Posts tagged ‘content-area’
Topics: trees, deforestation, environment, environmentalists, pollution, consumption, greed, factories, habitat, animals, Earth Day
Units of Study: Social Issues, Content Area, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: Mutual Respect
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation
Writing Skills: incorporating rhyme and rhythm, connecting the beginning with its ending
My Thoughts: I recently read this book to my class to celebrate Earth Day. There were misty eyes when the last truffula tree was cut down; I have never heard the room so quiet. Upon rereading I noticed how well the illustrations supported inferential thinking throughout the story. Specifically, the color of the illustrations helps support the idea that without trees the world is a dark, miserable place. In the beginning of the story, the pages are illustrated in dark tones: navy, burgundy, and gray. When the Once-ler flashes back to the first days of his Thneed venture, the illustrations are painted in bright, cheerful hues: magenta, yellow, green and turquoise. One student pointed out toward the beginning of the story, while the illustrations were still bright and cheery, the Once-ler’s materials were painted in dark tones, a premonition that the environment was going to change for the worse.
Topics: earthworms, diaries, composting, differences, predators, soil
Units of Study: Content Area, Nonfiction
Habits of Mind: Finding Humor
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, synthesis
My Thoughts: My class has just started a study on earthworms. Before read aloud each day we check on our worms working hard in our new worm compost bin. Students are bringing food scraps from their lunches (one student even brought coffee grounds from home). A colleague of mine referred me to this adorable book that allows readers to look at the world through the humorous perspective of a young earthworm. I think this book will make an excellent mentor text for students who are deciding to write narrative nonfiction pieces. It’s a great text for teaching readers to be on the look out for jokes and for teaching writers how to incorporate humor into their writing.
Topics: heroes, spies, bravery, independence, war, revolution, Ethan Allen, Crispus Attucks, Lydia Darragh, Nathan Hale, Molly Pitcher, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, Haym Salomon, Deborah Sampson, George Washington
Units: Content Area, Nonfiction
Habits of Mind: persisting, thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: interpretation, determining importance, synthesis
My Thoughts: What makes this a great read aloud is that the stories of each hero are quite short. They make both great read aloud and shared reading texts. Adler attempts to include stories from people other than just the white male heroes. Throughout the book you not only learn about what made each person important but each story tells the origin of famous quotes associated with the Revolution. You will hear the origin of such famous quotes as: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” “Times that try men’s souls,” “I have not yet begun to fight!”
Topics: Lenni Lenape, generations, past, present, cycles, family, seasons, farming, nature
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content Area, Memoir
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, interpretation, synthesis
My Thoughts: This is a great text to support a Social Studies unit on the Lenni Lenape. In this book, the illustrations really tell the story and support interpretation work. The narration is illustrated on the right hand pages: A modern Lenape family farms, weatherizes their house to prepare for winter, fishes for shad, and plays games in the snow. On the left hand pages, a Lenape family from the past do the same activities.
Topics: pets, presidents, fun, friendship, dogs, Obama, Bo, family
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content Area
Reading Skills: synthesis, making connections, interpretation
Writing Skills: developing voice in nonfiction
My Thoughts: I picked this book up a few days ago at our school’s book fair. I have a lot of animal lovers in my class who only read nonfiction about animals. This book combines an interest in animals with an interest in presidential history and current events. It’s a nice book for demonstrating how readers can often get distracted by seductive details but must work constantly to think about what the author is trying to say about the topic.
Topics: legends, Native Americans, sacred places, Wampanoag, Seneca, Niagara Falls, Navajo, Cherokee, Papago, Hopewell, Cheyenne, Hopi, Abenaki, Walapai, Grand Canyon
Units of Study: Content-Area, Nonfiction, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: envisionment, interpretation
My Thoughts: This is a great read aloud for integrating map skills. Using the clues in each legend, students could try and figure out which place is being described. A copy of the map in the back of the book could be distributed to students during the read aloud and partners could work together to locate each sacred place on the map.
Topics: Thanksgiving, Cape Cod, Plymouth Rock, Pawtuxets, slavery, Squanto, Puritans, Mayflower, survival, death, cooperation, farming
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area, Social Issues
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, envisionment, determining importance, synthesis
My Thoughts: When I was a kid, I learned about how the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. They toiled through the winter and many people died. I learned how Squanto helped the Pilgrims plant corn, beans and squash and as a gesture of peace, the Native Americans and the Pilgrims sat together to celebrate the harvest. What I didn’t learn until I read Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen is how Squanto came to learn English–he had been a slave in London. Several years before the Pilgrims arrival, Squanto had been tricked onto a boat headed for Spain. He was purchased by a merchant ship owner from London. Squanto eventually sailed back to the village that he had been stolen from only to find that his entire village had died from smallpox!
This book attempts to tell the story of the first Thanksgiving without glossing over the contributions of the Wampanoag and of Squanto. I plan on reading this during the few days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. I also think I want to reread it during our Social Issues unit.