Today, my class began our realistic fiction read aloud:Absolutely Almost. I decided to read the first 39 pages aloud on the first day, and I’m happy I did so. While this read aloud was a little longer than usual, I’m certain it was worth it. By reading through to the 39th page, kids were able to lose themselves in the novel and get engulfed in the character. I think the first 39 pages hooked them!
Afterwards, students went on their Google Drive accounts and responded to the following prompt:
Write about a time you felt “absolutely almost”. Use everything you know about writing to write with detail and description. Use your words to paint a picture of your experience in the mind of the reader. Remember to include sensory words and adverbs to help the reader understand your feelings. (p. 39)
This was a fun activity that allowed my students to exercise their writing skills as they made a text-to-self connection. There responses were a lot of fun. Here are a few sample responses from my students.
1) I felt “always almost” when I didn’t make it on the wall for the best homework in second grade. I never quite got there, and when I asked Mrs. A why I wasn’t on there, she said “be neater” and then I did that for about a week, and then she said “add more color” so I did that, and then she said “Be neater and more creative”. Then she showed me Clarence’s paper. For coming up with words in alphabetical order, he did names of different fruits, and I came up with random words like apple, balloons, cat, and duck. Then I was as creative as I could be, but I forgot to be as neat and colorful as Tommy or Rosa.
2) I was an “almost” when I was in Karate and I was trying to do the butterfly-kick. I had the whole getting-prepared-for-the-jumping-upside-down kicking-in-midair part, but I kept on forgetting to do the bob-and-weave to really pick my feet from the ground. All I heard was “almost!” from the black belt that was teaching me. I felt as if my legs were so excited they just had to jump first!
3) I have been an almost when I almost wrote my name correctly in cursive, Jakob, until I messed up on the K. I thought it looked FINE, but my mom said something different.
“Jakob, you did a great job. You were so close, but you need less of a loop on your K like this: Jakob. Do you get it buddie?” I didn’t get it at first because I’ve been writing my name in cursive for 2 years, and I’ve gotten into a habit of writing my name like that, but I still said OK. I tried to write my name again, same mistake.
“Okay Jakob, I think we should just work on your Ks now, is that okay with you?” I wasn’t okay with it, but I said I was, and there I was, working on a “worksheet” on Ks. That’s how you end up writing Ks like that.
The students really enjoyed this one. If I use this book again next year, I will definitely use this prompt again. Success!