I have always been a big fan of integrating key learning concepts and subject areas in my language arts daily lesson plans. This allows me to be more efficient in meeting the curriculum outcomes. All my plans take a balanced literacy approach to teaching these concepts. More information on a balanced literacy approach can be found in the link below:
Balanced Literacy Lesson Plan for November
The focus theme for November is on Pets and How Animals Prepare for Winter (Science Connection). Outlined below is how I follow the balanced literacy approach to teaching reading. Following this model makes my planning so much easier.
This year I chose to use the book “I Wanna Iguana” as my read aloud to introduce this theme. Within the theme unit (Pets Theme) there are a number of suggestions but this is the one I chose. This is a great book to use to understand the power of persuasion. It also introduces the concept of the responsibilities involved in looking after a pet. In the link below is a video reading of the book.
Follow-up Shared Reading
I will be using the color version of the reader “The Best Pet” as a shared reading experience which is a follow-up to reading the book. I will project it on the Smart Board for all the students to see. I will introduce letters and their related sounds within the context of reading it (Dd for dog, Cc and Kk for cat and Ii for iguana). Any focus sight words could also be introduced.
The Literacy Centers outlined in the link below all incorporate the the Word Study Component of the balanced literacy approach.
Interactive Guided Reading
I use the interactive black and white versions of the readers (same one used for shared reading). At this point, the students are still learning to track words and recognizing few sight words. They absolutely love completing the interactive component of the readers and this adds a comprehension and fine-motor element to their reading. The students are to cut and paste the correct pet that is mentioned in the text. They can match the underlined word with the word printed on the picture. This is a good visual discrimination activity.
Once the students have read the reader during shared and guided reading, many of them will be able to read it independently.
Research and Vocabulary Development – Would An Iguana Be A Good Pet?
Since many of my students would not be a familiar with what an iguana is, we will need to do more research and add this to their vocabulary background. I have used the videos below as a base for this research. This will help them to decide if they feel and iguana would be a good pet.
Modeled, Shared and Interactive Writing
I will model writing what pet I would like or have as a pet. After, I will model what the students dicate on chart paper. As I am writing we often “share the pen”. If they know a beginning letter sound of word that I am going to print, I will allow them to come forward and print it.
After, the students will complete their own writing with guidance. Could provide a template for this.
I want a __________ for a pet.
I have a ___________ for a pet.
I would like a ___________.
More Ideas for the Pets Theme
This is just a small sample of what activities you can engage your students in within the Pets Theme. In the link below you will find more ideas.
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