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Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

Extension Week: Writing a Persuasive Essay

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:49 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 21, 2019, 8:49 PM ]

This past week, the Grade 6 class has been learning the 5 paragraph essay model for writing academic essays. This is a very valuable writing skill that will apply to coursework and exams students will take in the secondary and post-secondary level, especially at international or Western schools. This week, the class gets a chance to apply what they've learned by writing their own essays in response to one of the three questions I've prepared for them. 

Students will begin by using the prewrite sheet to plan their essays before drafting. They will then complete two rough drafts before preparing a final draft that will be displayed on the wall at school and sent home later in the year. Students will be given three essay questions and asked to chose one for which to write an essay. You can view the questions here.

A review of how to write a five paragraph essay can be seen in the images below. Follow the links above to access the questions and planning materials for the assignment.


This Week: Kensuke's Kingdom

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:46 PM by Jason Brunken

This week in Grade 6 we will be doing the usual, practicing grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Our story for this week in Journeys is Kensuke's KingdomKensuke's Kingdom is the story of a boy who gets shipwrecked on an island inhabited only by an old Japanese man. The island is fraught with many dangers known to Kensuke but not the boy. There is a lot of exciting things in the this story. We pick up in the story where our main character thinks Kensuke is a bad man who doesn't let him signal a boat in the ocean. However, later Kensuke saves the boy's life from deadly jellyfish. Is Kesuke a kind of bad man? The fun of this story is finding out.

This week we will also begin our look at essay writing. On Friday, I will teach students how to write a proper five-paragraph persuasive essay. Next week the students will begin crafting their own.

Below is the weekly handout sheet for this week and a slideshow to review the vocabulary words. Please remind your child to study the spelling and vocabulary words for this week. Great job getting those WIRSFs done!! Keep it up!


This Week: Science Friction

posted Nov 11, 2019, 4:34 AM by Jason Brunken

This week the grade 6 class will be reading "Science Friction" by David Lubar. This story is a funny look at how collaborative work can work even with people with very different personalities, skills, and talents. This selection is always a popular one with the children. This story is part collection of short stories in the book Tripping Over the Lunch Lady and Other School Stories.

We will begin looking at persuasive writing this week. Little by little this month, the students will learn the basic parts, organization, and strategies for writing a standard five paragraph persuasive essay. This is a writing skill will serve them them as long as they in school. It isn't the funnest writing assignment, but it is one of the most valuable that I teach this year. I hope all of the students try their best to master it. This week students will practice supporting their opinions with facts and examples from a text. 

Below is the weekly handout for this week. You can also find a slideshow for learning the vocabulary words. Please help your child review the spelling and vocabulary words. Also, don't forget those WIRSFs on Tuesday.

This Week: The Boy Who Saved Baseball

posted Nov 3, 2019, 2:31 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 3, 2019, 2:31 AM ]

After wrapping up the ASLA Fun House and Haunted House on Monday, this week we will be reading John Ritter's The Boy Who Saved Baseball. This is a snippet of a longer book about a town that is facing a problem many are facing all over the world: a large corporation wants to come in and use the land that the baseball field is on to build something more profitable. Of course, the baseball field is used by the town's baseball team and is beloved by the kids. After a public outcry caused by the efforts of one boy on the baseball team, the boss of the corporation agreed not to develop that land if the town's team won the championship. We will see what happens on Thursday.

In this new unit, we will be venturing into persuasive writing this week. Our main assignment will be a college-style five-paragraph essay in November. First, we will practice establishing opinions, using facts to back up opinions, and learn the format of this kind of writing. 

Our spelling and vocabulary words for the week can be found below or downloaded here and a slideshow of the vocabulary words is posted below to help kids review. Please remind your children to take some time to study them a few times this week. 


Extension Week: Haunted House Scene

posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM ]

Image attributed to Flickr user lobo235.
The next two weeks are extension weeks for the grade six students. They will be getting their first taste of dramatic writing this week. The assignment: Prepare a spooky story to act out for visitors to the Happy Kids ASLA Haunted House on October 31. The students will work to decorate and prepare a scenes for the younger ASLA visitors. Students working on scenes will be expected to write a short script that tells a mini story related to our theme of "Mad Science". Together, it should make for a fun and spooky Haunted House for our Halloween Fun House this year.

The kids have already begun planning this assignment and are excited to get to work on it. During this week we will not be having a spelling test, grammar lesson, or vocabulary words. We will still have library on Tuesdays, and WIRSFs are still due on Tuesday as usual. 

Remember that Parent-Teacher Conferences are this week, so no class on Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone then.

This Week: The ACES Phones

posted Sep 28, 2019, 8:27 PM by Jason Brunken

Hello Grade 6! This week we are moving on in Journeys to The ACES Phone. This is a wonderful science fiction story by Jeanne Duprau. Duprau is a popular science fiction writer for young adults. Perhaps her most famous book is The City of Ember. We have a few of her titles in our library that I highly recommend the kids pick up. You can see a complete list of her books here.

As always we will begin the week looking at our vocabulary words, move into grammar on Tuesday, read the selection on Thursday, and then do a writing assignment on Friday. The spelling test will also be on Friday. Please remember to help your child study for the tests. Below is the weekly handout and a slideshow of the vocabulary words to help your child review and practice at home. On it you will find all of the spelling and vocabulary words along with some grammar practice.

We will also be using time from class to wrap up our Fruit Bowl Project from last week. The kids' ideas were so great they needed more time to complete them.  I hope to have pictures posted before next week. I'm looking forward to sharing their work with you all.

Extension Week: Our "Fruit Bowl" Project

posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:16 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 24, 2019, 7:17 PM ]

It's finally here! This week, the 6th grade class will begin its first extension activity: a "fruit bowl" project. This activity comes straight from our reading last week. The idea is that writers use words like painters use paint. When two painters paint the same bowl of fruit, the results are never identical. The same goes for writers. Give different writers the same elements of a story to work with and they will manipulate words differently to create very different works.

For this assignment we will be writing our own “Fruit Bowl” Project. The students' task is to create pieces of writing of any genre that includes the seven elements below. They will begin by drafting at least three different ideas in your journal (some can be short, but not all.) They will then choose their favorite two to edit and make into final drafts.

Final drafts should be written with graphics and text features and displayed in a creative way. These will be hung outside the classroom for all of Happy Kids to see how awesome they are. They will also be posted on the class website when they are finished. The seven elements that students must include in their pieces are listed below. I think we will have some very creative work this year.

The Seven Elements

  1. 6th grade
  2. precisely 5:00
  3. a girl sneezes vigorously
  4. a revolting smell coming from a backpack
  5. pandemonium
  6. spilled tea
  7. a drowsy student has a great fall

This Week: Knots in My Yo-Yo String

posted Sep 16, 2019, 5:26 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 16, 2019, 5:27 AM ]

This week the Grade 6 class is reading Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli. This book is an autobiography. Mr. Spinelli writes this book telling us about how he grew from a sports-loving kid to a successful author. While Spinelli has written some books I would never recommend to anyone, he has also written a few of my favorite for young readers. Three must-read books by Jerry Spinelli are Loser, Maniac Magee, and Stargirl. All are available in Happy Kids's library.

Below you will find the weekly handout sheet that your child should have brought home with her this week. On it, you will see the spelling words that will be assessed this week, our target vocabulary words, the grammar concept we will be looking at, and other useful information about the week. Please review and study at home. To help, I have also attached a slideshow of our vocabulary words this week below.

This week will begin working on our Fruit Bowl Project. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids' excellent and creative work. 


This Week: The Fruit Bowl Project

posted Sep 10, 2019, 6:57 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 10, 2019, 6:58 AM ]

Hello, Grade 6! This week we are reading The Fruit Bowl Project. It is an interesting story of a class of students who, using the same seven elements, create a menagerie of compositions that, while similar, are completely different. Kind of like a fruit bowl! This selection comes from the novel of the same name by Sarah Durkee. It's about a class of 8th graders who get a visit from a rock star. He teaches them how words for a writer are like paint to a painter. He gives them the "fruit bowl" assignment, and amazing writing happens.

After inspiration form this novel, the class will be creating its own fruit bowl project starting this Friday. Details to come later.

Below is the weekly handout for this week. Please remember to practice the spelling words and review the vocabulary. I've included a vocabulary slideshow below for you to use to help review. The grammar questions on page two of the handout can be completed for extra credit as well. 

Parents, please remember that Meet the Teacher is this Thursday at 6:00. I hope I see you all there.


Our Class Constitution!

posted Sep 10, 2019, 6:56 AM by Jason Brunken

During the first week of school, I tasked the class with examining what our values as a class were. I then had them brainstorm how those values would look as laws or a bill of rights for our classroom. The result was a declaration of our values and a bill of rights that we all agreed on as a class. We call it our Class Constitution, and we have proudly hung it up outside our small classroom. Enjoy the pictures below. We can't wait to share it with you all at Meet the Teacher this week.


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