In honor of Veteran’s Day, I always try to read the book America’s White Table, by Margot Theis Raven. If you’ve never read it, go get it out of your local library and read it in the privacy of your own home. That way, if you get teary eyed, no one will see. I always have to read it before kids get there so I can prepare myself. It is an outstanding picture book.
The story tells the significance of the white table and each item laid upon it in honor of Veteran’s Day. At the end of the story, the narrator traces the word hero in the salt on the plate as her tribute to the veterans. After subtly wiping my watery eyes, I lead a discussion with my students about synonyms for hero. Inevitably, the discussion morphs into adjectives for veterans, but honestly, I’m okay with that. In this particular lesson, I’m more focused on teaching my students to respect and recognize veterans. I can teach about the true definition of synonym some other day.
This year, we created a word cloud on Tagxedo with all of our descriptive words. I typed the words in as we discussed them and through the finished image up on our class webpage for kids to share at home. Following that, students had to choose their favorite word and trace it in salt on our own plate. I did use a a colored plate, just to make the image clearer. I photographed each image and loaded them to our Photo Stream. Students then pulled all of the salt words into a Pic Collage. Their finished projects are coming out great.
Tomorrow’s extension is a brief writing activity. Students will choose one word from their Pic Collage and defend and support why it is the most important word in the image. I’m anxious to read the responses. The kids were so incredibly thoughtful in their word choices, I can’t wait to see them defend them.