Sunday, February 16, 2014

Literacy Happenings!

This week in writing we are working on personal narratives and telling more details. Our mentor text is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. 

It's very fitting for us this week....

If you are unfamiliar with The Snowy Day, you can see it here: 

This story is a nice mentor text for first graders because it has lots of details about Peter's day in the snow. Mr. Keats tells about all the small moments of the day like how Peter found a stick and whacked it against a tree, and how he made different kinds of footprints by changing the position of his feet. By the way, if you have never read the books about Peter's other adventures, you are really missing out! These are just a couple:

This was one of my favorites when I was a kid!

I made some quick graphic organizers to help kids retell the story of The Snowy Day, and then to help them plan their own stories. They are adaptable to almost any text.

Next, I am really excited because later this week I'm going to introduce the kids to one of my favorites! They always love it:

If you have never read the Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein, you need to remedy that situation! The teaching possibilities are endless! Papa chicken is trying to read little chicken a bedtime story. He starts with Hansel and Gretel, but little chicken interrupts. Next, he tries Little Red Riding Hood, but Little Chicken interrupts again. His third attempt is Chicken Little, but it is useless, Little Chicken keeps interrupting. Finally, Little Chicken makes up a bedtime story and tells it to Papa, but Papa falls asleep before she can finish. The best teaching point for this story would probably be fluency. Reading with emotion and adjusting the volume and speed of your reading are all important in this text. I found this reading of the book, but this is one I think you just have to do in person. 

I will definitely talk about fluency, but I think my focus will be on predicting and schema. Here's my plan: after Papa reads the introduction to the fairy tale, I will stop and have the kids write down what they think will happen next. I suspect that the first time I stop, most kids will just write the next event from the fairy tale, but when we read we will discover that Little Chicken interrupts and we never hear the middle or end of Hansel and Gretel. I will repeat this process for the next two stories as well. Hopefully by the second or third example, the students will write something about Little Chicken interrupting, then we can talk about how their schema changed because they discovered the author's pattern. It's going to be fun! Not sure I want to wait until Friday.

In other news: I have been updating my English Language Arts 'I can' statements for first grade, and they are finally done! I have I can statements for literature, informational text, writing, language, foundational skills, and speaking and listening. There is a free preview with the over-arching standards. You can get individual sets for $1, or you can save money by getting the bundled set for $3. 

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  1. I have read Peter's Chair many times but have not read Interrupting Chicken, I will have to check it out. Like your use of putting the videos in your body of work. Thanks.

  2. Great post and thanks for linking up
    Paula from Paula’s Place and iSURF Maths

  3. Thanks so much for sharing on Classroom Freebies. The video links aren't working for me but it may be just a fluke. Thanks a ton!
    Reading and Writing Redhead


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