Posts tagged ‘striving for accuracy’

62. “Before New York” by Peter Miller, National Geographic September 2009

Before New YorkRetell: Peter Miller investigates the Mannahatta Project, a group who have analyzed several historical maps in order to create pictures of what Manhattan might have looked like when Henry Hudson spotted the island back in 1609.

Topics: New York, beavers, then & now, New Amsterdam, Hudson, conservation, geography, maps

Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content Area

Habits of Mind: thinking interdependently, responding with wonderment and awe, striving for accuracy

Reading Skills: envisionment, determining importance, questioning

My Thoughts: My eyes lit up when I received my monthly National Geographic magazine yesterday afternoon.  The feature article, “Before New York,” is dedicated to presenting a picture of the landscape of New York City before it was the crowded, bustling town it is today.  If you are a 4th grade teacher in New York I highly recommend going out to your local news stand and picking up a copy today.  The article includes several pictures of ‘then and now’ maps and digital renderings.  I plan on reading this article (or a portion of it) when we do our unit on New York geography.  The article highlights how cartographers pose questions, strive for accuracy and work in groups.  I may just reread the beginning of the article where the author tells the story of a beaver named Jose who appeared near the Bronx zoo.  According to the article beaver haven’t been spotted in New York City in over 200 years.  If you don’t have a subscription check out the National Geographic website.  If you have a projector in your classroom you could share the interactive maps of New York after reading the article.

August 27, 2009 at 9:56 am 1 comment

48. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

the paper bag princessRetell: After a fire-breathing dragon destroys her castle, Elizabeth dons a paper bag and goes off to rescue the ‘charming’ Prince Ronald.  Through cunning wit she tricks the dragon and frees the prince only to realize that perhaps he wasn’t worth saving after all.

Topics: fairy tales, dragons, princesses, princes

Units of Study: Fantasy, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts

Tribes: personal best, mutual respect

Habits of Mind: persisting, managing impulsivity, thinking flexibly, striving for accuracy

Reading Skills: interpretation, inference

Writing Skills: writing interesting dialogue

My Thoughts: This is a TC read aloud classic that I have seen used in several workshops on planning effective interactive read alouds.  For such a short book, there are many ways you could teach with it.  It’s a great book for discussing gender issues during the Social Issues unit.  After rereading this book for the 20th time I just realized what a great text it is for teaching the Habits of Mind.  Elizabeth uses a lot of them!  For example, her entire castle burns down but she persists and goes to save Prince Ronald.  She has no clothes but thinks flexibly and fashions a dress out of a paper bag.  After competely exhausting the dragon she strives for accuracy and manages impulsivity by checking to make sure the dragon is truly knocked out.

August 13, 2009 at 9:37 am 1 comment

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