Kids love animals, and during the winter, it's the perfect time for penguins. My students love this week, and you don't have to look far to find penguin resources. In fact, I have a full Pinterest board ready to go and certainly, a few of the options from this board will find their way into our lessons.
Last week was "testing week", so unfortunately, my plans were a bust! Ever have a week like that? Of course you have. Well, this week, we're finishing up some of last week's work. My fifth grade students are reading about the Revolutionary War including The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. I plan to focus on fluency with [THIS FREEBIE]. After practicing with paired repeated readings, my students will be writing RAFT papers. They will be patriots writing to their families in the form of a letter telling why they want to fight for America's independence. Here's [a freebie] I made a while back to use for RAFT papers.
This group is also reading Mr. Popper's Penguins this week. We will be focusing on character traits, main idea/details, question types, and making comparisons. So far, the children are excited and seem to like the book. Most have seen the movie, and although I'm not crazy about watching the movie first, it may provide schema for some of the challenging vocabulary.
For writing, both of my groups are finishing descriptive writing with my unit, Snowflakes Fall. Snowflakes Fall is a wonderful example of descriptive writing, and it provides a great example of what you hope your students will create. I like using Four Square Writing with my students, and it's worked well for them to think ahead about word choice and examples. The children will be completing their four-square plans and papers describing a snowy day.
In fourth grade, we're learning about ecology with a Journey's selection, Ecology for Kids. I really liked how this selection was set up. The children used this organizer and recorded details to support the main idea given. You can grab a blank organizer like this one on my TPT site.
This group is reading Eve of the Emperor Penguin in small groups. This unit is being used with the group, and so far, they seem to be enjoying it. I love the cute clip art I was able to use from Educlips, Creative Clips, and Enlightened Elephant. The Magic Treehouse books are wonderful, and I like that this one has great vocabulary too. Children love fantasy books, and reading a series works well for struggling readers because they know what to expect from the characters. Here's a peek at my unit.