A recent Common Core aligned lesson had students working with non-fiction primary sources of three patriotic songs (America the Beautiful, This Land is Your Land, and the Star Spangled Banner). Students marked up the text by circling words they did not know. Working in groups they used context clues and parts of speech to help unlock the meanings of the words. Then they had to choose their favorite and cite evidence from the text only to support why they chose that song. Answers were like, "I like the Star Spangled Banner better because in line 8 of the song it says O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave and I like how it reminds us we are free."
Below is the marked up version of the song. This is common core, deeper learning with long lasting understanding. We will take the Pledge of Allegiance, something they all know but not one understands, and re-write it using age appropriate synonyms.
Classroom Closeup Episode
Congratulationsto the February and March Students of the Months
Congratulationsto the recipients of the Character Counts for Fairness and Citizenship
· Happy Birthday to Ryan, our only March Birthday
Writing is developing and progressing as well. The students have been identifying nouns in their writing and adding adjectives to improve their describing skills. We also made snowpeople the size of a Borrower character when we had snow the other day. The students loved the activity and enjoyed writing about it.
Reading is going great. The book clubs are reading chapters each day and a few of the groups have finished their books and gone onto a new book. The read aloud of the Borrowers Afield ended the other day and students got to watch a movie version of the book. Next week we will begin the third in the series, The Borrowers Afloat. The children are developing inferencing skills and are impressing me every day with their retelling and summarizing skills.