Sunday, February 5, 2017

K-1 Read-Alouds for February

We hope your students are enjoying these read-alouds as much as our kindergartners and first graders are. We love seeing the students' excitement as we introduce the new book each week. There were so many fun books to pick from for our February pack, it was hard to choose just 5. 

With Groundhog's Day at the beginning of the month we knew we needed to include a groundhog book. We found 'Groundhog's Runaway Shadow' by David Biedrzycki. It is such a fun book! This book puts a fun spin on traditional Groundhog's Day books. In this story Phil's shadow doesn't do what it's supposed to and it starts to annoy Phil. For the first lesson we discussed the character's, problem and solution in the story. The second lesson guides students to look at how the shadow made Phil feel. For the third lesson students look at what the illustrations show the shadow doing and compare it to what the text tells them. Finally, for the fourth lesson students write what they would do with their own shadow and complete the groundhog craftivity.
The second book we chose was 'Love is my Favorite Thing' by Emma Chichester Clark. This darling book is about a dog named Plum who loves so many different things, but love is her favorite. Plum keeps getting in trouble by doing typical things that most dogs do. She starts to worry that her owners won't love her anymore. For the first lesson students brainstorm all of the things that Plum loves. The second lesson has students think of the different causes (what Plum does that gets her into trouble) and effects (what her owners say to her) throughout the story. Finally for the third lesson students make the craftivity by brainstorming all of the things that they love and write about their favorite thing. So cute!

This adorable series by Rachel Bright is irresistible.  Monster feels down because he doesn't fit in in a world of cute, fluffy things.  He ventures out to the Big Wide World to find someone who will love him.  He searches high and low to no avail.  Just when he is ready to give up, something unexpected and wonderful happens.  For the first lesson, students make a map of the story's setting, which will help them recall key ideas from the story.  The second lesson has students analyze how Monster's feeling change in response to events.  Next, students think about how illustrations and text work together to tell the story.  As a culminating activity, students make their own Love Monster Craftivity.  

Please Mr. Panda is a simple story with a positive message. Mr. Panda offers each of his friends a doughnut.  Penguin, Skunk, Ostrich, and Whale all lack manners.  They make demands, are picky, and forget to say "please" or "thank you." He finally finds a friendly lemur who remembers his manners and gives him ALL his doughnuts.  Students have to infer the reason Panda keeps changing his mind.  The first lesson, students sequence the story by putting the characters in order.  The second lesson, students learn about dialogue by completing a speech bubble activity.  The last lesson has students consider cause and effect as they analyze the moral of the story.  After students have a deep understanding of the story, they will love the supplementary craftivity and retelling puppets. 

National Geographic Kids Readers are perfect for close reading.  They are complex enough to merit several revisits and contain beautiful photographs and a variety of text features.  The first lesson students compete a koalas idea map to recall key ideas and details from the text.  The second lesson students learn about the author's point by listing reasons the author gives to support information.  Students will use the information and facts learned in previous lessons to write an "If I were a Koala" informational book.  Students will have a blast making koala masks to present their books to the class, which is perfect for hitting speaking and listening standards.  

You can purchase each of these read-alouds from our Teachers Pay Teachers store. Your students will love these read-alouds and you will love meeting so many Reading Literature Core Standards. Download our free scope and sequence to see what standards are being taught in each read-aloud.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

1 Informational Text at a Time: Winter Bundle #2

 We just love using National Geographic kids informational texts in our classrooms and decided to  pick three great titles for this bundle. 'Polar Bears' by Laura Marsh was a perfect choice from their selection. We started our four day lessons for this book by looking at the key ideas and details about polar bears. For day two we dove into the point the author was making and located evidence that supported the author's point throughout the text. Finally, students used what they learned to write a nonfiction flip book and compliment it with a cute polar bear craftivity. 

For our next selection we picked 'Penguins!' by Anne Schreiber. Your students will love the cute and playful photographs of penguins in this text. We started this close read by asking and answering questions about penguins. We included an option where students can write their own questions about penguins or use the questions we provided. The second lesson had students focus on what information they learned from the photographs. Students wrote the information they learned from the text and compared it to the information they learned from the pictures. For the last day, students used all of their new knowledge to write three facts about penguins on the adorable penguin craftivity. 

Our final selection for this pack was 'Wolves' by Laura Marsh. Thanks to familiar fairy tales, students are naturally drawn to these scary but intriguing creatures and will definitely enjoy learning more about them. We began the first lesson by categorizing key details about wolves on a graphic organizer. During the next lessons, students returned to their organizers to write additional facts they learned about wolves as they revisited the text.  In the second lesson, the class made connections between the text  and the text features to help distinguish between the sounds humans hear wolves make and what wolves are actually communicating to one another. For the third lesson, students wrote an informational booklet on wolves. These lessons were finalized as students painted a howling wolf art piece.

We hope you and your students enjoy these informational texts as much as we do! You can purchase each of these lesson plans separately or in a bundle by visiting our TpT store
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

K-1 December Read Aloud Selections

Here are some of our favorite books to read to kindergarten and first grade students during the month of December...

This first story is one of our very favorites (and the students love it too!) Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. otto Seibold is a clever tale about Olive the dog, who mistakenly sings the wrong words to the classic tune, "All of the other reindeer..." and believes she must be a reindeer too. She quickly heads to the North Pole to assist Santa on his busy trip around the world. Luckily, her dog skills are just what the team needs to overcome the troubles they encounter along the way. After our initial reading of the book, we will discuss the problems and adventures presented throughout the story and look closely at how Olive helped to correct each problem. In our next lesson, we will revisit some of the words and phrases that elicit feelings, define what they mean, and discuss what type of feeling each word or phrase represents. During the third lesson, we will compare and contrast Olive's and Santa's character traits by finding evidence in the text and illustrations that demonstrates what each character says, does, thinks, and feels throughout the story. To complete our lessons, the students will write their opinions about other animals that might be able to help Santa pull the sleigh and will also complete a cute craftivity to display their writing.

 When we spotted Ninjabread by C. J. Leigh, illustrated by Chris Gall at our school's Scholastic Book Fair, we knew we had to include it in our December lesson plans.  This adorable spin on the classic Gingerbread Man will definitely be a hit with our students.  We thought our kids would enjoy making connections with the original tale, so we chose a classic version by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Barbara Mclintock for this comparison.  To begin, we will read the Gingerbread Man and ask our students text dependent questions.  We will discuss story elements and our students will complete a basic story map.  The next lesson, we will read Ninjabread Man and discuss the same story elements, using the same graphic organizer.  The Ninjabread Man has some fun vocabulary, so we planned a simple vocabulary lesson in which the kids will illustrate the meaning of some of the unfamiliar words from the story.  The last lesson, students will be ready to compare and contrast the Ninjabread Man with the Gingerbread Man.  We decided to create two differentiated versions to cover this skill.  One option will be a Similarities and Differences Chart, the other a Character Comparison.  As a culminating activity, students will have the opportunity to create their own version of a  _______bread Man. 

We can't resist any of the Snowmen books by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner.  Snowmen at Christmas is no exception.  This magical story depicts the imagination of a sleeping boy on Christmas Eve.  As he dozes off, he wonders how snowmen celebrate Christmas. The rhyming story and beautiful illustrations will surely enchant our kids as they learn about the various ways the snowmen celebrate the holiday.  After our first read, we will have students complete a simple snowman graphic organizer to recall key ideas and details from the story.  After revisiting the story in the second lesson, we will use a "what it is, what it is not" sheet to define and dive into some difficult vocabulary words.  For the third lesson, we thought it would be fun to have students compare and contrast the way snowmen celebrate Christmas with the way they celebrate Christmas.  Students will create a snowmen scene as a fun art project that represents the story.    
Our last pick is an old favorite from the Julie Sykes Santa collection. 'Hurry, Santa!' is an enjoyable read. When Santa's alarm doesn't go off on Christmas eve, it's just the start of his problems. He trips over his pants, can't find his reindeer because they are off playing in the snow, and he crashes his sleigh. Students will enjoy brainstorming and writing about the things that cause Santa to be late after reading the story the first day. The second day lesson plans will guide students to look at what the text is saying compared to what the illustrations are showing. To finish up with this story students will write a letter to Santa and tell him what they would get him if they were to buy him a present and complete a cute craftivity. We also included an optional compare and contrast activity so students can compare late Santa to the traditional Santa. 

You can purchase each of these read-alouds from our Teachers Pay Teachers store. Your students will love these read-alouds and you will love meeting so many Reading Literature Core Standards. Download our free scope and sequence to see what standards are being taught in each read-aloud.

You can also purchase these in a bundle to save money. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

K-1 Read-Alouds for November

Here are the titles and a brief overview of our November K-1 read-alouds:

Bear Says Thanks
We can't seem to resist any Bear books by Karma Wilson. Our students love the repetitive phrases, familiar characters, and lively illustrations by Jane Chapman. The first day, we will target key ideas and details by having students complete a cut and paste to sequence the "who, what, and what Bear said." The next day we will dive into vocabulary. "Bear Says Thanks" is packed full of rich tier II vocabulary words that merit time and attention.  We pulled out our favorite vocabulary activity for this lesson. We will revisit pages with the vocabulary words, reread the sentence with the word, then model how to figure out the meaning.  We will talk about how to use the text, illustration, or another resource to define it.  After defining a couple of words as a class,we will give students the opportunity to try it on their own worksheet. They will gather on the rug with clipboards as we define a few more words.  The third day, we will discuss how Bear's feelings change throughout the story.  We designed a few differentiated graphic organizers to meet our student's needs for this concept. The last day, we will make retelling puppets.  Kids will weave a construction paper quilt for the setting. We will use our "Bear Says Thanks" puppets in our retelling station during literacy stations. 

A Tree Grows Up and Little Tree
 After reading many different books this month and trying to decide on the perfect texts to use, we came across "A Tree Grows Up" and "Little Tree." After reading both texts we realized they would work perfectly as a fiction and nonfiction compare/contrast lesson. The first day students answer text dependent questions around facts learned in "A Tree Grows Up." After learning about the changes trees go through during each season, the students will draw and write about the trees in each season. The second lesson will guide students as they answer text dependent questions about "Little Tree." The students will draw and write how Little Tree's friends changed through the seasons as well as how Little Tree changed once he was no longer afraid to drop his leaves in the fall. The third lesson compares the nonfiction text to the fictional story. Students will write (or complete the cut and paste option) to find the similarities and differences in both texts. The lessons end as students complete the fun tree craft which uses shredded paper as leaves. 

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
 This clever tale by Dav Pilkey puts a holiday spin on the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students will be thrilled as we read about eight children who take a field trip to Farmer Mack Nuggett's farm in, "'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving." The first lesson addresses key ideas and details as students retell and sequence the beginning, middle, and end of the story. The second lesson will focus on the text's craft and structure. By returning to specific pages in the text, we will reread what the text says specifically and then look closely at the illustrations to understand what the author meant. Then we will give students time to quote what the author said and draw what the illustration showed on a graphic organizer. For the third lesson, we will hold a class discussion so students can share their opinions on whether they should save the turkeys like the children did in the story, or whether they should eat the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. Then students will have time to write down their opinions and a reason to support their thinking. Afterward, they will turn their writing page into a cute craft that will help to further demonstrate their opinion. In a fourth lesson, we will target the Integration of Knowledge and Ideas standards. After reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to students, we will use the descriptions and illustrations to compare and contrast St. Nicholas with Farmer Mack Nuggett. Students will record their comparisons by drawing the characters' similarities and differences on a graphic organizer.  

You can purchase each of these read-alouds from our Teachers Pay Teachers store. Your students will love these read-alouds and you will love meeting so many Reading Literature and Informational Text Core Standards. Download our free scope and sequence to see what standards are being taught in each read-aloud.