Posts tagged ‘striving for accuracy’
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: persisting, gathering data through all senses, striving for accuracy and precision, questioning and posing problems, applying past knowledge to new situations
Reading Skills: prediction, synthesis, determining importance, interpretation, empathy
My Thoughts: With the announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Barack Obama, you may want to take the opportunity to discuss the history of the prize itself. It’s a great text for discussing the Habits of Mind. The illustrations are quite large and are particularly vivid–perfect for classroom read alouds.
Retell: This is the rags-to-riches story of Roberto Clemente. Not only was he an all-star player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was also a humanitarian who donated a great deal of his earnings to charity.
Topics: baseball, Puerto Rico, racism, poetry
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Social Issues, Content-Area
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: persisting, thinking flexibly, striving for accuracy
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, envisionment
Writing Skills: including similes, using commas in lists
My Thoughts: I like sports stories that emphasize the athlete’s character rather than just his/her athletic ability. This is a good book for showing persistence even in the face of adversity. The book describes how Clemente grew up playing baseball with a glove made out of a coffee-bean sack and baseballs made from old soup cans. Written in free verse but organized into two line stanzas, this is a great book to read as a model for students writing nonfiction poetry during the Content-Area unit.
Retell: Jim discovers a mysterious vine outside of his window one day. He follows it up and up and encounters a giant. This giant however is not very ferocious. He has lost his sight, his teeth and his hair. With Jim’s help the giant acquires glasses, dentures and a wig.
Topics: curiosity, measurement, fairy tales, act of kindness
Units of Study: Fantasy, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, appreciations/no put-downs
Habits of Mind: striving for accuracy and precision
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, prediction, interpretation
Writing Skills: incorporating the rule of three
My Thoughts: This can be filed under “stories with a twist”. (See The Paper Bag Princess post). This is a spoof/sequel to the story, “Jack and the Beanstalk”. In this story, the main character is nice to the giant, drastically changing the moral of the story. It would be interesting to plan a mini read aloud where you read twisted fairy tales. With older kids, it may be great to use twisted fairy tales to work on interpretation. Students could examine questions such as: How does the moral of the story change when the characters act differently? Why do you think the author chose to rewrite the famous fairy tale? What was he/she trying to teach?
Topics: fossils, trilobites, dinosaurs, ocean, landforms
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe, striving for accuracy and precision
Reading Skills: envisionment, questioning
Writing Skills: using repetition
My Thoughts: One of the many goals of this blog is to discover hidden read aloud gems. This is one of those books and it just happens to fit with our current Science unit. I love how the author invites the reader to envision what the world must have been like when today’s mountains were covered by a vast ocean. This book could also make a good mentor text for students who need help using repetition effectively. If you decide to have students read and write nonfiction poetry, this book would be a good addition to that unit.
Retell: Kiri loves to paint and draw. When her Auntie Lu sends her a package of origami paper, Kiri begins teaching herself how to fold a paper butterfly. She gets to a point where her corners are supposed to match up and tears her paper. She attempts the butterfly the next day but she is scared that she will tear one of her beautiful papers. Through practice and persistence Kiri eventually folds a successful butterfly.
Topics: origami, art, paper, diagrams, how-to
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction
Tribes: personal best, appreciations/no put-downs
Habits of Mind: persisting, striving for accuracy, creating-innovating-imagining, thinking flexibly, managing impulsivity, taking responsible risks, remaining open to continuous learning
Writing Skills: including similes, making several drafts before publishing
My Thoughts: I wish I had known about this book years ago when I started a paper crane project with my fourth graders. We read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, folded 1,000 paper cranes, and sent them to a school in Japan who delivered our cranes to the peace memorial in Hiroshima. When I had started the project, I didn’t realize how difficult paper crane folding would be for that age. Some students were able to pick it up quickly while others got really frustrated with the process. Kiri teaches us how to deal with frustration. She took a break from the project, practiced with other materials, and tackled the project with new energy. Throughout this book many ‘habits of mind’ are presented. Even if you don’t plan on doing origami with your class, it’s great to read during the revising process of any Writing unit.
Retell: Truss makes punctuation entertaining in this adaptation of her best-seller Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Each page contains illustrations of seemingly identical sentences. Take for example the following sentences:
- Eat here, and get gas.
- Eat here and get gas.
One implies that you get gasoline, the other implies that the food makes you (and others) uncomfortable.
Topics: punctuation, grammar, usage, commas
Units of Study: This book can be used during any Writing unit
Habits of Mind: thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, striving for accuracy
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: using commas
Thoughts: The illustrations in this book truly convey the importance of commas. In the back of the book there are explanations for why the meaning of each sentence changes with an omission or insertion of a comma. There are other books in the series that I haven’t checked out yet but I hear are equally delightful. Essential mentor texts for any editing unit.
Retell: “I don’t want to because boys don’t write poetry. Girls do.” Jack reluctantly keeps a poetry journal. With encouragement from his teacher he begins to write about his dog. By using famous poems as mentor texts, Jack learns to be a prolific poet.
Topics: poetry, school, pets, loss, writer’s block
Units of Study: Independent Writing Projects, Poetry, Social Issues, Character
Tribes: personal best
Habits of Mind: striving for accuracy, thinking interdependently, thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, making connections
Writing Skills: using mentor texts to improve writing
My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite books by Sharon Creech. She captures the voice of a young writer so well. I consider this a read aloud though I often use it as a text for doing shared reading. Since each entry is dated, one could conceivably read the pages on or close to the dates in the book–a read aloud that lasts all year long. In the back of the book are poems by: Walter Dean Meyers, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and Valerie Worth. You could use the poems for shared reading at the same time you read the book aloud.