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Friday, April 13, 2012

A Non-Fiction Freebie

We use Storytown as our reading series. It's okay. I can't say I love it, or that I hate it. {I do strongly dislike the weekly tests. Ugggh}, but it is what it is.

Our weekly reading selections always make sure to focus on the genre of the story, as well as a characteristic of that genre. This past week, we read The Bee. And the chosen characteristic this lesson was "graphic aids". After looking at diagrams (another name for graphic aids, apparently) of a few different types of animals, I had the kiddos make their own.

First, we discussed what a graphic aid must have. Answer (in our case): A picture, labels, and information. We went through some examples and labeled them "graphic aid" or "not a graphic aid".

Then, we got to the good stuff. I handed out a paper for them to draw their graphic aid…which you can get for FREE…if you read this post, and look at all the pictures I took ;)

I didn't have too many rules. The rules I did have were simple:

  • Pick an animal/object/item that you know A LOT about. I said, "For example, Miss K would not pick a car. The only thing I know about a car is that it gets me to the mall." {So, of course, like 9 of my boys had to pick a car…you know to show Miss K that, as 2nd graders, they knew much more about cars than their dear teacher.}

  • Draw and color a clear picture of their item. {Unspoken Totally spoken classroom rule: Miss K LOVES color…lots and lots of it!!!!!!!}

  • Give a small description of each part you label.

  • Most of them hit this out of the park. A couple of them got ahold of my old Mr. Scent markers before I noticed, and well, there's no reading any descriptions or labels on those puppies. It never fails to amaze me, though, how much a 7 or 8 year old knows about any given topic {wrestling rings, remotes, cars (duh!), snakes, wolves…}. I love that they commit to knowing so much about a topic they care about! Kind of inspiring!

    Hopefully this is something you can use as a supplement to any non-fiction text you're using, or as an element of a report or project. I also thought of using it at the beginning of the year next year at open house to explain to parents the different parts of our classroom.
    Anyway! Enjoy, and have a good weekend!
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    And if you download this freebie, let us know what you think in the comments below!

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