Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Classic Post: A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 22, 2016 3:34:00 PM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

~~~

To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text.

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

Teaching Fairy Tales: A Cinderella Lesson Plan for Common Core

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 9, 2016 5:19:03 PM

 

story-world-cinderella.jpg

The Common Core places a lot of emphasis on text types, with traditional tales being one of the main types of literature mentioned in the ELA standards. We created the Story World Real World series to meet a need for paired texts and traditional tales, and coming soon is a Common Core-correlated teacher's guide to assist you with making these lessons easy! Here's a sample of a lesson based on Cinderella!

Features of the Text:

  • Traditional story.
  • Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). See CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10.
  • Punctuation: speech punctuation, exclamation marks, questions marks.
  • Opportunities to develop reading for inference skills.
  • Dialogue between characters.
  • Vocabulary development (e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slipper, midnight, charmed, hurts).
  • Words and phrases that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #3).
  • The characters’ actions and feelings (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #4).

Before Reading:

  • Tell the children you are going to read a story that people have loved so much they have been telling it for hundreds of years.
  • Examine the cover and the title.
    • What do you think this story is going to be about?
    • Why does it say “retold by”?
  • Make a connection with the children’s experience:
    • Do you know the story of Cinderella? It is probably one of the most well-known fairy tales. Let’s find out why.

During Reading:

  • Read the text with the children, encouraging them to join in with the reading when they think they know the words.
  • Before turning the page, encourage the children to predict what will happen next.

Cinderella_Inside_Final-16.jpgAfter Reading:

  • Discuss vocabulary, e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slippers, midnight, charmed, hurts.
  • Discuss text features such as speech punctuation.
    • How do we know who is talking? How do we know where the talk starts and ends? (A: speech punctuation.)
  • Discuss the illustrations.
    • What do the illustrations tell us about the characters? For example, look at Cinderella’s clothes at the start of the story. What do you think they tell us about how she was treated?
    • Do the two sisters look ugly or beautiful to you?
    • Look at the illustration on page 13 showing the prince holding the glass slipper. What do you think he is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread pages 2–3:
    • Do you think Cinderella was treated fairly?
    • How do you think she felt when the ugly sisters made fun of her and made her do all the work?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella, what would you like to say to your mean stepmother and your two unkind sisters?
  • Reread pages 4–5:
    • How do you think the sisters felt about the invitation to the ball? How do you think Cinderella felt?
    • Role play: If you were one of Cinderella’s sisters, what would you have said when you read the king’s invitation? What would you have said to Cinderella? If you were Cinderella, what would you have said when you saw the invitation? What would you have said to the sisters?
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when her sisters went off to the ball?
  • Reread pages 6–7:
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when she saw her fairy godmother appear?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella and you suddenly found yourself wearing a beautiful ball gown and sparkling glass slippers, what do you think you would say to your fairy godmother? What would you tell her about how you felt?
    • Look at the illustrations. Is there anything in the picture that might help you predict what is going to happen next? (A: The pumpkin and the mice.)
  • Reread pages 8–9:
    • Look at the illustrations. How can you tell what the coach was made from? What about the “horses”?
    • Can you draw a clock and show where the hands would be at midnight?
    • What does the fairy godmother mean when she says about the clock “striking” twelve?
    • How do you think Cinderella was feeling as she rode off in the coach?
  • Cinderella_Inside_Final-6.jpgReread pages 10–11:
    • Look at the illustrations. What do you think each person looking at Cinderella was thinking or whispering to the people nearby?
    • Role play this as a “still frame.” Choose children to be the different people in the illustration. Get them to stand as if they are in a still photograph. Make sure each is facing the same way and has a similar expression as in the book illustration. Then let each person, one at a time, come alive and speak, expressing thoughts and feelings. How do some of the words used in the text help us understand what they are feeling? (“beautiful,” “wonderful,” “charmed,” etc.)
    • If you have a class dress-up box (assorted pieces of cloth, old drapes, etc., rather than actual costumes), help the students dress up a little for the still-frame role play. You might also like to practice this a little, then videotape the sequence. Play it back and talk about the characters and what they are feeling.
  • Reread pages 12–13:
    • Talk about how Cinderella must have been feeling as she danced. Remind the children about Cinderella’s life just a few hours before. Help the children make a list of words to describe how she was feeling.
    • Why do you think Cinderella had forgotten about the clock striking twelve? (A: She was having such a wonderful time.)
    • How do you think she felt when she heard the clock start to strike? Help the children write down the thoughts that were going through her head as she heard this. Use quotation marks to indicate Cinderella’s own words or thoughts. Talk about speech punctuation—the way we show our readers who is talking and what they say.
    • On page 13, what is the clock showing? What do you think the prince felt when Cinderella suddenly ran off? What do you think he thought and felt when he discovered her glass slipper?
  • Reread pages 14–15:
    • Why do you think so many people wanted to try on the glass slipper? (A: Perhaps they all wanted to marry the Prince!)
    • Do you think the prince would have liked to marry one of Cinderella’s sisters? Why not?
    • Look at the illustration closely—what do you think Cinderella is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread age 16:
    • The prince is “so happy” that the slipper fits. What does it feel like to be “so happy”?
    • What do you think Cinderella was feeling when the prince asked her to marry him?
    • Look at the stepmother’s face in the illustration. What do you think she is thinking and feeling? (A: Maybe she is thinking there is some advantage for her in this too!)
  • Shared writing activity:
    • Get the children to retell the events of the story (CCSS, Grade 1: #2), then help them turn this retelling into captions, e.g., “Cinderella is made to do all the work. Her ugly sisters do nothing.” What happens next? “The king’s invitation to the ball arrives.” What happens next? “Cinderella’s fairy godmother gets Cinderella ready for the ball.” What happens next? “Cinderella dances all night with the Prince.”
    • Write each caption for the children on large cards, then divide the children into groups.
    • Give each group a caption, a sheet of art paper each, and suitable art materials. Help them plan and complete their own illustration for each caption (CCSS, Grade 1: #7).
    • Mount their drawings on the wall with the captions in sequence to make a wall story. Prepare a “title page” too. “Cinderella retold by room 4 at Sunshine School. Illustrated by (the children’s names).” Read the story with the children.
    • You might like to share your Cinderella wall story with another class. Congratulations, you are published authors!

Check back frequently for more news of our upcoming teacher's guides—for this series and others!

For more information on Story World Real World, you can click the image to the left below to download a series information sheet with key features, or you can click here to visit our website. Click the image to the right below to download a brochure.

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Lesson Plan, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Teacher's Guides

Classic Post: A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download!

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

~~~

To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text. If you want to order the books mentioned, you can buy them on our website—they will arrive within five business days of your order, so you will have them in time for your Thanksgiving lessons! Have a great holiday, and check back here frequently for more lesson ideas and downloads!

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

Classic Post: Using Informational Texts in the Common Core Classroom for Grades 1-2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jul 8, 2014 11:31:37 AM



Informational Text Standards:

Grade 1

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

~ Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

~ Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

~ Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

~ Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.

~ Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.

~ Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

~ Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

~ Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Grade 2

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

~ Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

~ Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

~ Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

~ Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

~ Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

~ Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

~ Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

~ Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

The Common Core State Standards place a high value on informational text, emphasizing it more in the early grades than ever before. We've looked at how to work with narrative text in the classroom and how to deepen interest in literature by tying in facts (and vice versa); now, let's take a look at how informational text can function on its own in the classroom. For easy reference, I've reproduced here the standards that students are expected to meet with regards to prose literature in the sidebar.*

Helping Students to Recognize Features of Informational Texts

One of the main ways that informational texts differ from narrative literature texts, aside from the veracity of their content, is that informational texts have key recognizable features that can clue readers in to the fact that they are reading something that is intended to inform. We are all familiar with these features: table of contents, glossaries, indices, photos and realistic illustrations, etc., but it is likely that our students are completely new to the medium. As early as the first grade, the Common Core State Standards expect children to be able to recognize these features and know how to use them.

One way to familiarize students with the features is to scan the pertinent pages of an informational text that show the different features, and have students read along with their own copies of the book. You can present the pages in diagram form, labeling things such as headings, illustrations, and the index, and test the students on their knowledge with a worksheet with blank labels. An example of a bare-bones version of this is below.

ITparts diagram

Choosing Your Informational Text

6273 Pg07 school reading 000014079708 Kim GunkelWhen introducing your students to informational texts, you'll want to choose topics that both have all or most of the informational text features and will also be interesting to students. One way of finding topics that will interest them is to choose books that draw from and expand upon things the students are already familiar with. Another way is to find topics that they may have recently heard or read about through exposure to narrative texts.

These first informational texts should be bright and captivating, with pictures—illustrations and especially photographs—that draw students in. Where possible, the photographs should feature children, though this won't be applicable to every topic, of course. The informational texts should be at the correct reading level, with lines of text broken up into bite-sized chunks at sentence or phrase boundaries, with enough space between the letters and words that fledgling readers will not have trouble making them out.

While Hameray's new series Real World was designed to pair with the Story World series (narrative texts), they can stand just as well on their own as terrific informational texts. The topics are diverse enough that there will be something of interest for almost every young reader, from animals to the water cycle, and from baking to ball games. This also allows them to be worked into various teaching units throughout the school year. Disciplines covered span from the sciences to the arts and beyond.

The Story World-Real World series was specifically tailored to help students meet these Common Core standards, and the free Teacher's Guide (available for download in June) will include many ideas to support teaching informational texts.

Below are example lessons extracted from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide for one of the books in the set of informational texts intended to support the traditional tale Cinderella.** The book is called What's the Time?, and it is about different ways of telling time and where you can find clocks. There are many more activities and lessons in the teacher's guide; this is just a sample. There's a flip book of the title below the lesson.

Example Lesson: What's the Time?

Before reading the book:

Look at the cover with the children. Ask what kind of book is this going to be—a story (like Cinderella) or an informational text? (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #5)

During the reading of the book:

If you are doing a shared reading, read the text with the children, spending time on the photographs and illustrations as well as the text (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text Grade 1 #7). For guided reading, decide on a specific learning focus: for example, vocabulary (reading, saying and understanding new words), or informational text features, or science information and concepts.

After reading the book:

Discuss Informational Text features (table of contents, headings, photographs, captions, glossary, index). How do they help us read and write about a nonfiction or informational subject? (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #5)

Reread pages 4–5: Can we see our own shadows? Use a light to act as the sun. Have a student stand in one place. Shine the light on the student so he or she casts a shadow. What happens if we move the light around the student? (The student’s shadow moves.) What have we made? (A human sundial!) Talk about the students’ shadows when they are out in the sunlight on a sunny day. Why is it that sometimes our shadow is front of us and sometimes it is behind us? Why do shadows seem to get smaller towards the middle of the day and then longer in the afternoon?


describe the image

Reread pages 12 – 13. Ask the children to count how many clocks they have at home. Are there any clocks on public buildings in your town or city? How many clocks can they find in the classroom? (Don’t forget computers.) In the school? Why do we need so many clocks?

WTTblog12 13 

 This was a sample lesson from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide. The suggested text is meant to help guide the discussion and facilitate interactions, but is in no way meant to dictate exactly how a lesson is taught.

 

 Features of What's the Time?

  • Informational text type: Description (Text type description: “informs the reader about the subject being described”.)
  • Informational text features: Table of contents, headings, glossary, index. (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #5)
  • Visual information: photographs with captions and labels. (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #6,7)
  • Vocabulary: (egg timer, sundial)
  • Supports integrated curriculum learning – literacy learning (reading informational texts: (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text Grade 1), plus science (Physical science: measurement, light and shadows, gravity).

 

To see all titles available in the series, you can visit our website or take a look at our brochure for the series or download the series highlights by clicking on either below.

- Tara Rodriquez

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*All information regarding the CCSS comes directly from the Common Core website and can be found in the downloadable PDFs available on that site.

** Because this is a sneak-preview of the forthcoming Teacher's Guide, which is still in draft form, the final downloadable Teacher's Guide soon available may deviate slightly from what is presented here.

Photo credit: Kim Gunkel

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Common Core, Story World, Real World, Informational Text, Lesson Plan

The Role of Informational Text in Early Literacy Instruction

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Dec 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM

The following post is an excerpt from the teacher's guide by Libby Larrabee for the Zoozoo Into the Wild series of leveled readers. To find out more information about the series, which contains not only informational text, but also fiction and wordless books, click on the image at the bottom of this page to download a series highlights sheet with key features.

The Role of Informational Text in Early Literacy Instruction

Until recently informational text has played little or no part in early literacy instruction.  Yet informational text is routinely used by children and their families on a daily basis.  Think about the billboards, advertising, lists, magazines, internet, signs, logos and packaging features for favorite foods that surround young children every day.  Opportunities to use informational text need to be an integral part of life in the classroom as well.

Frog pg4n5 300Nell Duke’s important research on the use of informational text in classrooms identifies some good reasons to include informational text in our instruction (Reading & Writing Informational Texts in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices. Nell K. Duke and V. Susan Bennett-Armistead, Scholastic, 2003).

  • Children bring life experiences to these real-world, high-interest texts.
  • Photographs are real, representing a world children know and recognize.
  • Some children prefer reading informational text.
  • The combination of factual information and photographs enables all children to draw on their personal knowledge and experience to raise questions, make comments, and contribute to discussions.
  • Informational text is a key to success in later schooling because it builds knowledge of the natural and social world.  A higher level of background knowledge supports a higher level of comprehension.

Children must encounter more informational text in the primary grades!

Duke and others also suggest that we need to diversify the genres young children read, write, and listen on a daily basis to include:

  • One-third informational genres
  • One-third narrative genres
  • One-third other text such as poetry and procedural text

Research has shown that even very young children are sensitive to the differences in genre.  Research also shows that the more experience students have in listening to and reading different genres, the more successful they will be in writing in different genres in their later schooling ("Informational Text? The Research Says, 'Yes!'" Nell K. Duke in Exploring Informational Texts: From Theory to Practice, ed. Linda Hoyt, Margaret Mooney, Brenda Parkes. Heinemann, 2003).

Using the Zoozoo Into the Wild Informational Texts

Into the Wild nonfiction books are a wonderful way to provide initial reading experiences in the informational text genre. These beautifully photographed books provide multiple opportunities for discovering new information about each of the eight Into the Wild animals.  Each story teaches simple animal facts that focus on lifestyle, habitat, and special characteristics.  

A unique feature is the Talking Points page found at the end of each nonfiction book.  These talking points provide additional facts for each page that will support your discussions about the animal and extend students’ learning.  Revisiting these texts several times will provide additional opportunities to add information to the RAN chart you began when introducing the animal with the poster.

Designed for use in a small group, guided reading setting, these books provide simple text with clear pictures to support the emergent reader.

Before Reading

It will be important to provide an appropriate book introduction before having the students read the text.  Consider what they already know about the animal.  Read the title and have them predict what kind of information they might learn based on the cover.  Talk about the pictures as you preview the book with them.  Choose one or two new and important vocabulary words to have the students locate in the text.

Keep the introduction as simple and focused as possible.  This is not the time to introduce the additional information found on the talking points page.  Emergent readers need to focus on the pictures and print on each page and may become confused by the insertion of additional information. 

Book Introduction

ITW NF cvr Hippo 250Teacher: Today we are going to look at a book that will help us learn more about hippos.  (Teacher passes out Hippo nonfiction book to children). It’s a book that tells us facts about Hippos.  The title of this book is Hippo.  Let’s look at the cover and talk about what we notice.

Child:  ‘Hey, this hippo has hairs by his nose like my cat, Freddy.’

Teacher: Yes, those hairs are called whiskers and many animals have them. Whiskers help animals feel what’s around them. Let’s say that word together…whiskers.  Should we add that information to our Hippo chart?  (Teacher writes on post-it and adds to chart under New Information).  We also notice this hippo is in the water.  That’s some information we already have on our chart.  We can move that post-it to ‘Yes, We Were Right.’

OK, now back to the book.  Let’s open the book and look at the first page.  This page tells us that the hippo is heavy.  That means it weighs a lot.  What letter would you expect to see at the beginning of the word ‘heavy?’

Child:  ‘H’

Teacher: Great, ‘heavy’ does begin with an ‘h.’ Can everyone put your finger under the word heavy? Good, see how the word ‘heavy’ starts with an ‘h’ just like ‘hippo.’  The hippo says, ‘I am a heavy hippo’.  Can you point to the words and read it with me? Let’s look at the next page.

Child:  The hippo’s in the water.

Teacher: The hippo swims in the water. Let’s turn the page and see what else the hippo does in the water.

Child:  They’re playing in the water.

Teacher: Yes, they are playing in the water.  Let’s look at the next page.

Child:  Wow!  That hippo has a big mouth. What’s he doing?

Teacher: The hippo is yawning.  We yawn when we’re sleepy.  Do you think the hippo is going to sleep?  Let’s turn the page and see.  Yes, the hippo is sleeping in the water. Let’s look at the picture on the last page.  Talk about what you see.

Child:  It’s a mother and her baby and they’re kissing.

Teacher: Yes, it is a mother hippo and her baby.  A baby hippo is called a calf.  Say that word with me. On this page she says, ‘Here is my baby calf.’  Let’s say that together. Now I’d like you to turn back to the beginning of the book so you can read.  Remember to point to the words as you read them.

During Reading:

Students may need to point in order to match text and spoken words. Encourage them to use the pictures to support their efforts to decode unfamiliar words.  When appropriate, encourage them to reread to self-correct and maintain story meaning.

After Reading:

This might be a good time to begin a group chart using the RAN strategy developed by Tony Stead. (Reality Checks: Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction K-5, Stenhouse Publishers, 2006).  It is based on the KWL strategy but was designed to meet the needs of studying nonfiction text.

Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction Strategy (RAN Strategy)

For Younger Readers

 

What We Think We Know

 

 

Yes, We Were Right

 

New Information

 

Wonderings

 

Children state information they think to be correct about the topic.

 

 

Children read and discuss to confirm prior knowledge.

 

Children identify additional information not previously stated.

 

 

Children raise questions based on the new information gathered.

Lead the children in a discussion to verify information that was put under the ‘What We Think We Know’ column.  Help them move those post-its to ‘Yes, We Were Right.’  Then ask them what new information they learned about the hippo.  Write this new information on post-its and add them to the RAN chart.  At this time you may wish to add some information from the talking points page.  Provide many opportunities for revisiting the text at other times to add additional information from the talking points page.

Discussion After Reading the Text

Teacher: Wasn’t that book interesting?  You all did a good job reading.  I liked how you checked the pictures when you got a little stuck.  Checking the pictures can help us figure out words we’re not sure of.  I saw Cate put her finger under the ‘h’ in heavy and looked carefully before she said the word.  Looking at the first letter of a word also helps us.

Who can show me a page that tells us about information we already knew about the hippo? 

Child:  The first page where the hippo is heavy. We said the hippo is fat.

Teacher: Good noticing. Will you move that post-it to “Yes, We Were Right?’

Discussion continues and the teacher helps the students identify new information that is added to the RAN chart. At the close of group time, the teacher reviews the information gathered on the chart so far,

Nonreaders and Children with Low Language Skills

Students who are not ready to read can still benefit from small-group instruction with these books.  You might choose to discuss each picture and then invite them to practice repeating new vocabulary and language structures.  Then read the whole text for them so they can hear the flow of the language as it unfolds in the text.

Extension Activities

These activities can be used with any of the nonfiction books. They provide children with opportunities to independently explore informational text features and engage in conversations that support the development of vocabulary.

  • Provide opportunities for children to explore other informational texts about the hippo in your literacy center. 
  • Provide post-its so children can add new information to the RAN chart.  They may need your assistance with this activity.

~~~

For more information on the Zoozoo Into the Wild series of leveled readers, click here to visit our website or click the image below to download an information sheet.

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Informational Text, Lesson Plan, Zoozoo Into the Wild

A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download!

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 11, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

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To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text. If you want to order the books mentioned, you can buy them on our website—they will arrive within five business days of your order, so you will have them in time for your Thanksgiving lessons! Have a great holiday, and check back here frequently for more lesson ideas and downloads!

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

Using Informational Texts in the Common Core Classroom: Grades 1-2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on May 16, 2013 11:25:00 AM



Informational Text Standards:

Grade 1

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

~ Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

~ Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

~ Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

~ Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.

~ Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.

~ Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

~ Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

~ Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Grade 2

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

~ Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

~ Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

~ Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

~ Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

~ Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

~ Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

~ Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

~ Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

The Common Core State Standards place a high value on informational text, emphasizing it more in the early grades than ever before. We've looked at how to work with narrative text in the classroom and how to deepen interest in literature by tying in facts (and vice versa); now, let's take a look at how informational text can function on its own in the classroom. For easy reference, I've reproduced here the standards that students are expected to meet with regards to prose literature in the sidebar.*

Helping Students to Recognize Features of Informational Texts

One of the main ways that informational texts differ from narrative literature texts, aside from the veracity of their content, is that informational texts have key recognizable features that can clue readers in to the fact that they are reading something that is intended to inform. We are all familiar with these features: table of contents, glossaries, indices, photos and realistic illustrations, etc., but it is likely that our students are completely new to the medium. As early as the first grade, the Common Core State Standards expect children to be able to recognize these features and know how to use them.

One way to familiarize students with the features is to scan the pertinent pages of an informational text that show the different features, and have students read along with their own copies of the book. You can present the pages in diagram form, labeling things such as headings, illustrations, and the index, and test the students on their knowledge with a worksheet with blank labels. An example of a bare-bones version of this is below.

ITparts diagram

Choosing Your Informational Text

6273 Pg07 school reading 000014079708 Kim GunkelWhen introducing your students to informational texts, you'll want to choose topics that both have all or most of the informational text features and will also be interesting to students. One way of finding topics that will interest them is to choose books that draw from and expand upon things the students are already familiar with. Another way is to find topics that they may have recently heard or read about through exposure to narrative texts.

These first informational texts should be bright and captivating, with pictures—illustrations and especially photographs—that draw students in. Where possible, the photographs should feature children, though this won't be applicable to every topic, of course. The informational texts should be at the correct reading level, with lines of text broken up into bite-sized chunks at sentence or phrase boundaries, with enough space between the letters and words that fledgling readers will not have trouble making them out.

While Hameray's new series Real World was designed to pair with the Story World series (narrative texts), they can stand just as well on their own as terrific informational texts. The topics are diverse enough that there will be something of interest for almost every young reader, from animals to the water cycle, and from baking to ball games. This also allows them to be worked into various teaching units throughout the school year. Disciplines covered span from the sciences to the arts and beyond.

The Story World-Real World series was specifically tailored to help students meet these Common Core standards, and the free Teacher's Guide (available for download in June) will include many ideas to support teaching informational texts.

Below are example lessons extracted from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide for one of the books in the set of informational texts intended to support the traditional tale Cinderella.** The book is called What's the Time?, and it is about different ways of telling time and where you can find clocks. There are many more activities and lessons in the teacher's guide; this is just a sample. There's a flip book of the title below the lesson.

Example Lesson: What's the Time?

Before reading the book:

Look at the cover with the children. Ask what kind of book is this going to be—a story (like Cinderella) or an informational text? (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #5)

During the reading of the book:

If you are doing a shared reading, read the text with the children, spending time on the photographs and illustrations as well as the text (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text Grade 1 #7). For guided reading, decide on a specific learning focus: for example, vocabulary (reading, saying and understanding new words), or informational text features, or science information and concepts.

After reading the book:

Discuss Informational Text features (table of contents, headings, photographs, captions, glossary, index). How do they help us read and write about a nonfiction or informational subject? (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #5)

Reread pages 4–5: Can we see our own shadows? Use a light to act as the sun. Have a student stand in one place. Shine the light on the student so he or she casts a shadow. What happens if we move the light around the student? (The student’s shadow moves.) What have we made? (A human sundial!) Talk about the students’ shadows when they are out in the sunlight on a sunny day. Why is it that sometimes our shadow is front of us and sometimes it is behind us? Why do shadows seem to get smaller towards the middle of the day and then longer in the afternoon?


describe the image

Reread pages 12 – 13. Ask the children to count how many clocks they have at home. Are there any clocks on public buildings in your town or city? How many clocks can they find in the classroom? (Don’t forget computers.) In the school? Why do we need so many clocks?

WTTblog12 13 

 This was a sample lesson from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide. The suggested text is meant to help guide the discussion and facilitate interactions, but is in no way meant to dictate exactly how a lesson is taught.

 

 Features of What's the Time?

  • Informational text type: Description (Text type description: “informs the reader about the subject being described”.)
  • Informational text features: Table of contents, headings, glossary, index. (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #5)
  • Visual information: photographs with captions and labels. (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 1 #6,7)
  • Vocabulary: (egg timer, sundial)
  • Supports integrated curriculum learning – literacy learning (reading informational texts: (CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text Grade 1), plus science (Physical science: measurement, light and shadows, gravity).


To see all titles available in the series, you can visit our website or take a look at our brochure for the series or download the series highlights by clicking on either below.

- Tara Rodriquez

Story World Real World Brochure  New Call-to-Action

*All information regarding the CCSS comes directly from the Common Core website and can be found in the downloadable PDFs available on that site.

** Because this is a sneak-preview of the forthcoming Teacher's Guide, which is still in draft form, the final downloadable Teacher's Guide soon available may deviate slightly from what is presented here.

Photo credit: Kim Gunkel

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Common Core, Story World, Real World, Informational Text, Lesson Plan

Hameray's Critter Corner - Elephant Lesson Plan!

Posted by Sarah Levin on Apr 5, 2013 2:50:00 PM

Critter's Corner Logo

We love when teachers find creative extensions for their lessons plans, especially when they include making arts and crafts animals! Extending your shared or guided reading lesson with a fun post-reading activity is a great way to reinforce what each student has read while offering an opportunity for oral language interactions.  In the following example, we show a way to add some fun to an elephant lesson. 

The Lesson Plan:  A unit on elephants for small or whole group.  Reading level K-1.

Resource:  Elephant by Claire Vial & Graham Meadows, part of the Zoozoo Into the Wild nonfiction.

Post-Reading Activity:  Set up the activity below in your literacy center or do as a shared classroom activity.

 

elephants use their trunks and tusks

The above excerpt from the book, "Elephant," by Claire Vial & Graham Meadows, shows how elephants use their tusks and trunk in everyday life. As you read together, note the different ways that elephants interact with their world.

 

Extension Activity:

 

elephant arts and crafts

Materials:

  • 1 paper plate per student with a hole cut in the middle

  • construction paper (this can be pre-cut into shapes for younger children)

  • scissors (if the shapes are not pre-cut)

  • gray paint or pastels

  • glue

  • markers, pens, pastels, crayons, or colored pencils for decorating

  • have each student bring an old sock from home (optional)

Instructions:

Depending on how comfortable your kids are with scissors, you can either have them cut out the ears, tusks, and eyes themselves (safety scissors not pictured) or pre-cut them before class.  You can even substitute googly eyes or simply have them draw on the tusks and eyes if you want. Feel free to make this project your own!

elephant arts and crafts 2
Color in or paint the plate and the eyes.  In this example, I've used gray construction paper for the ears, so I don't have to color that in too.

 

elephant lesson plan plate

Glue the eyes, tusks, and ears onto the plate.

 

 

 

elephant lesson plan finished

Now, the really fun part!  I'm using an old sock in this picture for the trunk, but bare hands work just as well.  Voilà!   You have your elephant, complete with a trunk!

 

 

*Extra Credit*

Want to really tie-in the elephant with the reading?  Use some of your leftover art supplies to make active parts of the story.  In the picture below, I've made a tree and little pond so that the "elephant" can use its "big trunk to drink." 

elephant lesson plan extra

SEND US A PICTURE OF YOUR STUDENTS' ELEPHANT ART PROJECT AND WE'll POST THEM ON CRITTER'S CORNER AND SEND YOU A FREE COPY OF  ELEPHANT FOR YOUR CLASSROOM!!!  Just email a photo and your mailing address to Jacqueline@HamerayPublishing.com.  

To read an entire book from the Zoozoo Into the Wild series, please click here:

Tiger Nonfiction Book Zoozoo Into The WIld
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Topics: Zoozoo Animals, Lesson Plan, Critter Corner

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