Tuesday, January 31, 2017

All About Polar Animals

All second graders have begun learning about animals of the Arctic and Antarctica. In this unit, students are researching an animal of their choice and writing their own nonfiction text based on the animal. They will include many text features including headings, diagrams, labels and a table of contents. Students have been hard at work for more than a week now locating information in a variety of nonfiction sources.

Here is a sneak peek of some of their work so far:

In the upcoming weeks, students will finish these books and create a visual display of their animals. They will also create a life cycle collage using an iPad app! This has been a productive and highly engaging week of learning and we are looking forward to the rest of it!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Introducing... Nonfiction!

This section of a nonfiction book has been "text-mapped."
Captions are highlighted in yellow, headings
are in purple and keywords are in blue.
We have shifted our reading focus from fiction to nonfiction. It is always an exciting change because students just LOVE to read about science and social studies topics. Specifically, we are looking closely at text features ("extra" features of a book that go beyond the main text to give us more information). There is a long list of text features but we have focused on the following: table of contents, keywords, photographs with captions and/or labels, glossary and diagrams/charts. We have also explored "text-mapping" in which we took a copy of a book and created a scroll with it. Students color coded different text features and then made observations about what they noticed. You can visit this site to find out more about text-mapping.
My reading group also made text feature "collages" as a visual reminder of what each feature looks like. These will be hung up in the classroom for easy reference. Even though we have just begun, students are doing a wonderful job with these new learning goals!
Students worked together to find examples of text features in paper copies of books to create these posters.