character Conflict Lesson

     We had a most SUCESSFUL trip to Lansing this past Thursday. I was really impressed with how well this group of kiddos behaved and responded to the trip. They were so interested in EVERYTHING! *happy teacher!* We visited the State Capital Building and the Michigan History Museum.
It was the cutest thing ... I had mentioned to the kids that we would need to be very quite and respectful when we enter buildings on fieldtrips and how we would want to dress up a bit more since we would be going to such a formal place where people work. When we arrived at the Capital, there were lots of people arriving for work, all dressed up, walking by us while we waited for our tour guide. One of my kiddos, with lots of excitement says, "oh look! There are the working people!" *grin*
Government is the first unit I teach since it is sort of a review from 4th grade and we have this field trip so early in the year ... It was fun to see the kids get excited about the legislative rooms, the Supreme Court, and all the other things we have been learning about.
 Looking up into the very tall dome!
Laying on the floor learning about the construction of the dome

The second part of the day we visited the Michigan Historical Museum. It is an AWESOME museum! It has the neatest exhibits and displays! Throughout the Museum, there were docents to share information and talk with the students. Here is a "french fur trapper" discussing the fur trade and Native American/ Colonist interactions

 Another docent sharing with us about the lumber industry
 The kids loved the old fashioned school house - we took a moment and pretended we were doing a normal day at school :)
World War II room 

We have been studying Character and as always, I pulled out one of my trusty Beth Newingham favorites! Her Character Conflict charts and lessons are wonderful! I just ADORE her stuff! 
In this lesson, I had the kids fill in their OWN definitions of what each character conflict was 
Character vs. Character 
Character vs. Self 
Character vs. Nature
Character vs. Society

I believe that it is very important to have students create their own definitions, not just copy down the one that the teacher gives. 
After that, they partnered up and chose on of the books that I had pre-chosen from the library. To find a good list of character conflict books go here
They then read the books aloud together around the room. 

After that, I  brought them together back on the carpet and we shared where we thought our books belonged on the conflict chart. 
The kids really enjoyed this activity and loved reading the books aloud to their partners. During their independent reading time, when they are reading their own books, I had them decide what conflict was occurring in their stories and we recorded this in their notebooks.
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