I saw my third graders for the first time today. I decided to jump right in with the Hopes and Dreams lesson since it was already the fifth day of school. To inspire them, I read The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. I really enjoy reading this book aloud, the text is lyrical and the art and story engross the students.
I used The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles with fourth graders last spring and loved both their reaction to the story as well as how it inspired them to write. You can find that lesson and more about this beautiful book at ReedALOUD: The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.
Today, my third graders created their own messages in bottles. They wrote their hopes and dreams and rolled them into scrolls, which I placed in mason jars with labels (similar to last spring). They will sit on a shelf in the library until June, at which point I will return them and give the students the opportunity to reflect on their hopes and dreams. I don't want to rush things, but I am pretty excited about this. I only have 175 more school days to wait!
Here's a glimpse of what they are hoping and dreaming: