February 5, 2014

What's Happenin' Wednesday? SNOW!

It's my fault! I admit it! We have a snow day all because of me! LOL!

I was already up, dressed, and breakfasted when the call came. This was the view from my front door this morning. The garbage collectors made it through, but not much else.

I was planning on sharing the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin with my sixers today. I think Mother Nature overheard me telling Ms. Murphy, my student teacher about it, and decided to provide the ambience for my lesson.

I found a wonderful short video that displays William Bentley's original snowflake photographs. The video is a great introduction (or follow-up) to Bentley's life and vocation. Just set the volume rather low as the soundtrack is a bit "unusual". 

I had purchased a terrific Winter Writing Bundle from Runde's Room, knowing I had the book about Bentley. I was thinking ahead and this was an activity that could span a few days, getting interrupted by snow days if necessary.

The bundle contains several winter related craftivitiesl Among them a three dimensional snowflake. Students perform a variety of ELA skills, writing their work on a snowflake. Six flakes are assembled to create a three dimensional beauty that can be hung or placed upright. My kiddos would benefit from the review while enjoying the craft. Plus we've been focusing on verbs, tenses specifically: simple, progressive, and perfect, and one of the ELA skill components involves verbs.  I wanted to introduce the term "principle parts" of verbs to my sixers, so I decided to combine this mini-lesson with the craftivity.

Today's lesson was to include... viewing the video and reading the book. We were to revisit the text to locate some chosen verbs. I pre-selected several sentences and created a mini-work/study sheet that we'll work in small groups and then check together in class.

We'll then transfer these verbs to an INB foldable and add them to our binders/notebooks.

The next step is to watch this powerpoint introducing "principle parts." I did tweak the information a bit to suit my purpose and preference.

We'll return to our notebooks/binders and develop the principal parts for the verbs found in Snowflake Bentley. I used my new found skill of printing on post-its (see previous blog post) to create a post-it for each of the four principle parts for each of my sixers.

These will be placed in their notebooks directly after the foldable above. Together we will write the prinicpal parts for some of the verbs in the foldable. Then I'll have them work in small groups to write the principal parts for a few verbs, and finally they will try to do one or two on their own.

To close this lesson and assess my sixers learning, I'll have them complete this simple worksheet about "principal parts" that I found online.

Finally, we will return to the craftivity and make our snowflakes! Well, actually not finally... I do have a video component planned for snowflakes (the craftivity is the springboard for it), but that's another blog post for another day along with photos of this lesson.

If you are interested in any of the  materials for a snowflake/verb lesson of your own, just click on the links to download the material. There is a wealth of material online about the book Snowflake Bentley, including  teaching units, videos, and photographs. I'll leave you with this LINK that will provide a slideshow of his original snowflakes. Enjoy!

Happy Snowing,
Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

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