Second Grade Nest

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Story Structure (Exploring ELA)



Story Structure (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5

Now that we are back into the school year, I have decided to pick back up on my Exploring ELA blog series! This week, I'm bringing you ideas on how to make text structure easy to teach in the classroom. Text structure focuses on beginning, middle, and end and is taught in 2nd and 3rd grades. Although 1st graders should definitely learn about the beginning, middle, and end of the story, they focus on that more during retelling and story elements. This standard specifically focuses on referring to the text and is not a standard for first grade, just 2nd and 3rd.

Here are the two common core standards we will be discussing.
Story Structure (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5

Buzz words:
*describe
*structure
*successive
*beginning, middle, end
*introduce story
*concludes action
*refer to text
*stories/chapters/drama/scene/poem/stanza


5 Key Tasks for Teachers 


Start by simply teaching what types of things happen in the beginning, middle, and end. Teach students how to find them and what to look for!
Story Structure anchor chart (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
Try a class anchor chart to kick off your story structure unit. On this anchor chart, write about what happens in the beginning, middle, and end. Then, take three very popular and well-known stories from the class and write a quick BME explanation of each on post-it notes. That way, the students can associate a story from prior knowledge to the BME. Or read one story a day and as a class, fill out the BME and put them on the post-it notes. This can also carry-over and help with student writing when it comes to narratives!



Teach the events that happen in the beginning, middle, and end in isolation. Play hypothetical situations out for each story you read during this unit where the beginning, middle, or end never happened. 
Story Structure flip book (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
(Source: Mandy's Tips for Teachers)
One way to isolate the beginning, middle, and end events are to have students read a text and follow up with writing what three main events happen in each specific part. This freebie from Mandy is a great way for more advanced writers to show that.

Story Structure flip book (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
If you're working with less advanced writers, try the simple flip book. Students will need one piece of paper and a pair of scissors. They will fold the paper in half, cut one side of the paper into 3 pieces, label them beginning, middle, and end. Then, they will lift each flap and illustrate on the top piece and write about it on the bottom. 

Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
Shown in this picture is an entire printable worksheet that students can use with passages, read alouds, or independent reading texts. These printables have students focus only on the middle, middle, or end at one time. This picture shows a beginning worksheet with the story Memoirs of a Parrot by David Scillian. Here is my affiliate link to the book on Amazon.




The 3rd grade standard suggests to use stories, poems, and plays. Use a variety of these things when teaching how to find beginning, middle, and end and the events that happen within them. This is very important when it comes to referring to the text because common core wants for students to refer to specific stanzas, scenes, and chapters.

(Resource: RL3.5
Included in my RL3.5 pack, I include plays, poems, and stories. On the left is a two page play with 3 characters that students read through and answer questions on. On the right is a mini lesson activity for a chapter book excerpt. There are task card questions that follow.

(Resource: RL3.5)
These are also included in my RL3.5 pack. On the left, there is poem, followed up with task card questions. On the right is another poem sample with questions.


Using passages and children's literature, teach the process of structure. Focus on the events that happen in the beginning, and how the middle builds onto the beginning. Then, focus on the how the end builds onto the middle. Most of the time, students will also be looking for a problem and a solution.

Primary mentor text suggested book list for Story Structure- teaching the beginning, middle, and end of a story- RL2.5, RL3.5
These book titles are my affiliate links on Amazon! (Find more mentor texts for RL here!)
Don't Slam the Door by Lori Chaconas 
No Dogs Allowed by Sonia Manzano
Chicken Little by Steven Kellogg
The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Max's Words by Kate Banks

Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5    Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5 
(Resource: RL2.5 and RL3.5)
 On the left is a story for 2nd grade readers. It is a half page story with three questions.
On the right is a story for 3rd grade readers. It is a full page story with 5 questions on a separate page.
The 2nd grade questions are more straight forward with questions such as 'What happens at the beginning of the text?' The 3rd grade questions are a bit more in depth, such as 'What would happen if the beginning didn't happen?'



Give students ample ways to practice this skill. Build it into small group or make it an independent center activity. I always like using interactive notebook, printables, and task cards in centers or work stations. Here are a few different ways to build these into your ELA block. 

Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
(Resource: RL2.5
Give students task cards to use with texts that they will read during independent reading time. During their read to self time, students can have these task cards to self-assess or they could buddy up with a partner after they read and answer questions. Shown is the story Weird Parents by Audrey Wood. Here is an affiliate link to that story if you're interested in using it with this unit. 

Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
(Resource: RL2.5 and RL3.5
Another idea is to stick a few read alouds and printables in a tub labeled "Early Finishers" and when students finish any assignment, they can grab the tub to work. This will allow them to feel successful and not waste any down time during the day. Here is my affiliate link for the book One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian.

Story Structure activities (beginning, middle, and end)- blog post that outlines activities and ideas to use when teaching ELA RL2.5 and RL3.5
(Resource: RL2.5 and RL3.5)
Another way that you could work this standard into your daily ELA routine is to copy the printables two to a page. So these are half sheets of paper that I set up when I went to print. After they printed two to a page, I cut them in half and put them into a center. In that center, give students easy readers so they can read independently and fill out the half-sheet printables on their own.




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The two resources that were spotlighted in this blog post are:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Story-Structure-RL25-1826952    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Story-Structure-RL35-2431069
2nd Grade and 3rd Grade

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Click here for a list of other Exploring ELA blog posts.
http://www.firstgradenest.com/2016/02/exploring-ela-new-blog-series.html

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Integrating Science into Fall Teaching



Fall Science- freebies in blog post- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching
Fall is a favorite season for many reasons. Mostly pumpkins and sweater weather, but also because teaching can be tons of fun during the fall. There are many fall science topics that can be covered during this season. Ranging from life cycles to photosynthesis, science can be a real treat for fall teaching. Check out a few ideas I have compiled for you to implement into your primary classrooms! 



Science Topic #1: Apple Life Cycles
Teaching the apple life cycle is very tricky for primary students because they can't see the actual cycle happen firsthand. With technology and informational texts, though, we can help students understand apple life cycles.
Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- apple life cycle ideas
FREE KWL chart for apple life cycle- Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching
 Start by collecting prior knowledge with this freebie.
It comes with an apple life cycle header, pumpkin life cycle header, and changing leaves header. You can gather their prior knowledge before starting this unit. 


Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- apple life cycle ideas
Next, bring in literature and nonfiction text to help them learn these new science topics. This book is called Fall Apples: Crisp and Juicy. It's a Cloverleaf book, which are my absolute favorite! Here is my affiliate link for this book from Amazon! Also shown in the picture is a life cycle cut and paste activity, which is included in my Fall Life Cycles science unit.
http://amzn.to/2cgGheA

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- apple life cycle ideas
This is also included in my fall life cycles unit. They come with passages and mini books that cover the science topics, plus many follow up comprehension activities. In the picture show, you see a fold-and-go mini books with follow up questions on apple life cycles.



Science Topic #2: Pumpkin Life Cycles
Just like with apple life cycles, pumpkin life cycles are tricky to teach because the students can't actually see the process of a pumpkin move from seed to pumpkin. So technology, reading passages, and other activities will help them grasp that knowledge.

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- pumpkin life cycle ideas


FREE KWL chart for pumpkin life cycle- Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching
Start with a KWL chart for the pumpkin life cycle, too! This anchor chart header is a freebie for you!

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- pumpkin life cycle ideas
Pumpkin Circle is one of my favorite texts to use when teaching the pumpkin life cycle. Here is the link to my affiliate book link for Pumpkin Circle. It's perfect when outlining the different steps and shows pictures of each step.
http://amzn.to/2cyxGC8

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- pumpkin life cycle ideas    Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- pumpkin life cycle ideas
Just like with the apple life cycle, you need to introduce the pumpkin life cycle with lots of texts! This fall life cycles flip book covers BOTH pumpkin and apple life cycles. Students can choose apple or pumpkins page toppers. There is a passage about fall life cycles, then comprehension and science follow-up activities. 

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- pumpkin life cycle ideas
 Here is the mini book for the pumpkin life cycles. It's an easier read for students who are working independently or are struggling with harder texts. It also has follow-up comprehension activities. This is also part of my fall life cycles mini unit.



Science Topic #3: Leaf Colors
Students know that leaves are green in the summer and red, yellow, orange, and brown in the fall. However, they can't tell us why. The science behind leaves changing can be really fun for students to learn about... especially when you get to teach them big science terms like photosynthesis.
Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- changing leaves

FREE KWL chart for fall leaves- Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching
When you move on from life cycles and you start talking about the leaves changing colors, you will want to start with another KWL chart to gather prior knowledge.
This header is a freebie you can grab here!

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- changing leaves
(Source: A Little Pinch of Learning)
This science experiment would be great to teach how leaves' colors change in the fall. Check out this blogger's experiment suggestions.

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- changing leaves
 (Source: Brain Pop Jr.)
There are two videos on Brain Pop Jr. that cover Fall and Plant Life Cycles. Both have information about pumpkin life cycles, apple life cycles, and leaves changing colors. Check them out!



Science Topic #4: My Senses
The five senses may seem like a simple skill to master, but using their five senses while learning about fall science is very important. They are really getting involved with their learning when they use their sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing to learn more about apples, leaves, and pumpkins.
Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- Fall senses

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- Fall senses
Start by handing students a pumpkin and an apple and allowing them to explore. You can make a class graph about what the students hear, feel, taste, see, and smell when they're exploring. Or you can allow student to write it on a paper or their own personal white boards. 

FREE KWL chart for apple life cycle- Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching
 This freebie graph helps bring science and math together. Students will use their taste sense to sample a few different pumpkin and apple foods, then make a class graph about which they preferred the most.
Grab that freebie here.



Science Topic #5: Experimenting
There are many manipulatives, candies, and other items you'll find for the fall season. Bring some of these fall items into the classroom. Check out a few of these experiments that other teacher bloggers have created! They use Halloween candy, fruit, and more!

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- Fall science experiements
(Source: Teaching to Inspire with Jennifer Findley)
This experiment is shared by Jennifer on her blog all about using different liquids to see how these candy pumpkins dissolve.

Fall Science- activities to help integrate science into your fall teaching- Fall science experiment
(Source: Little Bins for Little Hands)
STEM and STEAM is big in schools these days. What better way to bring in apple and pumpkin STEM activities! Check out this blog post outline a few STEM projects.


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Here are a few resources to use when teaching Fall Science.

Fall Life Cycles     Fall Life Cycles Flip Book

Apples Flip Book    Pumpkins Flip Book


Fall Activities     https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7mjRwFty62LSEwwYkc5QWFsSTg/view?usp=sharing 
                                            Freebie link ^^