Just one week into our second semester we had one of those weeks. You know the ones. The ones where you think you have everything under control and then somehow… you don’t. Luckily we caught up, but our Penguin unit lacked art of any kind, which always makes me sad. It also lacked pictures. But not ideas!
We used Nat Geo Kids, this book and this book (but paid way way way less on iBooks) as our resources. There are of course 100 other great penguin books out there. These are the ones I could find on my iPad, but if I’d had time we’d have gone to the library.
We’ve started using Can/Have/Are graphic organizers (there is one here, though we just made our own), which Molly really likes a lot. She had to work on it on the fly (hence the convenience of iBooks books…) but it really helped her pull facts from the text. (if you click to zoom in you might be able to see what she is working on…)
We then made a big chart of all the facts we knew about penguins to use to write a penguin report. Basically we wrote a post-it note for each fact we learned. They then chose 4 of the post-its for their report and wrote a closing sentence. I encouraged them to make the report their own. My hope is this is the beginning of writing to inform… not just what she learned but also what she thinks. This process went ultra smoothly, and we are using it again for both Polar Bears and Whales later this month. (BTW- you might notice enrollment is up at Tiny Spark Academy! With all the “snow” (really just colder-than-bleep) days we’ve been having we’ve been lucky enough to have some of our public school friends come hang with us for school. We all love it. Shakes things up a bit!
We also kept on keeping on with our regular curriculum, of course.