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Teaching Gianna Z, with Kleenex

Thanks for following along as my class reads THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z by Kate Messner. I've enjoyed the comments, emails, and conversations it has started. Please keep them coming - the students are excited to see how this novel is being read by other students in other parts of the world!

After I collected the writing based on the tree/personality quiz due today, we had a fun in-class creative writing assignment, which I downloaded from
Kate Messner's website. I'll share a couple of responses in a future post. Here is what I posted on the SmartBoard:
Mr. Randolph is the kind of school principal who probably loves to write letters to parents, telling them what their kids have done wrong. Imagine that you are Mr. Randolph and write a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Zales to tell them what happened in your yard. Be sure to use Mr. Randolph's strict voice!

We discussed what we'd read in the previous chapter and I reviewed the business letter format. The students had fun writing in the voice of the strict Mr. Randolph! (Stay tuned for select samples...) I peeked at some as they turned them in...too funny!

After the class finished their letters, we started reading Chapter Ten. (If you haven't read it yet, don't worry I won't give away the plot.) Many reviewers have commented that THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z is a book with heart. That is true. And Chapter Ten is where is beats the strongest. It is so poignant and powerful that I had decided I was only going to read that one today, so it would resonate in their minds long after class.

When I read the last line, the children sat in silence, eyes large, mouths slightly opened in a soft "o". One girl just said, "Wow..."                         It is beautiful. Filled with heart. Why we love Gianna.

Bring Kleenex.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
hi ms.light its baylee dumont
i had my mom and sister take the test and what do you know my sister is a red oak like me and my mom is a beech isnt that cool! the test was awesome my mom said and my sister and they want to do it with the whole family. see you in class ms.light :)
Oct. 31st, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
Re: hi ms.light its baylee dumont
I'm not surprised your mom is an American Beech - you've told me how much you admire her and look up to her, so I see her as a strong person. That's great your sister loved it. Let us know if you have other people try it!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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