“Language instruction in the Junior years is designed to engage students in meaningful interactions with a wide variety of texts. They look beyond the literal meaning of texts and observe what is present and what is missing, in order to analyse and evaluate an author’s intent. Junior students learn to identify and explore multiple perspectives, question the messages in texts, and look at issues related to fairness, equity, and social justice.” https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/language18currb.pdf
Recently, we completed reading a book entitled, A Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. The students were asked to question the important messages in this text. They shared their thoughts about the text, and although this work is still unfolding they have been sharing their understandings and wonders about the story.
One student shared her synopsis about the novel:
“Everyone is perfect in their own way.” This book is about a girl named Ally. Ally struggles with a condition called dyslexia. Throughout the story, Ally learns many lessons, but she doesn’t know it. Ally is also being bullied. I don’t get why she is bullied? She is actually very talented. This book is great for young readers because it teaches how to survive school. I loved this book.”
We also took on the perspective of many of the characters, by analyzing their character traits and character emotions.
Character Traits: It’s who a character is on the inside, -their personality. Character traits show through what a character says or does.
Character Emotions: Fleeting feelings a character may be having, often due to an outside force. Character emotions show through what a characters says or does.
We are now transferring and applying our knowledge of our own character strengths. This in turn will strengthen our abilities to see things from different people’s perspectives. Understanding the perspectives of others is a mindset that is key to being successful as a 21st Century Learner.
Students are using their profiles to develop personal character strengths and insight into themselves and others. They are exploring strengths they possess, such as perseverance, creativity, honesty, zest, humour, social intelligence, all part of 21st Century skills and important ‘Habits of Mind’.