Building friendships and community is a big focus at the beginning of the school year as classes are formed and begin the year-long journey of learning together. A story that shares a unique perspective of friendship is Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams. This book, based upon a true story, tells about two girls in a refugee camp who decide to share a pair of sandals even after their lives take them in very different directions. Bonding over shared experiences as well as footwear provides a foundation for a deep and lasting friendship.
How do your students define the word “friends”? This month’s First Friday Freebie provides an opportunity for them to brainstorm how friends should act towards each other.
Get the free graphic organizer here.
For more ideas, check out Williams Writes, author Karen Lynn Williams’ website, where you can find a teacher’s guide for this story, see a picture of the sandals that inspired the book, and learn more about the author.
For a fun end of year/summer break activity, share this weather tracker form with your students. They can continue to practice their observation, reading, and recording skills as they read weather forecasts and keep track of the daily weather patterns.
(click here for pdf file)
Sites like Intellicast, Accuweather, and The Weather Channel provide daily forecasts and other weather/seasonal information.
The information can then be analyzed by:
- graphing highs and lows
- graphing precipitation
- graphing humidity
- comparing forecasts to actual weather reports
- charting the phases of the moon.
The Freeology site has graph paper, observation charts, and timelines which could be used for analyzing data.
When the Fly Flew In, written by Lisa Westberg Peters and illustrated by Brad Sneed, is another one of my favorite books. Full of descriptive action verbs and imagery, this story takes readers on a ride as a fly unknowingly assists a young boy in cleaning his room.
Use this free worksheet I created to help your students identify action verbs for each animal in the story (click here for pdf file).
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I’ve also added another set of Daily Visual Challenges to my TpT store. First person to contact me gets a free copy.
On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather, by Marilyn Singer is another one of my favorite books. It can help broaden students’ perspectives as they “journey” around the world exploring the various types of weather and events that can all occur on the same day. It is amazing how varied that one day can be, depending upon where you are on the globe.
To give your students an opportunity to explore this same concept, use the interactive map I put together (click here for pdf file).
By following the links embedded in the map, your students can go on their own adventure around the world to compare the weather in various places on the same day in March.
Create a chart of the findings and/or have students use the data from the webcams to illustrate their own pages of a book based on Singer’s text.
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I’ve also added another set of Daily Visual Challenges to my TpT store. First person to contact me gets a free copy. Happy almost spring! 🙂
Looking for a new way to introduce more visuals into the classroom? Try easel.ly. You can get started by “recycling” one of the many vhemes (visual themes) provided or build your own. There are many graphics, icons, and fonts to choose from, too, as you create and customize your own infographic.
Have fun creating and picturing information in new ways!
p.s. I have another freebie available here (Book Response Task Cards: President’s Day Theme).
The activities included on the task cards are based on the stories and illustrations in the following books (and aligned to CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1, 3.3, & 3.7):
Happy New Year!
This year I am going to be adding a new feature to the blog. My First Friday Freebie will appear the first Friday of each month and provide you with some type of lesson, activity, and/or printable to help you incorporate more visual literacy into your classroom.
You can download my first First Friday Freebie here. “Adjective Comparison” is a language arts activity for grades 2-4 and is aligned to the 3rd Grade CCSS ELA-Literacy.L.3.1g. It includes activities to teach the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees.
This activity can be used along with the book Things that are most in the world by Judi Barrett to provide students with visual ways to think about and understand comparisons. I love the silly illustrations and the ways this book makes you think about comparisons. Can you think of anything that would be smellier than a skunk convention?!
Extension activities are included with ideas about how to integrate this language arts activity with a science lesson using sites like Extreme Science, The Travel Almanac, and Guinness World Records.
Have fun learning and comparing!
Last week I participated in an online webinar, and it still has me pondering and creating ways to incorporate more visual support into the classroom. Laura Candler‘s “Using Graphic Organizers to Create Reading Mini Lessons” webinar was full of useful info and strategies for incorporating graphic organizers into reading lessons based on the Common Core Standards. Her ideas are based on years of teaching experience in the classroom, and her presentation is supplemented by visuals and activities from her book Graphic Organizers for Reading. She even offers some free resources to get you started, so be alert if you add this webinar to your professional development! 🙂
Looking for more than graphic organizers in the reading program? Visit Laura Candler’s virtual file cabinet. It’s bursting with resources to support your students’ learning.