Title - River Glen School

Seventh and Eighth Grade Students

The seventh and eighth grade students at River Glen School are part of the Resource Specialist Program. They all receive their English language arts instruction in the RSP classroom, and it was through this program that they collaborated with the students at Almaden Elementary and Zanker School on this project. River Glen School is a kindergarten through eighth grade school with a Spanish Two-Way Immersion Program. Of the 13 students who participated in this project, 11 were English Language Learners.

In the eighth grade River Glen students spend six weeks studying poetry and writing their own poems. As part of this unit they also worked on this project. They used pictures of rivers and streams to generate descriptive language and to practice their use of similes, metaphors, and personification. They then posted their poems on Think.com as PowerPoint presentations so that students in the other classes could view and comment on their poems. The eighth grade students also wrote poems about themselves that they posted on Think.com.

Seventh grade students at River Glen School practice writing persuasive essays as part of their written language instruction. This project enabled the students to practice their skills, knowing that they would have an audience for their efforts. The students first did research on an issue involving water resources in our community. The poems written by the eighth graders were used to introduce the topic. They then wrote informational essays that were published in newsletter form and distributed to the students at Zanker School and Almaden Elementary. They were also used in the sixth grade science classes at River Glen School when they studied watersheds. After completing the informational essay the students were directed to research an environmental issue that they were concerned about and write a persuasive essay on that issue. These essays were posted on Think.com for students in the other schools to read. The eighth grade students at River Glen School were also directed to read the essays and respond. The essays were put into newsletter format as well and distributed to the students to take home and to share among themselves.