Monday, April 21, 2008

New Feature! Favorite Lessons!

Sometimes when you finish a lesson, you reflect and say "Wow! That was really successful. The kids really learned what I wanted them to." A favorite lesson feeds the passion of the craft of teaching. A favorite lessons often teaches the teacher as much as it teaches the students.

I'd like to create a new feature that will highlight favorite lessons. If you would like to share an idea, the lesson should be structured in the format of a formal lesson plan. This will enable other teachers and parents to review the plan and apply it to their learning environment.

Please share favorite lessons in the comments section.

Here is a favorite lesson of mine that may be useful to others as the summer months approach!

Unit: Marine Life Age/Grade Level: PreK

Lines of inquiry:
~An inquiry into bodies of water
~An inquiry into marine animals
~An inquiry into how water affects life

Lesson time frame:
The completion of this lesson will take at least 1 week. (Other lessons that support the established lines of inquiry will take 4-6 weeks.)

Students will need many daily opportunities to actively explore centers, songs, books and fingerplays to become familiar and fluent with vocabulary words.

It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete the prediction chart. (What do you think we will see at Mote Marine?)

The field trip to Mote Marine will take 1 full school day.

The final writing project will take 2 hours of center time. Students will work one-on-one or in a very small group with the teacher to complete their writing task. Each student will need 5-15 minutes to complete their writing project.

Objective 1: Students will use targeted vocabulary.
fish shark stingray urchin sea anenome
manatee octopus crab lobster swim
float crawl splash hide jump
dive snorkel mask goggles flippers

Objective 2: Students will write and illustrate about what they saw at Mote Marine (your local aquarium), what (a sea creature) did, and what was their favorite.

Materials: laptop, projection screen, crayons, markers, paper, letter strip with visual cues, sea life word strips, Mote Marine magazine (any aquarium magazine with photos), various books on sea life with real photos, mask, goggles, fins, snorkel, straws,

Lesson Procedure:
Prior to using this book with students, read the story to yourself and think about how you will tell the story for each page. There is too much text for pre-k, but the story line and the supporting pictures are great.
1) Introduce book "Snorkeling on a Coral Reef"
· Show the front cover
· What do you see
· Who is this
· Do you think it is cold or hot?
· What makes you think that?
2) Tell (don’t read) the story. Stop at each page and allow student sufficient time to see the details in the pictures. Discuss sea life in the pictures, the actions of the snorkeler and the actions of the sea creatures.

3) Show students the mask, snorkel and flippers. Discuss why each one is used. (mask to protect your eyes under water, snorkel to help you breathe under water, flippers to help you swim). Show students the goggles. Explain the difference between the mask and the goggles.

4) Introduce snorkeling center. Show students the bendable straws. Have them practice breathing in and out. Tell them after they are finished snorkeing with (my assistant) they will come to my table and draw a picture and tell me about what they saw.

Other centers for sea life exploration:
1) Water table with sea creatures and tongs (“safely move sea creatures to a new home). This center provides sensory input and allows practice of the tripod grasp needed for writing.
2) Book exploration. This center will include many books of sea creatures.
3) Puzzles. Puzzles of sea creatures and recreation or transportation related to water.
4) Math: Fish bowl shaped math mats with sea creatures and a die with numbers 0-5. Students practice numeral recognition and number concepts.
5) Art: Several painting projects and cut and paste projects to develop visual spatial skills and tripod grasp.

The day before the field trip:
During circle time, connect laptop to projection screen and ask students to predict what we might see at Mote Marine (your local aquarium). As students make predictions, record predictions on a 2x2 Boardmaker template.

During the field trip to local aquarium:
Give students a copy of the prediction chart and a crayon. As students are exploring the aquarium tell them to circle any sea creatures on our prediction chart that they find. Ask chaperones and staff to assist.

The day after the field trip:
In a one-on-one situation or very small group, pass out individual prediction charts that were used the previous day. Show students the three sentences starters: “I saw, The___did___, and My favorite___.” Students are to draw a picture about their experience at Mote Marine (substitute your local aquarium). They will be encouraged to write words or sounds. Those who have not yet developed letter sound correspondence will dictate to the teacher.

Strategies used to address diverse learners:
Visual cues
Total Physical Response

Rubric score of 3:
Writing includes temporary spelling of words and phrases.
Writing demonstrates and awareness of beginning capitalization and ending punctuation.
Writing is on topic.
Writing clarification may be dictated and includes 5 or more vocabulary words.
Illustration is on topic.
Illustration includes specific details.

Rubric score of 2:
Writing includes an attempt a beginning or ending sounds, but words or phrases are not evident.
Beginning capitalization and ending punctuation are not evident.
Writing is on topic.
Writing clarification may be dictated and includes at 2-4 vocabulary words.
Illustration is on topic.

Rubric score of 1:
Letter strings are evident or no writing is attempted.
Writing is dictated and includes 1 vocabulary word.
Illustration is attempted but not clearly on topic.

State Standards (Florida):
2.3 Develop vocabulary skills to support reading.
3.4 Respond to literature in a variety of ways.

Web Resources:

What will we see at Mote Marine (substitute the name of your local aquarium)?
(In this section a Boardmaker 2x2 board organizes student predictions. If Boardmaker is not available, a list with line drawings or pre-printed graphics is sufficient. To make the lesson truly successful, the prediction chart is transferred to an 8.5x11 "worksheet" so that children can circle correct predictions when they visit the local aquarium.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for helping out, wonderful info.:)