August 13, 2013

Informational Book Lesson Plans (and Weekly Homework Too!)

After a long first day back, I’m working on a blog post!  I decided that if I don’t do it now, I wouldn’t get to it this week.  Plus, I've been slowly working on informational book lesson plans.  My teaching partner, Lisa, and I wanted to start with a book called Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence, but Scholastic no longer has it available.  So we had to hit it with another angle.  Text structure is one of the first things on our district road map, and we want to tackle informational texts right from the get-go.  As I've been investigating this, I've discovered it isn't such an easy find.  The stuff out there is about the skill-sequencing, compare and contrast, etc.-and not so much about how to teach the structure itself.  Also, it’s hard to find a whole text on each topic.  They are all embedded within the writing in one book.  Some of the readers the series provide have these structures, but I’m saving them.  More on that later.  So what’s a girl to do?  Use what you have!  And what we have are the National Geographic readers that come with the science series our district offers.  I have gone through and found parts of the first three texts that represent each type of text structure.  From that, I will build our “you do” portion of the lessons.  We will still use Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence, but now it will be portions of it instead of the whole text.  (It’s a fun way to introduce some of the various sicknesses that kids come across in books.  They approach it in a way that is easy to understand and is nonthreatening.)
With that being said, we now have a “Teacher does”, a “you do together”, and now comes the big reveal-a “you do independently”.  Here’s the first thing I’ve done.

In these two crates are single copies of informational books I’ve gathered over the years and from our current reading series.  These books will be used on a weekly basis.  Students will pick a book, on any of the topics presented, and complete an informational text assignment.  The generic questions are intense enough to make them think through the process, but provide for a different experience each time they read a new book!  I’m kinda excited about this.  Below are samples of how the pages look and work! 

Find them here!

         Along with this, I am working on some pages to accompany the lessons we will teach on text structure.  Once we try them out and they work, I’ll get them posted!  It will give me some great things to write about!  For now, I’m off to think about all the things I have to do in the next day and a half before open house!  The list is long, it always is!


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