Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writing Like a Scientist!

Integrating Reading, PBL and Writing

This lesson is designed to help my students develop the foundational skills that will move them from emergent readers to conventional readers. I am challenging my students to "think, read, and write like a scientist," and by applying their knowledge of letters and sounds through labeling items and observing objects in our PBL project, Trees, Trees, Trees. Students are encouraged to stretch out each word, listen to the first sound, as well as every other sound after that.

Every kindergartner needs time to explore. By bringing nature inside, I collected and displayed natural objects to enhance my student's sense of observation. All children benefit from nature and learn from nature. I provided a variety of objects for my students to explore. I allowed and strongly encouraged my students to TOUCH.

Animals that live in trees.

Logs, twigs, pinecones, and bark

Leaves, acorns, & seedlings

Let the exploring begin:
Don't forget magnifying glasses and special googles!

I tell my students to embrace the knowledge they have by exploring with their senses.  Children already have their own ideas about nature and living things.  I am helping them find the unique characteristics in trees by touching and exploring first.

The next day my kindergartners explore nonfiction books about trees. Students are exposed to list books, pattern books, and books with simple sentences that revolve around our PBL unit. Students will learn that reading and writing is a tool for learning about science. Looking at and reading nonfiction books about trees gives my students the chance to learn about rich, engaging content. Reading and writing about a shared research topic, such as trees, provides a supportive scaffold where every student feels successful.

In this lesson, students are reading "Learn About The World Books" to help them discover things such as what animals live in trees, why an acorn turns into an oak tree, or why leaves change color. As a teacher, I highlighted and pointed out to students how the author writes in a pattern, labels, 
stays on one topic, writes one sentence on each page, or uses repetitive language on each page.  

Then we go outside with our binoculars and explore and collect some more!

Then we write!

This unit offers an opportunity for my kiddos to apply what they are reading in their books and transfer all that they learned to writing. Taking nature-themed books along with blank sheets of paper inspires my young readers and writers to make connections to their PBL. As a teacher my goal is to check for student's knowledge of concept of print, letter-sounds, and their understanding of nonfiction books. I am looking for early reading skills and behaviors such as one-to-one correspondence, pointing to words while reading, and reading left to right.

Next steps for integrating our PBL project and reading is to show students that information is all around them and as we study trees they'll find themselves wanting more.  We will participate in a shared research project reading from the pages of a big book, poems, charts and texts and then incorporating that information into a shared writing project or book about trees.  Addressing how to gather information from nonfiction books to answer a question about our PBL will be our focus.

1 comment:

  1. The staff at Phoenix kindergarten is very warm and caring. They also take care of lunch and snacks for the kids. My son absolutely loves this place, and because of that I too love this place!