In Term 2, my reading group read The Diary of Anne Frank. We then did activities about what we had read, and reported back to our group in a literature circle. One of the activities that I did was Correspondent - write a letter to a character in the story.
Instead, I wrote a letter from Anne. Here it is...
Dear whoever finds this,
My name is Anne Frank and I am nearly 16. My family was hiding in an old Amsterdam warehouse during the second World War because we are Jewish. Now that I have been arrested, all I can do is pray for other Jews that they will not reach this fate which has fallen upon me.
An epidemic of typhus has spread throughout this concentration camp, but I am no longer scared for myself, but for Margot, who fell ill this morning. I hope, hope, hope she hasn't caught typhus.
My heart breaks when I think what might have happened to dear Peter.
Tears fill my eyes when I think of Mumsie. Although I could never confide in her, there was a small spot at the bottom of my heart for her. To think that we never even made up!
Even Mr Dussel and the van Daans. What became of them?
What will become of me and Margot?
Maybe some day, with the help of you, this letter can be published for all to see.
Oh Pim! If you are still alive, please publish my diary, for I don't think I will ever escape and be proud to be Jewish again. No. I will never be free again.
Yours, Anne M Frank.
Then we found out about a letter writing competition, to celebrate 60 years since Anne's diary was first published. You had to write a letter to Anne, telling her about our world today, as if it could travel back through time. I entered, and so did my friend, Ellen. (Her blog address is: ellenseportfolio.blogspot.com.) We were both shortlisted into the final round! Here is my letter...
My name is Nicola and I am writing to describe to you our world today. (2007.) A lot of things have changed since your time. The second world war ended in 1945. Although it was meant to be a war to end all wars, there have been a few smaller wars since then, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and other various parts of the world.
These days, a huge threat to the world is terrorism. Islamic militants have carried out random acts of terrorism in different places such as London, Bali (Indonesia) and parts of Africa. Some of these bombings have been suicide bombings, where the bombers have been prepared to kill themselves too. An example of this happened a few years ago when some planes were hijacked and the pilots flew into the Twin Towers – two extremely tall, strong towers in New York. Hundreds of people were killed.
Planes are much bigger now. Our normal, everyday ones usually seat a few hundred people. We call them jumbo jets.
One issue of our world today is global warming. We use so many products that aren't environmentally friendly these days, that the earth is heating up. Ice from the Arctic and Antarctica is gradually melting or breaking off and drifting away. This will cause the sea level to rise, and low-lying places could get covered by sea. Fortunately, people have noticed, and some people are doing something about it.
Another issue is poverty. In many poor countries, children go without many of the things we take for granted. Some do not get enough food or even clean water to drink. To help, World Vision (a charity organisation) sets up a 40 hour or 20 hour famine each year. Young people across the country go without food for 20/40 hours and ask their neighbours, friends and relations to sponsor them some money. It raises a lot of money for the children.
I live in New Zealand, and am very lucky to do so. New Zealand is a peaceful country. On April 25th, New Zealanders remember our soldiers that died in the World Wars. We call this day Anzac Day.
I go to Bucklands Beach Intermediate School, and for reading, we read your diary. I admire your bravery during the time you were hiding in the Secret Annexe. It must have been really scary! While we were reading your diary, we each got a task to do about what we had read, then we reported back to our reading group in a literature circle, where we discussed the story. One of my jobs as a correspondent was to write a letter from one character to another. I chose to put myself in your shoes, and write a letter from you to whoever found it. I pretended that you were writing it in the concentration camp, when you knew that you would never be free again. My teacher thought the letter was well written, so I have enclosed it for you to read.
Yours Sincerely, Nicola.
One of our other activities was the Illustrator. Here is my drawing of Anne Frank...
Literature Circle Reflection
Novel: Anne Frank. The Diary Of A Young Girl.
Activities I completed: Creative Connector (link present day to Anne's day), Illustrator (above), Word Wizard (look up words and their meanings from the book), Character Tracer (list traits about the main character, Anne) and Correspondent (write a letter to a character in the story, as above).
What is a literature circle? A literature circle is a group that meets and discusses a book in a circle.
What did you enjoy most about reading in a literature circle? Feedback and comments afterwards. Making your work to the best standard because you knew that it was going on the internet. (thediaryofannefrank.blogspot.com)
What role did you enjoy the most? Why? Illustrator because I like drawing and there were no rules. You could draw anything about Anne.
What role was most difficult or challenging for you? Creative Connector. Anne's life was so different to mine, it was hard to find anything in common.
What are your thoughts and opinions on the book? Anne's diary has been interesting to read. Great suspense in the times when there were break ins. However, I would like to know more about what happened after Anne's diary stopped.
In Term 3, we each read a book and completed activities to earn points. I read Juggling with Mandarins. I found that it was a very good book, and enjoyed it immensely. I did many activities, and afterwards I reflected...
What is your opinion of this book and why? I think that Juggling with Mandarins is a super book because the author leaves you in suspense at the end of each chapter. I also think that it is great because it is so true - to - life.
What did you think of the task options? Give reasons to support your answer. I enjoy doing tasks based on a story, especially thses ones. They were categorised by the types of thinking that you had to use.
If you could include your own activity, what would it be? What learning would it support?
Create a scrapbooking page / booklet using drawings / pictures / extracts from the book e.t.c to express your feelings on the book. This is an influential / evaluative activity.