This is the third lesson in this unit.
I like to integrate foundational skills and vocabulary skills in a morning message that highlights winter. My second language learners struggle with positional words as well as the difference between he/she, so we review them often. This is a fun way to do it while teaching a little about a season at the same time!
Before we do the morning message, I review position words with students as needed. I have student place their hands under their chin, behind their head, over their head, etc. My students have the most trouble with between, so I have the practice putting their headbetween their hands, placing their hands near each ear. I vary the position words I review from day to day.
Write the following on chart paper or on the board:
The blossom grows beside the green leaf.
The baby birds chirp in their nest.
The weather feels warmer.
The season is spring.
We read each sentence and students interact with the message by underlining the position words (beside, in).
I have students talk to partners to identify the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, sight words and punctuation marks. (Suggestion: Underline the capital letters in green, circle the periods in red, and sight words may be highlighted in yellow.)
I ask students what information the morning message gave to show it was spring. This is a great way to integrate the foundational skills of Common Core and the seasons!
Evidence Based Comprehension
Common Core calls for reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational. While text dependent questions have been around for a long time, Common Core asks us to focus on them during reading. I keep these attributes in mind when developing questions throughout the year:
As I read the first part of the text on the Seasons and Weather Powerpoint, I stop on each page/slide and ask the following questions and encourage students to tell HOW they know the answer.
2nd Read: Seasons and Weather
** I chunk the slides up into groups to make the text more accessible and manageable for the students. Nonfiction text is heavy in content and vocabulary demands. This can raise students' anxiety and frustration levels fairly quickly, so one way to keep a lid on that, so to speak, is to present it in manageable chunks.**
I bring students to the carpet so they are close to the SmartBoard and can see the slides. I like to project this as a powerpoint because the students are able to see the text and pictures clearly.
As I read the first part of the text, I stop on each page/slide and ask the following questions and encourage students to tell HOW they know the answer:
Page 3 How many seasons are there in a year? (4) How can you tell? Here's how I question and stress citing evidence from the text.
Page 4 Based on the picture, what do you think ‘pattern’ is? (something that repeats) Do you see how they are moving? Step Aside: When things are moving in a circular motion, we call that ‘revolving.’ What is the yellow ball in the middle? (sun) Here's how I question and use guided inquiry if necessary.
Page 5 What causes weather to change? (wind) Read the caption. What does the caption tell you about the picture? (wind brings in clouds)
The Weather Song
This is the third lesson in the unit. We sing The Weather Song many times throughout the unit to remind the kids of what each season brings. It is a fun quick finish to any lesson on seasons and weather and can also help kids remember the seasons.
I almost always (sometimes there just isn't an action) give the students some TPR (Total Physical Response) to help them remember the song and the weather types. It is a common strategy used with second language learners, but it can be used with any student!
Sing/ Chant “The Weather Song”
(Tune: Row, Row, Row your Boat).
What is the weather today,
I can’t wait to see.
Sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy,
Which one will it be?
For the first line we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question.
For the second line we point to our eyes.
For the third verse we hold up a finger for each type of weather.
For the last verse we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question.
Because this is a unit on Seasons and weather, we will act as meteorologists throughout the unit, observing and recording the daily weather. We want the kids to make personal connections to their learning so they see it as meaningful learning, and this logbook does just that!
I ask: What is the date today? We write the date.
I ask: What is the weather like outside today? We draw the weather, circle the word that names the weather.
I ask: What sentence could we write to go with our weather picture? What words can we use to describe or tell about our picture? We write a simple sentence describing their daily observation (It is sunny. We see rain.).
I ask: How many boxes should we color in for our weather today? (one) Do we color from the bottom up or the top down? (bottom up) Students will then record the daily weather on a bar graph in their log.