It's Okay to Be Different: Teaching Diversity With Todd Parr
It is important to teach students about diversity to help them develop empathy for others. This lesson, for first and second graders, uses Todd Parr’s picture book It’s Okay to Be Different to help students understand what diversity means and how it applies to them. After a shared reading of the text, students work in small groups to discuss and write down what makes them diverse. They then visit Todd Parr’s website and create pages for their own books about diversity. Students share their completed books with another class.
Animal Study: From Fiction to Facts
This lesson describes how to use selected fiction and nonfiction literature and careful questioning techniques to help students identify factual information about animals. Children first identify possible factual information from works of fiction which are read aloud, then they listen to read-alouds of nonfiction texts to identify and confirm factual information. This information is then recorded on charts and graphic organizers. Finally, students use the Internet to gather additional information about the animal and then share their findings with the class. The lesson can be used as presented to find information about ants or can be easily adapted to focus on any animal of interest to students. Resources are included for ants, black bears, fish, frogs and toads, penguins, and polar bears.Sources of Information / Informational Text / Technology as a Tool / Research Process / Safety and Ethical Issues
Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text
This lesson uses traditional stories of the Native peoples (i.e., narrative text) to introduce students to the study of animals in Alaska (i.e., expository text). Students use the Internet to listen to a Yu'pik tale told by John Active, a Native American living in Alaska. They also use online resources to find facts about animals in Alaska. Students compare and contrast the two types of text in terms of fiction and nonfiction. The narrative stories provide students with a context to begin studying a content area topic; this lesson emphasizes the integration of curriculum.
Book Report Alternative: Writing Resumes for Characters in Historical Fiction
Historical fiction transports its readers back in time with the characters. Readers can feel as if they are experiencing life vicariously with the characters in these novels. Invite your students to engage even more with the characters and setting of the historical fiction that they read by helping a character from their reading choose and apply for a job. What would it be like to search for a job in the past? What qualifications would be needed? Students explore help wanted ads, in print and online, to see what employers want. Then, students draft a resume so their characters can apply for jobs.Sources of Information / Informational Text / Technology as a Tool / Research Process / Safety and Ethical Issues