January Lesson Plans

January is the month to bring warmth into your classroom. Since January is a cold and snowy where I live, the “Ocean” theme is meant to bring dreams of warmer weather.  We discuss the ocean creatures, sandy beaches and sun. In planning for this theme I use a balanced literacy model to assist me.  The model is viewed on the right.

Balanced Literacy Model

Balanced Literacy Model


Read Alouds

Since the focus letters related to this theme are Oo for “octopus”, Jj for “jellyfish” or Ww for “whales”, my literature selections are related to gathering information on these sea animals. These are the books that could be used:  “An Octopus is Amazing” by Patricia Lauber,  “Jenny Jellyfish a Tale of Wiggly Jellies” by Suzanne Tate and  “Whales” by Gail Gibbons.

Ocean Emergent Reader

Ocean Emergent Reader


Shared Reading as A Whole Class

The emergent reader “Exploring the Sea With Ollie Octopus”, would be used to introduce the sea animals octopus, jellyfish and whale. The letters “Oo, Jj, and Ww” and their related sounds would be introduced within a meaningful context.  I project the reader on my Smart Board and model the reading process, as well,  I work on a variety of reading skills related to the reader.  This is done in a whole group setting.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading


Guided Reading in Small Group Setting

I copy off the black and white version of the reader for each of my students.  We work on a variety of skills that the reader offers within a small group setting.  I always use the interactive version of the reader.  The students are to cut and paste the correct sea creature that corresponds to the text and color the pictures.  This keeps each student busy while I am working with an individual.


Word Work – Rotating Literacy Centers

I usually run my Literacy Centers for 20 minutes to 45 minutes on a rotating system.  The activities allow the students to practice the skills focused on during shared and guided reading.  I generally have four rotating centers with 5-6 students in each group.


Oo, Jj, Ww, Rr, Ff Focus Letter Game

Oo, Jj, Ww, Rr, Ff Focus Letter Game

Center One – Practice Printing

The students practice printing the focus letter that has been introduced.  It is at this center they work on their printing booklet.


Center Two – Focus Letter Sound Game

Spin and Rhyme

Spin and Rhyme Game

Playing partners take turns rolling a die and moving their game players accordingly.  If they land on the focus sound(s), they must print the letter.  This game focuses on letters Oo, Jj, Ww, Rr and Ff.


Center Three – Rhyming Game

Letter Naming and Matching Game

Letter Naming and Matching Game

Playing partners take turns spinning the top.  They must find the matching rhyming picture of where the top landed and mark this off.


Center Four – Letter Naming and Matching Game

Focus Sight Word Game

Ocean Sight Word Game

Playing partners draw a letter card and must say the name of letter (if they know it) and place it on the correct matching fish.



Focus Sight Words Game

Focus sight words are printed on the game board. Playing partners take turns rolling a die and move their game player accordingly.  They must read the sight word that they landed on.


Alphabet Review Game All Letters

Alphabet Review Game

Alphabet Review Game – All the Letters of the Alphabet

In this game the playing partners are required to print all the letters of the alphabet.


CVC Game

CVC Game

CVC Game 

Playing parnters take turns drawing a CVC word.  They must match it to the corresponding picture.


Writing Activities

We will be watching videos, reading books and gathering information about the octopus, jellyfish and whales which are featured in the emergent reader.  All our writing activities will reflect on the information we gathered.


This Month’s Fabulous Freebies

In the link below you will find the connect the dots sea creature activities.  The students can connect the dots, color and print a sentence about these sea creatures.


Dot to Dot Ocean Creatures Connect the Dots and Writing


Ocean Creatures Word Identification Legend


More Information on the Ocean Theme

In the link below you will find more information on the “Ocean Theme” unit.


Ocean Theme Unit


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One Response

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  1. I love the ocean theme

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