The Unit of study for my Reading Curriculum is about our Neighborhood Helpers. I like to extend the theme through out the day and include it in my other content areas. I am combining my social studies and writing block for my students to learn about the Librarian. We get the privilege to go as a class to the Library once a week. When we go today the Librarian will talk to us about all the things she gets to do in the library. She will give them a tour of the library. After learning about the Librarian, my students will be able to write an informative paper about her job. This is the fifth lesson in our study of Neighborhood Helpers.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet.
"We have been learning about our community helpers and today we will learn about the Librarian. We learned that a career is a job that someone does. Lets begin a bubble map with the Librarian in the center. I will draw name sticks so my friends can name some things that the Librarian does. I will write all your answers on the bubble map."
I call on students for things they think a Librarian does at her job. I let every have an opportunity to orally participate in this discussion. When all the students have had a turn we stop and review all the bubbles on our bubble map.
I like to use Thinking Maps when conducting a discussion with my students. I give everyone the opportunity to orally speak their thoughts and ideas. By writing down their answer, validates what they have to say. If someone gives a "bad" answer, I will turn it around and prompt them so they can say something I can write on the bubble map. I love teaching them to take turns and listen to each other.
For my neighborhood helper readings I have chosen all nonfiction books. I am so glad the library has a variety of community helper books. I love to use nonfiction books when I am teaching my students about real things. I like the books to have kid friendly text and real pictures. After I teach my students about the career then I will read a book about a fictional character performing a real career.
"You have named many things that the Librarian does for their career. Now I will read a nonfiction story to you. After I read it, we will come back to the bubble map and see if we can add more bubbles to the Librarian map."
"The title of the book is Librarian. I would like you to sit up straight with your ears warmed up for listening. Listen for things that we don't have on the bubble map as I read the story."
I read the book and point our picture details. We discuss things in the pictures that we have seen our school Librarian do in our library.
"Did anyone hear or see anything in the book that I should add to the bubble map? Let's review the bubble map one more time before we write."
After filling out the bubble map before and after reading the story, we are ready to think about the sentences we can write using the bubble words. I model the writing activity using the document camera. By putting my writing on the smart board, all my students can see the writing from their seats. I have several students that wear classes when they remember to. So large bold print is important in my classroom. I want you to think of two sentences that you can write that tells about the Librarian. The students job will be to choose something from the bubble map to write on the line.
I like to use sentence frames for writing. Sentence frames help with all my students understanding what we are going to write. Sentence frames help teach new vocabulary and sentence structure. I always use a dot font for the new vocabulary. My higher students do not need this prompting and support. They will get a blank writing paper. The more I use the sentence frames, the more practice my students get at hearing, writing and reading the sentences. They will soon be able to produce sentence frames of their own from the frames used in the past.
"You can use this sentence frame for your first sentence, The Librarian _______________. Let's think about what we else we can write. I will call on a few students to help me with this sentence. If you can write more than one sentence, please write them. I will give you two gummy bears if you write more than one sentence."
We came up with the sentences; The Librarian is nice. The Librarian reads to me. The Librarian takes care of the books. The Librarian has movies.
"Make up as many sentences that you can think of about the Librarian. Remember your spaces and periods. I will come around and help you with your papers.'
I dismiss my seated students from the carpet on row at a time to go to their tables. My class helpers pass out the papers to every seat. I love to use class helpers. My students gain confidence and feel an ownership in the class by performing these small responsibilities. I collect the writing papers as my students finish writing. I have my students read library books until everyone has finished.
When everyone is finished, we clean up the books and sit on the carpet ready to listen. I love this part of the lesson. It is like a miniature assessment that doesn't seem like an assessment. I will learn if my instruction was intentional enough for all my students to gain comprehension of the CCSS I used in planning the lesson. I will learn if they liked the subject. A detailed sentence and drawing indicate that they were interested and learned some information. I will learn if I need to change my instruction to encourage the students participation in the discussions. I will learn if I need to differenciate my expectations or give more instruction to my lower students.
When everyone is sitting on their squares, criss cross apple sauce, I call a row up at a time for the reading to begin. My ELL students seem to be braver and more willing to read when their friends are around them. Each students get the opportunity to read their reading their sentence and show off their student writing. We applaud and cheer after each reading.
I contacted the Librarian prior to our library time and asked her to talk about being a librarian. She read other books about a librarian. She was excited that I had asked her to be part of our community helper theme. She was impressed with all my students knew about her career.