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Candy Canes, Books, and Masks

What happens when you give a middle schooler a candy cane?  See for yourself!  Anyone remember the days of going to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and getting an Astro Pop just so you could turn it into a dangerous weapon and stab your sister in the arm with it? Not that I ever did such a thing!  

Anyhow, I ended the week by giving each student a piece of black paper and a piece of white card stock.  I read them the poem "Please Hear What I'm Not Saying"  by Charles Finn. It's about the "masks" people wear and why they wear them.  One of our essential questions for The Outsiders was "Why do people wear masks and try to hide their true selves?"  Students chose a character from the novel and created the character's self portrait using just black paper, scissors, and a glue stick.  After glueing it onto the card stock, they wrote a poem about the masks the character wears in the novel, as well as what is really behind the mask.  Students seemed to love this activity. When they were finished, I had them take a picture (if they were able) and post the finished poem and mask to our blog! 


The  boy who created this said, "He hides his sadness behind his smile."  WOW!

I am not sure how "Common Core" this activity is, but I can tell you that most students absolutely loved it.  Many of them opted to use symbolism in their artwork, as well as metaphors and other figurative language in their poetry. 

On another note, I started my vacation with an awesome book given to me by one of my very own students.  Strangely, I had been wanting to read this book after reading about it on Goodreads!  I do most of my reading on the eliptical at the gym.  The book is called A Man Called  Ove.  I am four chapters in and savoring every page.  It's one of those books that I know I am going to be mourning when I finish.  I am going to have to go back and reread it, so that I can highlight all of my favorite sentences!


Looking forward to two weeks off with family and grateful that when vacation is over, I get to return to the job I love!

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