Week 4. Or, 10% of the year. Audrey Wood, Trickster Tales, Learners Around the World.
Our final week with Audrey Wood featured The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear and The Birthday Queen (so chosen because it happened to be my birthday on class day!).
At the end of the lesson, students can: make text-to-self connections (related to celebrating a birthday), identify moods/feelings based on illustrations, show where the E section is, identify the E on the spine label of a book.
Before reading The Birthday Queen, students thought of items that makes birthday celebrations special. Writing these on the board, we looked for these during our story. Each time something appeared (say, balloons were in the story), students did a cheer (pat-pat-clap-clap-HOORAY!) There was MUCH cheering!
During The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear, we examined illustrations to infer mood and feeling of Little Mouse. His expressions showed surprise, worry, fear, seriousness and more. A wonderful story to practice the challenging skill of inference!
More trickster tales! This week, from South America: Jabuti the Tortoise.
At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally), identify ways to act when jealous of another.
Much discussion was had by the classes on who the trickster actually was – Jabuti or Vulture. This led to more discussion on why Vulture acted the way he did (jealousy) and how we, as humans, can act when we are jealous of another – a needed, appropriate topic for 7 year olds, to be sure. A critical thinking question that came up as I read: Why, when Vulture dropped Jabuti, was it important that the tortoise land on his back?
Week 1 of Learners Around the World! This week, we looked at schools in Chad, Africa with James Rumford’s Rain School.
At the end of the lesson, students can: identify the 7 continents of the world and Equator, use a database to learn about a country, compare schools and education in two different countries using personal knowledge and information gathered from a database.
Rain School is always well-received by students, though always with a bit of disbelief. Do children really build their own school with mud? This question is what CultureGrams is made for – learning about people, land, and cultures in a kid-accessible format. While I usually wouldn’t use this with 2nd graders (it’s designed for grades 3+), I make it accessible by reading the information out loud, breaking down any difficult vocabulary or concepts, and making connections to our story.
As a whole class, we located the continent of Africa, the country of Chad (which we had estimated on our own world carpet map), then used the sidebar to navigate to Schools in Chad. And at the end, when asked how we are the same as learners, it was easy to make the connections. Yes, there are many differences. But there are many similarities, too…and seeing how we are the same as humans, no matter where we live or how much money we have, is a huge part of this mini-unit.
Students did not write any information down, as we barely had enough time to complete the story, database access, and check out…but I hope for them to independently access and use CultureGrams later this year…maybe for Culture Week?
Happy teaching, y’all! 🙂 arika