Category Archives: Information Literacy Instruction

Second Grade, Fred McFee and Skeletons

I love the book, The Bones of Fred McFee by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus.  The rhyming text and luscious illustrations make it a delight to read.  I needed an activity for second grade and one of the Georgia Standards of Excellence they are exploring now is in physical science, S2P 1 b. Construct an explanation for how structures made from small pieces (linking cubes, building blocks) can be disassembled and then rearranged to make new and different structures.

I was thinking of having the students assemble something and it needed to be from supplies that I had a lot of.  Thought a bit and remembered the tub full of popsicle sticks!  The idea of assembling a skeleton just popped into my head and that made me think of Fred McFee.

We read the book and I showed them examples of non-fiction books that had information and illustrations of skeletons; a dictionary, an encyclopedia and a non-fiction book.  I placed these on the tables and the teacher paired up the students.  Each group had a dictionary with the skeleton illustration and a heap of popsicle sticks.

Initially some students asked how could they assemble a skeleton.  I referred them to the illustrations and asked how they might form a head or legs.  The soon got the hang of it.  One of the classes did this activity on a day that they were dressed as super heroes as part of Red Ribbon Week.  You’ll notice that some students posed their skeletons in super hero poses and then posed themselves for the photo!

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Fourth Grade Primary Documents and Inferences

Fourth grade is studying the American Revolution and I wanted to introduce them to primary documents as an information resource.  I also wanted to acquaint them with the book, George vs George: The Revolutionary War as Seen by Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer. This book is a great example of the IB key concept of perspective.

Cover of the book George vs George by Rosalyn Schanzer

Borrowing an Idea from WritingFix

I found a lesson plan on Writingfix.com and used the first part of it (http://writingfix.com/WAC/HistoryFix/George_vs_George1.htm) which used portraits of George Washington and King George.  The website also provided a graphic organizer for the students to use to analyze the primary source document.  This was also an opportunity to have the students practice making inferences, an ELA skill they work on in this grade level.  I marked the word, “infer” in dictionaries and had one student read the definition while the others followed along.

Model First and then Small Group Work

First I modeled what the students were going to do.  I have a large poster of a portrait of Paul Revere from a collection of posters, Picturing America: America’s History Through Our Nation’s Art, from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  This portrait by John Singleton Copley is a good way to have the students, as a whole group, work through “reading” this painting.  They noticed the tea pot, the tools, his plain clothes, etc.  Then they brainstormed what that might mean (inferring) about this person (I covered up his name).  Then they worked in small groups looking at the two portraits.4-3

Two Men-What Can We Infer?

I gave each group a small copy of each of the paintings, one of King George and the other of George Washington.  At this point they had just begun their study of the Revolutionary War and most didn’t know who these men in the portraits were.  I gave them about 5 minutes to observe the first portrait and make notes on their graphic organizer and then I had them move onto the second portrait.4-1

For the most part the students did a good job and were surprised to see what they could find out about a person, just by looking at a painting. After we shared a few observations, I revealed who each man was and showed them the book, George vs George.

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I will be sharing this book with this grade level over the next couple of weeks. Just not sure how yet!

 

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Third Grade, Puzzle and Map Skills

I have been working with the third grades to let them have some experience using atlases.  They used atlases and looked up rivers that they need to know for their social studies standards, noting on a graphic organizer what states they saw the rivers flowing through.  The second week they used that graphic organizer and an atlas to locate the rivers on a laminated U.S. map and they traced the length of the rivers with dry erase markers (they love dry erase markers).  As a follow up I planned an activity with jigsaw puzzles of the United States.

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Jigsaw Puzzle of the U.S.A.

I introduced the activity by asking if the students had any strategies they used when doing puzzles.  Many of our children don’t have much experience putting together puzzles.  Some suggested looking at the box for what the puzzle should look like.  I offered that they might want to look for straight edges so they could complete the outside first.

They are so weak in their georgraphy skills as they are not part of the social studies standards, ie. they don’t know the names of all of the states!  Most have no clue where states are in relationship to other states.  I thought this might be a good way to introduce some of this information.

The Winners Are…

Although it was not a race, this group was proud that they were the first ones to complete the puzzle (I had four puzzles in total)!  Team work makes the dream work…

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Third Grade-Atlas and Laminated Maps

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I usually have the third grade students use atlases a couple of times during the year.  I try something new every once in awhile and this year I made use of a huge stack on laminated United States maps we had in the library.

The third grade is required to know the location of several rivers for our state standards.  I designed a graphic organizer that the students would utelize to gather information about the location of these rivers.

Altas and Index

We reviewed the purpose of an index and how to use an index and then I had them look up the rivers, noting the page of the map where the river could be found as well as the map coordinates.  After they listed all the page numbers and map coordinates, I had them work in pairs and using this information actually find the river on the map.  They were also required to list all of the states that the river flowed in or between.

Our students do not have a grasp of the names of the states or their locations.  Hey, it’s not a standard and it’s not tested, so it’s not covered.  I was hoping that the more time they spent looking at the map and tracing the rivers would pay off in a better concept of geographic locations.  This process took two library visits.

Laminated United States Maps

On the third visit the students used their completed graphic organizers and look for the states they had listed for each river.  They pretty easily found the states and then they could look for the river.  They had dry erase markers which they used to trace the length of each river.  Hopefully this practice with atlases and maps will pay off during testing and in other occasions when geography comes into play!

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Second Grade – Internet Safety – An Introduction

Second grade explores the Georgia Standard of Excellence, “SS2CG1 … the concept of government and the need for rules and laws” in their IB unit of inquiry, “How We Organize Ourselves”.  We read the book by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, Chicken Clicking, which explores the consequences of risky behavior in the digital world as a chicken gets carried away on the internet.

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After reading this book the children suggested rules that would help keep them safe while they were online.

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Fifth Grade – ChatterPix – Microorganisms

Fifth grade students study microorganisms and I want to expose them to forms of digital storytelling as well as give them a chance to practice those Communications Skills, part of the IB (International Baccalaureate) Approaches to Learning and Teaching. They chose a microorganism to research (virus, bacteria, ebola, red-tide, or brain-eating amoeba) and wrote a script to record using the app, ChatterPix.

I like to use a curating tool to streamline the research process.  This time I used Livebinders to gather reputable resources.

https://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2241921

CaptureLimited to 29 seconds students had to carefully consider what information to include about their topic.  Students used their notes to write this script from the first person point of view.

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Student taking a photograph of an image.

Students choose an image and take a photo of it to start the process and then record their script.  I don’t think students have enough opportunity to record themselves and reflect on their speaking and writing so I’m always looking for ways for them to hear their voice.

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Students record their scripts.

The Chatterpix videos were then uploaded to YouTube to share with fellow students, parents and the public.

 

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Chatterpix-Fourth Grade and Planets

Fourth grade students study planets (Georgia Standards of Excellence-Science S4E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the
physical attributes of stars and planets)  They chose a planet or spacecraft to research and write a script to record using the app, Chatterpix.  Limited to 29 seconds students have to carefully consider what information to include about their topic.  Recording themselves is an important skill as they can hear what they actually wrote and they can then edit their writing (they realize their errors as they try to read their own writing).

I prepare a Livebinder of resources in order to supply them with credible resources and to speed up the process.  The whole process still takes about 3 plus library visits for each class in order to record all of the students.

Screen capture of Chatterpix app

I upload the videos to YouTube to give the students’ work a wider audience and the opportunity to share with parents and fellow students.

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Link to one of the classes uploaded Chatterpix videos: https://goo.gl/WXqfK4

 

 

 

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