Sunday, September 16, 2012

Common Core Curriculum Maps Book Study: Kindergarten: Unit 6

HOORAY! All your hard work throughout the year helping your students build their phonemic awareness and phonic skills and  has paid off and they are reading their emergent readers. Here we are at Unit 6 Wonders of Nature: Plants, Bugs, and Frogs. This unit looks so exciting for Kindergartners now that they hopefully have reached the emergent-reader stage and are enjoying reading informational texts and listening to wonderful picture books by Eric Carle and Robert McClosky during Read Alouds. You might want to begin by showing a picture of Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" and ask them how it makes them feel?  (Essential question for Unit 6: "How does nature inspire us as readers, writers and artists?") Show other pictures of beautiful mountains, fall trees,  rainbows and sunsets and talk about the beautiful colors and other adjectives that describe them. How does nature change the way the mountains and the leaves on the trees look. Those are just a few of the Wonders of Nature. 

                                           "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet

You can use the paintings of Claude Monet's Water Lilies  (click on the picture above) to explain that he painted it over and over again revising it until he had the finished product. Relate this idea to students that we do the same thing when we write. We revise stories to make them better by adding more details. Have students write or draw or dictate a story about something amazing they have seen in nature and the name of what they saw, where they saw it and 2 events that happened.. Examples: a firefly, in my backyard, I ran after it and it landed on my arm and then I screamed. (W.K.3) Publish your students' writing in a digital form by scanning them into your computer and making a PowerPoint presentation  that can be presented to their parents as a culminating writing project for the year.(W.K.6)

Unit 6: Focus Standards (“© Copyright 2010National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School  Officers. All rights reserved)
RL.K.10:Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding

RL.K.8:With prompting and support,identify the reasons the author gives to support points in a text.

RI.K.9:  With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

RF.K.4: Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

W.K.6: With guidance and support, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including collaboration with peers.

L.K.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words and phrases based on Kindergarten content.
L.K.4(b): Use common affixes as clues to the meaning of an unknown  word.

Unit 6: Suggested Students Objectives: (Copyright 2012 by Common Core, Inc. All rights Reserved)
  • Articulate cause-and-effect relationships  (e.g. as they occur in the natural world)
  • Recognize the basic similarities and differences between 2 texts on the same topic (both can be informational or 1 can be non-fiction and one can be fictional)
  • Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding
  • Write, draw, or dictate a narrative ((e.g., describing something that happened in nature and a subsequent reaction).
  • Relate the idea of writing revision to a visual artist's creative process (i.e.continuously improving the work)
  • Use common affixes as clues to the meaning of unknown words.
The emphasis on this last 6 weeks is for students during reading and Read Aloud time to recognize that growth and change in nature occurs in both fiction and informational texts. For example as in Eric Carle's : "The Tiny Seed".

 which tells the life cycle of a flower through the adventures of a seed as compared to Helen J. Jordan and Loretta Krupinski's "How a Seed Grows"

Each day during Read Aloud time read one of these books and have your students identify how these books are alike and different. (RI.K.9) What a great way to incorporate a great Science Unit on Plants and have students planting seeds, giving them sunlight and water and watching them grow from seed to plant. They can make A Plant Journal and draw pictures of what is happening each day.

Students also will learn about "cause and effect" by recognizing interactions in nature and how we all have a role in preserving nature. Which of course brings us to Earth Day what has caused the need for everyone to play a role in preserving our earth. So I decided to focus my lesson on an  emergent reader called "I Can Help Our Earth". There are many wonderful pictures books you can read during Read Aloud time before your students get to read their own emergent  such as:                                               
                                    by Alison Inches                         by  Stuart J. Murphy
There are lots of new vocabulary words to point out that are unknown to them so it is a great time to point out the words and connect them to a picture. Talk about how these books are alike and different.

You may also be interested in my Revised and Updated Earth Day product which you will find in my TpT store by clicking on the image below. 

You can see all the activities and materials by downloading the Preview file. It includes my own original Shared Reading book called "Why Do We Need Earth Day?" There are Word Wall Words and Picture/Word Cards for Matching as well as writing activities.There are 3 Guided Reading Books (and Comprehension Activities) at the Early Emergent level for those students who are struggling and 2 Guided Reading  Emergent Level Books. It also includes Literacy Center Activities, an Earth Day Picture/Word Sort,  Sentence Parts March and Writing, Writing Activities and my original chant : "Help Our Earth"

You can find some great free resources, craft ideas and a free activity from me by clicking HERE
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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