March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites - Language Arts Units

Hi friends! On Wednesday we shared with you the current literature unit we are working on and our love for Tonya Gent. As you may recall we told you that we are so excited about these units we wanted to build a shrine! Well today we are going to share a little more about why these are our favorite units. 

Let's start with the amazing amount of thought that went into each one of them. Each 6 week unit is common core aligned and includes detailed lesson plans for each day! Can I get an ALLELUIA?! We literally spent weeks over the summer trying to create reading units and came nowhere close to what she has created! The time saved and gray hair avoided is worth it right there! Right?! 

If you're looking for reasons a little less vain, we have a few more for you... 

In each unit there are student books included for most weeks to practice vocabulary, comprehension skills such as  comparing and contrasting stories, summarizing, and sequencing, and there are also collaborative conversation pieces. 

Each unit also has literature selections, poetry and a music/arts piece. How great is it to have those pieces included?! We always struggle with figuring out how to include music and poetry. 

Another great thing about the units is that there are great technology links! Lots of videos and research sites! Our students LOVE them!!! They get so excited to watch and learn.

Finally, our number 1 reason is that because all of the hard work has been done for us, we have been able to integrate readers' theaters, science and social studies, additional literature, and even create some really amazing experiences to go with each unit! It has made teaching and learning so much fun this year! 

Here is a peek at some of the fun we have been able to include with the units. 

Fall Fun
With the seasons unit we were able to integrate science and we did a study of the local trees and took a field trip out to a preserve to collect acorns and identify leaves. We followed up with reading Leaf Man by Louis Ehlert and creating these fun projects.

And the kids were so excited about the wood ducks that we learned about on our field trip, we completed a wood duck research project

Wild West Fun
With the wild west unit we were able to integrate social studies and we learned about CA landforms. We made a super fun and delicious edible CA landforms map!

We were doing this unit during November so we celebrated Thanksgiving with a Wild West Thanksgiving Hootenanny! The kids had so much fun playing vintage games, dressing up as cowboys, and eating cowboy food from pie tins! 

We culminated the unit with a book study of Little House in the Big Woods and a field trip to a local historical working ranch where we experienced days of long ago as pioneers. 

We had so much fun dressing up like pioneers and making candles, hot cocoa, leather book marks, tin art, corn husk dolls, snow candy, and a barn dance complete with square dancing! 

Continent Fun

With the hand me down tales unit we were able to integrate social studies again and learn about the continents. We created a mini continent research project and had the students work in pairs to research their continent and then present it to the class. 

We are still planning more fun for the rest of the units. 
Here is the link to the whole collection of literature units.

So, can you see why we LOVE these units?! We have been able to implement common core and we are having so much fun doing it! Best of all our students are learning and enjoying it!

We would love to hear what your favorite common core reading activities or units are. Leave us a comment and share your favorites. 

Happy teaching!!

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