We began a new author study, featuring author / illustrator Arthur Howard. I chose Cosmo Zooms to begin our study. Some questions I asked students during reading included, “Why do you think Pearl [a cat] suggests that Cosmo try to catch mice?” and “Cosmo just crashed into a hydrangea bush…and his friends saw. Imagine you are Cosmo. How would you feel right now? What would you be thinking?” This story invites conversation, and it has been well-received by students over the years. To end our lesson, I had students think of a short review to give the story, as it begins the idea that we have opinions about what we read. Their reviews will be used in another Author Trailer in a few weeks!
Grades 2 &3:
2014 WCCPBA Nominee: A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart. Timed to coincide with the anticipation of Halloween, this non-fiction picture book detailed many ways humans can help bats live and grow.
Grade 2: Before reading, students had a goal: to listen for ways to help bats live and grow. At the end, students turned and talked, listing as many ways as they recalled. We examined the endpapers of the book – range maps of bats and their habitat – and discovered which species had the greatest / smallest range in living area. (Side note: I modeled using a dictionary to look up the meaning of “habitat” – much better than a full lesson on dictionary use!) Next week: bat research using the PebbleGo database!
Grade 3: At the end of reading, students silently showed how many ways they recalled that bats could live and grow (using their hands – show 1 finger if you know one way, 2 fingers for 2 ways, etc.). Students then wrote ways that bats live and grow on a paper bat. Citing sources was briefly discussed (I pre-wrote the copyright information on each bat). I hope to get these on display in the library asap.
Click here – A Place For Bats – to get the free PDF of the activity above. 🙂
Also: I began 3rd grade booktalks this week, where I share at least one book each week to each class. This is my way to introduce titles in the fiction (and later, nonfiction) collection that are commonly overlooked. This week’s talks were: