This year after winter break, we will begin our Animals in Winter book using my Guided Reading with a Purpose series. This unit is week 19 of a 40 week MEGA BUNDLE. This was previously my hibernation unit but as I updated it, it became much more than that. These are the five featured texts that I will be using to teach this unit to my first graders. One of the books you can see was written by me. It comes in both a paper pencil version for the students or this colorful version that is projectable or can be printed. I like to project the color version on my SMART board and give the students the paper pencil version to use at their seats. We do a lot of highlighting and writing write in this book. I like to include one book that I make so students can really look at all of the non-fiction text features.
Of course it isn’t a fun unit without a little crafting. Here is a sneak peek at the crafts I’ve created. The bear craft where the students tear the paper is one that I do every year. This year I added a few more. The main focus of this unit is checking for understanding. Students will learn this strategy using these 5 books. I chose a unit that had both fiction and non-fiction because I want to teach them to check for understanding in both kinds of text.
We will begin our unit with Animals in Winter by Bancroft. This is a simple book that explains 4 different things animals can do in the winter… hibernate, migrate, prepare for winter, or do nothing. After reading this book we will check for understanding using activities included in the packet. Then we will sort and discuss information from the text. Here is a sample chart we will create.
On day 2, we will read my digital/paper pencil book. We will be reviewing non-fiction text features specifically the table of contents, headings, glossary and bold-faced words. Then we check for understanding. Here are some fun charts that we complete together and I also keep them out for students to complete when we do rotations. This are taken from the book we read.
Our animal chart also changes as we will now have more fun things to add as well as more animals that we have learned about.
Finally, to conclude the non-fiction portion of checking for understanding we read Hibernation by Kosara. The pictures included are wonderful. This is also a great opportunity to discuss the idea that not all non-fiction books contain headings, table of contents and so on. After reading this book, we look at statements from this book and brainstorm possible headings that would make sense.
We can add a few more categories to our chart after reading this book as well… torpor and estivate.
Here is a peek at our chart after completing all of the non-fiction books.
Now, on to fiction books. It was hard to pick but I just love these two books.
First I chose to use Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming. It is a simple book but gets the idea across and introduces animals that hibernate through a fiction text. The ending is kind of funny too. After reading this book we review the characters and do a retelling.
Then we learn how to check for understanding using a fiction text.
Finally, this year we will end our unit using this new book, “A Loud Winter’s Nap” by Katy Hudson. It is absolutely adorable. I can’t wait to read it to my class. We are definitely going to make the turtles that go with this fun craft. We will again review characters and setting and then we will do a character analysis of the turtle. The students love to do these sorts more than once so they are fun to leave out in a center if you have the space.
This unit comes with other fun activities to do during word work as well. I like to include lesson plan ideas as a frame work to show how I implement this unit in my classroom. Here is a peek at those plans.
Even though my main focus is on the five texts mentioned above, I do include activities to go along with a few more stories. I love Hibernation Station and Bear Snores On. There are a lot more activities for Bear Snores On because I LOVE that series written by Karma Wilson but both texts are great additions to a long day or if you want to extend the unit into more than one week’s worth of material.
If you are interested in this oldie but newly updated goodie, check it out.