Focus on Informational Content
In the recent years there has been more concentration on the importance of students being able to read and understand informational content. This has certainly become evident in recent curriculum changes. Previously I found it difficult to find resources at a level that my students could understand, however, I am noticing the focus on combining informational content with fictional. More authors are are combining the two and this approach is appealing for our young learners.
Dinosaurs Informational Content Theme
We are just completing our informational unit on “Dinosaurs” and I thought I would share some of the activities that have proven to be valuable to my learners. I found the books below to be simplistic enough for my learners, yet packed with good information. These books did not focus on specific dinosaurs but just provided general information.
1. Every Shape and Size by Colin Walker
This book is a great to read prior to reading the emergent reader “Different Dinosaurs”.
2. The Dinosaur by Anna Milbourne
3. More About Dinosaurs – Troll Associates
4. How Big Were the Dinosaurs? Bernard Most
Follow-Up Writing Activity
Each day I read a book to my students and/or we watched a video (YouTube search). The students would then write a sentence about what they learned in their dinosaur shape book. They were often required to use specific sight word(s) or pattern within their sentences. If you are a member you do have access to this shape book.
Follow-Up Reading Activity
In the theme unit you will find two informational content readers that are simplistic enough for your students to read on their own. I use these for shared and guided reading. This would be used to help meet your R.I.K. outcomes.
Literacy Centers or Stations
Literacy Center One – Spin, Rhyme and Find – Group of 6
Students spin a top and match the rhyming picture they landed on, to that found on the game board chart using bingo chips. The game is over when all the rhyming matches have been marked off. There are three different game boards so the students can exchange theirs for a different one.
If you are a member, login to your account, go to reading on the main menu and scroll down to “literacy centers” to access this game.
Litearcy Center Two – Identify and Print Review Game – Group of 6
Place a plastic page protector over the printing sheet so it can be reused. This can be a partner or individual game. Each player is given a printing sheet. The players are also given a set of alphabet picture cards. Players draw a picture card and determine which letter represents the beginning sound. They must print the letter that represents the initial letter sound with an erasible marker. If they draw a picture of a letter that has already been printed on their printing board, this is placed in the discarded pile to be used after all the cards have been drawn. The game is over once all the letters have been printed.
If you are a member, login to your account, go to reading on the main menu and scroll down to “literacy centers” to access the picture cards in both color, black and white. You will also find more picture cards under heading “Alphabet Program” (alphabet pictures).
Litearcy Center Three – CVC Practice – 45 CVC Picture Cards – Group of 6
I work with this group of students, assisting them in hearing sounds within CVC words. I draw a picture card and students are to print the CVC word represented on their individual dry erase boards. Some of my students can print the entire word and others only the initial sound.
If you are a member, login to your account, go to reading on the main menu and scroll down to “Literacy Centers” to access the CVC picture cards.
Literacy Center Four – Alphabet Name and Ordering – Group of 6
I still have a few students who do not know all the letter names. In this activity I partner students who know their letter names with those who do not. I found alphabet letters stickers, gems and tweezers at Dollarama. I placed the alphabet stickers on the gems (enough for 3 sets). The object of the game is to pick up the gem using the tweezer (great fine-motor activity), say the letter name and place all the gems in the correct alphabet order. They can do this with or without the alphabet dinosaur board provided in the link below.
Dinosaur Letter Board
Literacy Center Five – Dig, Say and Print Focus Sight Words
Same as above, only the students dig for sight words, say and place them on their sight word sheet. Game is over once all the sight words have been dug. You can also have the student dig and print, using the printing sheet in the link below:
Sight Word Printing Sheet
Math Centers or Stations
Calendar, count days on calendar, count how many days they have been in school, add this many straws to the 10’s cup. Count to 100 and by 10’s to 100.
Math Number Animated Videos
Introduce Math Tubs
Math Center One – Estimating, Measuring Length and Height
I have a set of erasible paddle boards that I use all the time. The students will be estimating the length and height of our dinosaur figurines (how many snap cubes long or tall). They will write their estimation on their paddle boards. After, they will measure the figurine to see how close their estimation was. If you do not have dinosaur figurines, you can use the paper templates below:
Math Center Two – Measuring Volume
1. Students estimate how many small dinosaur figurines or rice it will take to fill different containers (can be any small manipulatives or even dinosaur fruit snacks). After, they confirm their estimation by counting how many will fill the container.
2. How many scoops of rice will it take to fill different containers?
Math Center Three – Measuring Weight
Constant – Heavier object (decorative rock)
The students will estimate how many small manipulatives it will take to balance the constant (heavier object) using a pan scale.
Math Center Four – Numeral Identification and Printing Review
My students still need practice with identifying ten frames and numeral printing so I will include this Center throughout the duration of the year. These templates are found in the Dinosaur theme and Math program. Numeral printing sheets include ten frames for 1-10 and 1-20 (this will vary depending on your math outcomes). According to the “Common Core Standards” the students are required to identify and print numerals 1-20. The students draw a ten frame card. I have placed the dotted numeral printing sheets in a plastic cover sheet so they can erase these after. The student must print the numeral that represents the ten frame they selected. They will continue drawing the cards until they have printed all the numerals.
Math Center Five – Decomposing Sets of Numbers
I painted lima beans on one side and left the other side white. Different amounts of beans were placed in plastic Easter eggs. The students spill the eggs (beans) and can print the amount, make an addition sentence or subtraction sentence similar to what is displayed in the photograph. The templates to play this game is found in the Math Program.
Planning Resources for Next Year
In preparing additional resources, I would like to base these on some of your favorite literature selections. Could you please post them below. I would really appreciate your assistance in this planning.
PLEASE POST YOUR FAVORITE LITERATURE SELECTIONS BELOW (BOTH FICTIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL)
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