As I mentioned before we're doing our Total Language Plus in a co-op setting this year. It's been working out really well and I've enjoyed teaching the classes. Originally I had intended to teach three; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit and The Scarlet Pimpernel but sign up's were low for The Scarlet Pimpernel so we are running the first two.
Yesterday in our class on The Hobbit we had some great discussion which is one of the advantages to having a group of kids doing the same book. We discussed several questions but the one I thought provoked the most thinking was about luck. In the book it was said they'd been "lucky" up to this point and so the Total Language Plus personal thinking question centers on luck. What is it? Are you lucky or not? etc...
It became somewhat of a discussion on grace as well. Several students had just turned in reports that were due but two of the students forgot to attached their rough draft which was part of the assignment. I chose to "extend" grace to these students and gave them back their final copy asking them to please turn it in next week with the rough draft stapled underneath. So as the discussion went I posed the question of whether or not these students were just lucky or whether my extending "grace" was different.
The students came up with examples to support their position on the question and had to define for themselves what they believed about it. Once we discuss the questions we then turn them into paragraphs. I'll be curious to see what they chose to write and turn in next week based on our discussion.
In the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe class yesterday we discussed allegories. This week they are keeping an allegory notebook to jot down quotes and examples to support the representations we talked about. In the beginning it was difficult for the kids to pick out examples and quotes but after doing some together they each read to themselves several pages from the section where Aslyn is killed and came back with some comparison they found that showed how Aslyn represented Jesus. These kids are only 4-6 grade but they really can begin to see deeper meanings like this if you just challenge them to do so. It will be interesting to see what they write in the Allegory papers which will be due in two weeks.
So classes are going well and we're doing TLP different this year but it's nice for a change. Doing it in a group like this we haven't done as many of the project things as we do sometimes but we're not finished yet. I do have planned for both classes at least one co-op day to do acting, riddles, and art. This is just one of the great things I love about Total Language Plus guides and I want to make sure that even though we're doing it in a co-op the students get to experience some of the "fun" of TLP!