Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nonfiction text and Animal Habitat Investigative Literacy Unit

Hi Amazing Friends!
I have had a bit of absence from my blogging lately.
I've been enjoying my down time with my sweet family and friends!
I hope you all had an amazing holiday!

Now that our house seems back in order.... all of those new toys have found a place in our children's rooms, I am ready to get back to blogging and creating.    Although as I write this, our entire downstairs floor is littered with Legos, Buzz Light Year, Cabela's trucks, and on and on.  
**Big Sigh**

Teachers in my district go back to school next Wednesday.  This is when my panic sets in every year.  I just can't help it!   Although I've known for several months when the BIG STATE TEST is, I seem to put it out of my mind.  AND then January comes!  I suddenly begin to panic.  Do any of you feel this same way?

So as I've been playing with my kiddos over break and eating WAY TOO MUCH  ( Thank goodness this new fitness plan with my friend doesn't begin until next week.),I've been thinking about IT.  You guessed it... SCHOOL, and how I can incorporate my lessons and units so that I don't feel like I spend these next few months teaching to the test.  Ugh!!! Dislike!!!
When we come back to school, we will be reading several nonfiction texts from our basal reader.  Along with some other great nonfiction texts from Scholastic News and texts I have in my classroom library.  These nonfiction texts are about animals.  In science we will begin our unit on animal habitats.  My goal is to blend these nonfiction texts from our basal with our science unit into a large investigative literacy unit.  I  plan to incorporate the animal habitats and information to create literacy rich stations to use during our reading time that are aligned to the Common Core.

Here are just a few things I will be using with our Animal Habitats Investigative Literacy Unit:
This is by Rachel Lynette and is absolutely fabulous!  It can be used with any nonfiction text. Click on the picture above to be taken to the link for more information.

2.  Online resources for research for kids

3.  Animal Habitat Investigative Literacy Unit for Bigger Kids

I created this unit to incorporate into our reading and writing stations.  This 45 page mega pack comes with 5 different activities that are aligned to the Common Core Standards.  
Included are:
- Animal Habitat Research Project- this project takes you through each step of the research process and includes a rubric for assessing each student's project. - I am incorporating this part of the unit into our writer's workshop.
- Animal Habitat Matching Cards with a Student Work Mat- perfect source of nonfiction text and a great way for students to incorporate what they have learned about animals and their habitats.
- Habitats and Biomes Main Idea Task Cards with a student work mat- Students read nonfiction text about a particular habitat.  Then students must choose the main idea of this piece of nonfiction text.
- Animal Habitat Inference Task Cards with a student work mat-  Students read each set of cards that have nonfiction text with clues about a particular habitat or biome.  Students must make an inference about which habitat the card is  referencing.
-Animal Friends Point of View Postcards-  Students pose as a particular animal from its habitat and must write to an animal friend.  Students must write about the location of their habitat, climate, dangers faced in their habitat, and other animal friends in this habitat.

I'm excited to begin this unit with my students.  I LOVE how our animal habitat unit in science will be easily incorporated with our reading.  We will also be using Rachel Lynette's activities to discuss nonfiction text features.

I would love to hear your suggestions on activities to use with our animal habitats or great nonfiction texts that could be used with our unit!   

AND for the first 3 people who comment with a nonfiction book or kid friendly website  that would be great to use with our animal habitat unit, I will send you my "Animal Habitat Investigative Literacy Unit for Bigger Kids".

Enjoy your down time my friends!!!


Suzy Q said...

I have gotten some great animal books from Scholastic..I think they are National Geographic. Really eye catching AND students love them!

We do our animal reports in Feb...hope to be able to use this then!

tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

FourthGrade Flipper said...

Reading your post reminded me of the panic I keep feeling when I think of going back to school next week. Our ELA and math tests are in April and when you count the weeks, there are not enough!! I always liked the book, "A Walk in the Desert" by Caroline Arnold.
Fourth Grade Flipper

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of National Geographic for Kids and Scholastic News readers.
I also always read Cactus Hotel.

Cherie said...

Try this website and then click on "Habitats". It will bring you to various interactive links and research sites relating to habitats!

Fancy Nancy said...

We are working on an animal unit also. Your research unit looks awesome. I also use Rachel's non-fiction activities a lot. Have you ever checked out Scholastic's Smart Words Science Readers Animal Set. They are fantastic. Thank you for all you share. You are an inspiration.

Bright Concepts 4 Teachers said...

What a great unit you have prepared! I love National Geo for Kids for non-fiction reading in my class. The kids love it too. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. I am hosting a giveaway and would love for you to stop by and check it out. Happy New Year!
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

Kathy O. said...

Okay...let me try this again!!

I get so excited to find third grade blogs. I am a new blogger since November and I agree that blogging is a blessing that does make me a better teacher. It is soooo hard to find time to keep up with it though. I am happy to be your newest follower and I am pinning you to my favorite blogs board on my pinterest!! Happy 2013!

Kathy O.
Third Grade Doodles