Saturday, January 14, 2017

American Symbols

One of  my favorite units to teach my kindergarten students is American Symbols. This unit was especially interesting this year, because of the election. (It is always interesting to hear student opinions, aka repeated opinions that they hear from home, media, older students, etc.) In our school we have 2 weeks to teach this unit and have an emphasis on teaching students to write facts.  

The Big Book that I used throughout the week was America's Symbols by Judith Bauer. We did not read the book front cover to back cover and we did not read it in order because I wanted to expose students to the fact that nonfiction books are read differently than fiction books.  I would recommend this book because there are nice photographs and age appropriate text.

I also supplemented with these awesome Scholastic News Readers. These books came with my classroom so they are a few years old, but really peaked the interest of my little ones. My favorite was Who Works At The White House. After reading this book the children completed a writing project about which job they would want. So Fun!

While we were learning about American Symbols, it was important for my students to stay organized. I made the children flip charts where we recorded information about 4 different American Symbols. Students created their own pictures and wrote their own facts. On top of writing facts, we were also able to review some handwriting rules, and expose students to main idea/ details.

 After two weeks of American Symbol fun, we ended this unit writing a class letter to the president. The plan was to have this be an interactive writing experience, but due to a snow day, it was more of a shared writing experience. This is the first time I have had a class write to the President, so I will need to check back and let you know if we get a reply.

Assessment Tip:
After completing the Space and American Symbol Units, I give my students this free Main Idea/ Details Assessment that can be found on my TPT page.

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