Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World was a huge unit that taught the students so many things.  They learned how to read nonfiction text, as well as facts about Christmas in other countries.  This was our Reading Workshop unit and you can find this unit in my TpT store by clicking on the picture below.

The unit starts by introducing nonfiction text to the students.  They learn how to read a nonfiction text and how it is different from fiction books.  We made a T chart on the Smart board and discussed the difference between the two types of books.  I think it is important for them to see how they are different because they read and think differently when reading these two types of books.

Students also learned how to find the table of contents, headings, subheadings, glossary and index.  They discussed the importance of each and what their purpose is in a nonfiction book.

The first week, I modeled reading nonfiction text by reading a book about Christmas in Germany.  We looked at all the text features and discussed how the layout of the book was different than a fiction book.  We also learned how to pause while we read because it helps us remember and understand what we read.  The first week consisted of learning how to read nonfiction text and understanding how they are different from fiction.  We learned the five finger rule to help use retell what we learned.

The second week, I modeled reading nonfiction by reading a book about Christmas in Sweden.  We read a book that had many pictures because we focused on using pictures to help us understand nonfiction text.  We looked at captions and labels to help us understand what we were reading.  We also discussed asking questions while we read and look for the answers to the questions within the text.

 Students wrote what they learned about the pictures in the text on their St. Lucia hats!

They used the pictures to ask questions, analyze, and learn what was happening in the text. 

The third week, I modeled reading nonfiction by reading about Christmas in America.  We read 3 different types books and used those books to compare different nonfiction text.  It is important to read several resources on one topic when learning something new.  We learned that you want to compare different texts and use that information to decide what is true and what might not be true every time.  We used Venn Diagrams to help us compare and contrast.  Students also had to support their thoughts with text evidence.

 Students sharing what they learned.

During the three weeks, I met with small groups and we read different nonfiction books at their level about Christmas in another country.  There were four small groups and the countries were Italy, Mexico, Australia, and Poland.  They learned about their culture and what they do at Christmas.  You can find these books in my TpT store by clicking on the picture below.

The students read the books, and then made posters to present to the class about their country.  We also had other classes visit our classroom.  We gave them a passport and they used the passport to go to each country.  When they learned about the country, they received a stamp in their book.  I did it as rotations and gave the students about 2-3 minutes at each country, and when the timer went off they moved to the next country.  

My students did a phenomenal job teaching about their country.  It was a great way for them to apply what they learned.  Also, teaching is a great way to remember what you learn!

I loved this unit and cannot wait to do it again next year!

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