I’m sure like many other primary teachers, you spend a week on penguins. In my room we spend a few days on non-fiction text and then we move to some fun fiction Tacky stories. We always begin with some sort of anchor chart. I change it from year to year depending on what I have done previously. I love to make the chart look like the topic we will be studying because it immediately sparks interest in my first graders.
This year I used different color sticky notes for each day that we added information to our chart. We always read a Gail Gibbons book if possible when doing non-fiction units. Of course as I have mentioned before, my students love their anticipation guides. We highlight was we think, listen to the text and then circle what we learned. It is almost like a game to them.
We also read a mini book that I have created with special non-fiction text features. Before reading the book, we complete the checklist. This offers a great preview opportunity for the students and it allows them to get familiar with the text features.
We also have vocabulary words each week. We complete the word of the day a few times. It lent itself well to synonyms and antonyms which we were learning about too.
We also work on informative writing using our web and anchor chart. They are the greatest little writers by now. They are able to write an introduction, 3 details, and a conclusion. All of these ideas are included in my penguin unit below.
We also spent some time working on paired passages from my January editions.
The one featured here was about a penguin name Penny who was born with only one flipper. The children love to highlight and find the text evidence in the passage to answer the questions. I wrote this on based on my own little girl who was born with Down Syndrome.
Then it was time for some fiction fun with Tacky. We did a whole group activity for this story but then we spent some time making choices and working in groups. My students do so well with this and they LOVE choice.
We even used the chrome books to look up some vocabulary from the Tacky book. They enjoyed this a lot. Anytime they can use technology they are happy.
I thought our Tacky shirts turned out pretty cute!
Next we read Tacky and the Emperor. We used the same process of working in groups and making choices. We made a special hat for our Emperor and wrote a descriptive piece with all of the details.
Our new hats turned out super cute as well!
I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into our room for penguin week. This unit is so much fun to teach and never gets old.