Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Using Nonfiction and Fiction Texts for Fluency in First Grade

Posted by Cindy Price on Aug 25, 2017 4:08:15 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

In today’s classroom, there is a lot of focus on fluency. Children are supposed to be able to read to us as if they were talking to us. So we begin in the primary grades to focus on fluency using easy text.

In my room, I wanted my children to read fluently but not just fiction books. I wanted them to read nonfiction books as well. This is why I love the Zoozoo Into the Wild series by Hameray Publishing!

This series has a nonfiction section as well as a fiction section. This allows us to bring in various texts that will pique their interests and ones that we can use during our guided reading groups as well.

The books we read were Zebra, Oh, Zebra!, Frog, and Frogs Play.

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As usual, we began by reviewing the vocabulary. Each book had some awesome words to review with my kids! I love having my kids come up with synonyms for the vocabulary words.

We made inferences about the fiction stories. They looked at the cover and told me what they thought would happen. With the nonfiction stories, they shared all that they thought they knew about the animal. We completed can, have, and are charts using the nonfiction texts.

>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

The text in both the fiction and the nonfiction books were perfect for my small group and my low readers. But all of my kids gravitate towards these books! They love the pictures and the easy to read text.

As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book. I love these pages. Look below and click on the picture for the link to the series.

The Nonfiction Texts

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After we discussed the books we then completed some activities! The pages that we completed are below! Click on the photo for the link to worksheets.

The Fiction Texts

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I love how we can compare and contrast the two series. That is a common core standard for first grade. Comparing and contrasting two texts about the same topic. But we could also compare the texts against each other, frogs and zebras. Students were able to discuss the differences in environments and storylines as well as diet and life cycles.

After we discussed the books, we then completed some activities. The pages that we completed are below. Click on worksheet image at the bottom of the page to .

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Click on the image below to learn more about the Zoozoo Into the Wild Series that is featured in this post.

New Call-to-Action Frog and Zebra Activity Packet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Into the Wild, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price, fiction, Fluency

Zoozoo Storytellers Activities!

Posted by Cindy Price on Nov 29, 2016 2:58:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

I love the Zoozoo Storytellers series! In first grade we are comparing fiction and nonfiction books as well as learning about retelling a fiction story and the importance of making sure the text and photographs match in a nonfiction text. The series is perfect for this comparison.

The books we read were Frogs and Frog’s Play. As usual, we began by reviewing the vocabulary. These books have such an awesome vocabulary bank. The text was perfect for my small-group and my low readers, but all of my kids gravitate towards these books! The one thing I love about these books is the fact that they increase my students’ self-esteem. The easy-to-read yet informative text was a hit with my kids!

We can use these books for many Common Core Standards. We can use them for point of view, opinion writing, compare and contrast stories, text to self connections, listening and speaking standards, as well as reading fluency and writing activities! 

The nonfiction book, Frogs, had awesome photos that closely match the text. This is an important feature for the books to have, especially at this reading level.

Here is the cover and some pages from the nonfiction book!

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Here are some of the things my kids did with the nonfiction text!

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We read the book and discussed the parts of a frog. Then they labeled the frog with the word bank at the bottom of the page. We also compared ourselves to the frog. What body parts do we share with frogs?

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We also talked about what frogs "can" do, what they "have," and what they "are." We made a large class chart as well as the children making their own individual chart to share with their families.

Then we read the fiction book Frog’s Play. My kids loved the bright pictures and the easy-to-read text. We read it once as a class and then they read it individually. All of my readers loved this book despite their reading level. I also put it in our class library and it has been a constant hit!

Check out the cute pictures and easy print as well as some of the activities we did using this book!

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After reading, we retold the story. First we retold it with a friend, then as a class. Then, depending on their abilities, the kids either wrote what happened or drew pictures for what happened in the story!

Then we did this fill-in activity.

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When we were finished reading both books, we also compared the two texts. The kids loved this entire mini-unit.

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Click on the image below to learn more about the Zoozoo Storytellers Series that is featured in this post.New Call-to-Action

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Storytellers, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price

Ocean Life Study in First Grade—With FREE Activity Sheet!

Posted by Cindy Price on Aug 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

What do all kids love? Animals, especially ocean animals!

In first grade, we are focusing a lot on nonfiction readers. Sometimes, it is hard to find a nonfiction reader that is right for all of your students. The nonfiction readers in ZooZoo Animal World's Ocean Animals Set, however, are great for all of your learners. Below, I’ll walk you through the lesson that I teach to my class using the Sea Turtle book.

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To begin the lesson, we always start with our Wonder Wall. For those of you who have never heard of a Wonder Wall, it is a place in the classroom where the kids can post their wonders and refer to them throughout the lesson. On a sticky note, students write one thing they wonder about or want to know about sea turtles.

After the Wonder Wall, I show them the cover of the book. The kids look at the cover and then turn and talk with a partner to see what they know or think they know about sea turtles.

After discussing the cover, we begin to read the book. I love the pages of this book because the pictures are bright and colorful, and the text is easy enough for all learners to be successful. With a clean page layout, the reader can focus on what the text is saying. 

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As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book.

After we discussed the books, we completed some activity sheets. You can download my activity sheets for FREE at the bottom of this blog post! I created an activity sheet for each book: Sea Turtle, Octopus, Dolphin, Shark, Seahorse, and Killer Whale.

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I love these books! I used Sea Turtle as an example in my post, but the Ocean Animals Set also includes Octopus, Dolphin, Shark, and Seahorse. We also read Killer Whale from the Arctic Habitat Set!

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Click on the left image below to download Cindy Price's FREE 15-page activity sheet about Ocean Life Animals! Click on the right image below to learn more about the ZooZoo Animal World Series that is featured in this post.

Ocean Life Activity Sheet      New Call-to-Action

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Animal World, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price, Ocean Animals

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