Thursday, April 26, 2018

Every Day is Earth Day

With April vacation, it seemed like a natural break to pick up with something new, rather than continue with poetry (plus, you know, my aforementioned confession).

So, Earth Day being this week made for a natural tie-in for my lessons this week.

Kindergarteners heard a book that was recommended by local public librarian, Call Me Tree. It was short but incorporated movement while the main character (and my classes) showed off their best tree poses. We also capped off National Poetry Month with a 2 part poem from a sweet spring-themed poetry book. I needed the rest of the class to finish up our special poetry project...

1st graders heard Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann. We talked about some of the wishes that Peter and his sister asked for and then they each had to write their own wish for the world. They put them in my repurposed wish jar (who actually uses a cookie jar, anyway?) and we took turns reading different wishes while we waited in line at the end of class. It was a pretty cute lesson - great for the first class back after vacation.

2nd grade heard The People Who Hugged the Trees, adapted by Deborah Lee Rose. We did some reading of the cover to predict some details about the story. Someone nailed that it was a story from India. This is a beautifully illustrated story, and its history as a folk tale tied back to some of the genre work we did earlier in the year.

3rd grade started a unit on Reference books. First up was dictionaries, but done in conjunction with the Earth Day-friendly story Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter. I pulled out 6 words from the story for them to look up in the dictionaries (either alone or with partners). They were responsible for the definition and the part of speech, which seemed doable to me, but the 1st class I had were only able to make it through about half the list. I adapted for the next class and had them work in groups of 5 so that they could hopefully move more quickly through the list. It seemed to work much better, so I'll file that away for next year.

Again, 4th and 5th grade marching to the beat of their own drummer (book trailers and biographies, respectively). Full update still to come!

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