This week, I intend to introduce a new book that we just bought this year: Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise. It’s a short, fun book told with humor and in the style of using “artifacts” from the characters in the story — mostly memos, letters, and notes. I also considered Avi’s Nothing But the Truth, which is another powerful story told through emails, phone messages, etc., about a high school boy who hums along with the National Anthem, gets in trouble with his teacher and sparks a media frenzy. But, some of the language was a bit too much for my sixth graders, and the themes were more high school than elementary school. Still, it’s worth reading.
What I like about the concept of Regarding the Fountain is that I can really teach inference with my sixth graders, as you need to make connections between what is being shown and written, and what is not. And, of course, point of view is critical, too. What are characters not saying?
I am working on my own short story with artifacts, too, because when we are done with the book (it won’t take long to read), I want to have them try their hand at their own. It may be tricky and some of my young writers will be in a better place with their critical thinking skills than others. I know that I am struggling a bit with how to leave out important information so as to not give the story away too early.
Here’s what I have so far:
And if you have never heard of Regarding the Fountain, check out this glog review I did last year when I stumbled onto the book.
Peace (in the inferential thinking),