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This is a quick post to share a little of the work by the students at my residency school. I am focusing on Reading Comprehension Strategies through the arts. I feel that a significant component of my focus is simply practice in thinking, as pertaining to reading comprehension and as encouraging response to open ended questions. Many of these highly creative children live with many difficult life challenges. Many are not read to at home, and all love stories. So far, we have defined the word “text” (it is not just what is done with a smart phone), discussed the steps your brain must take when you read, and started on reading comprehension strategies with Making Connections, and, this week, with Visualizing. I read aloud “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater, without showing the illustrations, then each child drew the house of their dreams, as related to the characters in the story building theirs.

A gorgeously fanciful house with a forest on top:

This girl came into class with tears streaming down her cheeks (I asked the teacher, and there was no major tragedy – a forbidden lip gloss had been confiscated) and she didn’t really come around until she started drawing – a Unicorn House!

An Underwater House! I would love to have the time to take this project further – to encourage thinking about how environment necessitates design changes.

A Birthday Cake House, complete with candles – and it was indeed this girl’s birthday.

Each child presented their house to the class, pointing out it’s unique features.

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