Sunday, April 17, 2011

Teaching Famous Americans

How in the world can we find the time to teach ALL the languagae arts, social studies and science objectives we need to in a given grading period? INTEGRATION! I have found the only way to get in all done is to do some creative integration of subjects. So for the last grading period we have been working on a biography unit in reading alongside the Famous American unit in Social Studies. What a natural fit!

I loved using Scholastics: Famous Americans resource book. This book includes reproducible books for most of the famous Americans on my list. They are on a 2-3 reading level which is a good match for some of my guided reading groups. My routine was to read aloud a biography about a famous American during whole group shared reading. Then I was able to reinforce vocabulary and nonfiction biography during small group guided groups. I LOVE that this book also includes songs on each of the Americans. Great for my poetry station and great fluency practice. A win, win!!

My students need lots of exposures of content material before they can call it their own. I love creating MAKE AND TAKE study guides with my kids and try to make them something interactive. For my Famous American unit I have my students make the Famous American paper bag book.

This is a simple book to make. I just take a group of paper bags and cut the bottoms off. I staple them together. There you have it....a book with page pockets. We record the American's MIPS or Most Important Points on each page. Then I give them an index card to draw a meaningful illustration. Must have those VISUALS!! On the back each student creates a bubble map to record other interesting information they learned about each person. These books go home in my third graders' study bags. They can take out each card and practice matching it to the pages. They can also arrange the picture cards to create a time line of when these people lived.
How do you get it all done??


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