Content words are the staple of any lesson because they help us to hold information together so it makes sense. Kids need a clear idea of Tier III vocabulary specific to the topic they are learning about, or they start at a deficit when reading. Today we begin our new science unit, Mixtures and Solutions using a Foss Kit and we will spend time learning about the words associated with this topic. At the conclusion, they will use SL.5.2 to present the information in diverse formats.
In order to familiarize the kids with the content words in the text, I put the words on the Smart Board and we discuss each term. While going over the words, connections are made and the kids begin to understand the relationships between them, and we mark up the Smart Board. The students then read the informational text independently.
When beginning a new unit in Science, it often happens that the introduction means there isn't sufficient time to jump into an experiment. When this is the case, I like to use the remaining part of the period to integrate with language arts.
The kids must use at least five of the words on the board and develop a way to remember the meaning of the vocabulary terms in relation to one another (Now how are we going to do this?). I don't know exactly what to expect, just that this is a fabulous way to understand the information and the kids love it (Collaboration Creativity).
Coming up with unique approach is a fun thing to do with kids because they are incredibly creative. The standard of W.5.4 asks the students to produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience (Writing a story using the text). Their writing about the vocabulary words includes these components, though the methods are varied. I post video examples from the kids who are willing, and some written samples as well.
As they work on the vocabulary words, I use this opportunity to take small groups outside to find examples of mixtures. We find a Sand Mixture which backs up the text we read. The kids have creative ideas about the objects (Mixture of tree stump and grass) or circumstances (Mixture or Solution?) they discover, and agree they had not thought of many of the examples as mixtures before (Mixture of tree stump and grass).
The kids are truly chomping at the bit to share their fabulous ideas (Presenting Funny Mixtures Story) and "(Cups" with Mixtures and Solutions) and (A Mixtures and Solutions Poem). The students are excited to share, and the audience is enthusiastic about listening. I'm thrilled because using the time remaining from the introduction to the lesson was time VERY well spent.
Everyone had a good time presenting. Here are some examples: Singing about Mixtures and Solutions, Mixtures and Solutions to "Cups" , and Mixtures and Solutions Story. It became a meaningful experience with their creative ideas, and it was an easy activity to do. Sometimes the easiest ideas are of the most benefit.