Saturday, October 8, 2016

GRA 2016: Welcome to Giant Country

We officially began our Global Read Aloud book for 2016, which is The BFG by Roald Dahl. 

During the witching hour, Sophie awakes and looks out the window to find a giant creature hiding in the shadows of night. The shadowy figure notices her, and even though she rushes back to her bed to hide beneath her covers, the creature reaches in and grabs her up, bed sheets and all. He whisks her away to Giant Country, where he reveals that he is the Big Friendly Giant, the smallest  (and kindest) giant in Giant Country. While we began to read, The BFG also stopped by our classroom to reach in and take us on an adventure as well! 

Many other classrooms around the world are also reading this story, and we will be connecting with them through twitter (using our classroom handle @2rgiraffes and the hashtag #GRABFG), skype, letters, and postcards as we read this wonderful tale together. All of the classrooms are following the same pacing guide, and every week we will respond to questions about the chapters we have read. This week, we sent out over 20 postcards to classrooms across the U.S and Canada who are also reading The BFG, and we talked with a few classrooms on Twitter about our thoughts from the beginning of the story. 

Ms. Riley picked up some NH postcards to send out to our fellow BFG readers. We brainstormed together as a class to write to our GRA buddies about our community. This is what we wrote:

Hello, Global Read Aloud Buddies!

We are second graders at Stratham Memorial School in Stratham, NH. We are in Ms. Riley’s class, and we call ourselves the 2R Giraffes. We have 18 kids in our class: 11 boys and 7 girls. Our school mascot is the wolf and our school colors are blue, grey, and white.. We just celebrated our town’s 300th anniversary with a parade! We get a lot of snow in the winter. We live close to the beach and sometimes, there are high waves during storms. Right now, it is fall and the leaves are changing color! New Hampshire is also known as the Granite State. We have the White Mountains up north, and we also have a bunch of nice lakes. We are excited to read the BFG, and we hope you are as well. Happy Reading!

Your Granite State Friends,
The 2R Giraffes

On Friday, we received our first postcard and added it to the map! This card came from Cambridge, Ontario in Canada Thank you to Mrs. Crits and your second graders for the awesome card!

We also put together a package for our mystery skype GRA Buddies, who are going to be skyping with us for the first time later next week. We are going to try to guess where they are located based on their answers to our questions, and they are going to try to guess where we are as well. Once we make our guesses, we will each open up our mystery boxes from one another to reveal items that represent our communities. In our box, we included maple candies and maple cotton candy, granite, a NH postcard, a book about the NH seacoast, and a NH magnet (since we've been studying them!). We also drew pictures to send along of what the BFG would see if he came to visit us:



Autumn Leaves


The White Mountains

Symbols of New Hampshire and New England 
Stratham Hill Park

Ms. Riley sent out our package to our buddies on Friday, and it should arrive just in time for our mystery skype at the end of the week. We hope they enjoy a small slice of New England, and we are already full of guesses for where our buddies could be located (but Ms. Riley's lips are sealed!)

We are so excited to continue reading when we return to school on Tuesday! Happy Long Weekend, Giraffes! 

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