Four years ago, the primary-school teacher at Phorms Taunus Campus Robert MacLeod and Head of Primary School Colin Mortensen adapted the "Reading and Writing Project" from Lucy Calkins and implemented this teaching exercise at the Phorms Schule Frankfurt for the first time. Ever since, the project has been helping young people become enthusiastic and competent readers and writers.
Here you can read two texts written by two students in year 3 at the Phorms Campus Frankfurt City and in the class of Ms. Southwood:
The goose vultures
By: Lasse H.
One very cold, but sunny Tuesday afternoon my mum, dad, my sister Lisa, and I were driving to a bird and wolf park. Sometimes you can also see other animals. The park was very big and had a nice, huge castle. It looked very nice.
We went to the park to look at the animals there, but also to see the flying show that was happening.
Finally, after a long time the flying show was about to start. We quickly went to a small piece of grass with a wooden fence around it. The flying show would happen here. In front of the small piece of grass were many wood benches. The benches were very wet because of the rain from the last few days.
We sat down in the second row. “When is the flying show starting?” I asked my mum. “I don’t see a bird, a man, or a woman to start the flying show.”
“They will come soon,” my mum promised. “ In about five minutes.” She showed me her watch. “Look, five minutes until it is 15:00 o’ clock, then the flying show will finally start.”
We waited and waited and waited. Then, finally a man came! He had a green cap on his head and a black microphone that you can clip behind your ear. He also had green pants with many pockets and a green and yellow-orange jacket that also had many pockets. On his left hand he had a big and brown glove where the birds could sit on. He looked a little bit like our hairdresser with his little beard out of tiny hairs peeking out of his chin.
“Hello!” he said in a nice voice, “Welcome to the wolf and bird park!” Then he talked about many things birds can do and about things in the wolf and bird park until finally he told us that the first bird will come soon.
After a while many birds showed us what they had learned during the last months. Finally the man said, “Now you will see one of our biggest birds in the whole park!” He made a pause and waited for the birds to come.
My heart went cold and warm at the same time. “One of the biggest birds in the whole park!” I whispered to myself. “In the whole park!”
Then I saw it coming! Two super gigantic birds came flying towards us! The man from the wolf and bird park quickly walked to three old tree trunks in front of the goat enclosure. He placed himself in front of the middle one.
The two colossal birds came flying towards him. After ten seconds they had arrived at him. They had a long neck that was pink-yellow. Their feathers were black and they had gigantic wings. Then they landed next to the man from the wolf and bird park. One of the birds sat down on one of the tree trunks and the other bird on the other tree trunk.
“These huge birds are goose vultures!” the man explained, “Who wants to be very near to the goose vultures? If you want to you can come stand next to the wooden fence.”
A bunch of people stood up and got in position to go very near to the goose vultures. “Now,” the man began to explain, “Now all of you that wanted to come to the goose vultures very close have to sit down or lay down or whatever, but you have to be low.”
“Why that?” I asked myself but I did how I was told.
Then the man said, “Now the goose vultures will fly over your head!”
The goose vultures will come fly over our heads! Really!? That will be exciting! I held my breath.
Next the man gave the sign for the goose vultures to start! They swung their wings and got up in the air. Then they quickly flew towards us! They came nearer and nearer… And flew over the people next to us. After a while they came back and flew directly over our heads! I felt the wind in my hair.
“Aah!” my mum suddenly screamed. “They touched my hair! They could have got me with their feet and that would have been dangerous!” They flew over us over and over, but thankfully nothing happened. After that the flying show was over.
The Birthday Surprise
By: Sina W.
Last Saturday was my birthday party, with the Rhinoceros Class. I had invited all my friends.
After we had finished eating we all formed a circle and I started turning the bottle to unwrap my presents. I looked at all my presents, they were all nicely wrapped. But there was one present which caught my attention more than the others. It was a rectangle box. And the paper around it was with animals - I really loved this paper.
In most of these presents were books, CD’s and board games I thought. But in this present was no book or even a board game. Then I said to myself I had seen this shape before. Last year I got a huge present. In it was a dog from Fur Real Friends. He can bark and walk with a lead. So I thought is this another dog from Fur Real Friends? I started to feel excitement in my tummy, my tummy kiddled me.
Then a thought tumbled in my head. As I had searched on the internet for my birthday presents, there was a panda, which can suck from a milk bottle and comes to you when you call him.
I couldn’t wait anymore. I just had to open this enormous present! My hands were shaking and my body felt tense. I just had to open this huge present. I unwrapped the bow which was red, dark red. And then before I opened the corner I shook the present, there was not much sound.
Then I unwrapped the corner of the package and put my hand inside.I felt something very soft.A slight disappointment came to me.This couldn’t be the panda bear from Fur Real Friends, because these toys are much harder. This is an ordinary stuffed animal I said to myself. Maybe a baby duck because it was so soft.
Then I came back to my thought, it could be the panda because pandas have soft fur. But then I thought did I tell anyone other than my parents that I really wished for this panda? Then I remembered as my parents said, “Sina you are too old for such an electric stuffed animal.” We even got into an argument because I answered I am not too old please – please – please! It didn’t change anything I wasn’t allowed to put it on my birthday wish list.
I couldn’t guess anymore. I just had to open this present. My heart was fluttering as I opened the present. And OMG! I was so euphoric! Guess what, I was right it was really the panda bear from Fur Real Friends that I really wished for. Everyone wanted to play with it even the boys!