I read America the Beautiful sing and read storybook that is published by Scholastic. I like this one because the illustrations help students understand the song and what is happening in it. If you do not have the storybook, you could use this video and song:
After I read the book, I let the kids listen to the song on either a CD or with the video.
Using video is something I am incorporating in my classroom much more with Common Core. As students get older, they will be expected to listen to learn in addition to read to learn. Using this video with the support of the book sets the stage for just that!
I practice the first few lines with the kids using echo reading of the book. I say: Oh beautiful Kids repeat Oh beautiful. I say: for spacious skies Kids repeat: for spacious skies I do this through the song line …for amber waves of grain. We then practice that far with the music or video. If I am using a CD, I will flip through the book and show the pictures that go with the music so the kids have visual clues for the words.
I tell the kids that we will continue to practice this song and learn more words tomorrow.
Hats Off For the Fourth of July- Second Read
Today's lesson is a second read of the story. Yesterday we focused on print awareness and today we are focusing on details in the text.
I show the students the following vocabulary words from the selection: yell, shout. These are synonyms for 'scream' that my kids often are unfamiliar with. Building on previous knowledge works with vocabulary too! We talk about what each means and we act out the motion for each so that kids can see and feel the difference. We then echo read the words (my turn, students’ turn) and I show them pictures to go with each word. When my second language learners encounter these words in the text, they are better prepared to handle them and comprehend the text.
I remind students that authors don’t always tell us everything about a story event or character. I say: Sometimes we have to use clues form the story to make decisions about the text. We call this ‘draw a conclusion.’ Everybody say DRAW CONCLUSIONS. (Students repeat) We discuss that the ‘story’ can be the words or the pictures. This is important to directly teach to young learners because they will gain most of their information from the pictures as they are developing their reading skills.
Text Dependent Questions
I read pp. 1-4 and ask: How do the people feel watching the parade? How do you know how they feel? What clues tell you that? (the illustrations show that they are smiling and that they look excited because their hands are raised like they are cheering)
I read pp. 5-6 and ask: Does anyone see an American Symbols on either these two pages? (Uncle Sam) I prompt: Let’s look at Uncle Sam. What makes you think he is an American symbol? (he is wearing red, white and blue and stars)
I read pp. 7-8 and ask: Do you think this town celebrates the 4th of July every year? Why do you think that? (the text says “I’ll ride next year right near his tail”) What American symbol do you see? (flag) What are the kids wearing that show it is a patriotic parade? (red, white, blue and stars)
I read pp. 9-10 and ask: How can we draw the conclusion that this town is located by the sea and that fishing is important to the town? (one of the floats in the parade is a boat carrying Miss Eelgrass) I prompt further: What else on the boat might help us draw the conclusion that the sea is important to this town? (fishermen, nets, mermaid, fish)
This story speaks to the Big Idea and the building of understanding of American culture and Patriotism. Each day in this unit follows a Patriotic read with writing and art that connect to that theme and Big Idea.
American Symbols book-supporting and extending the theme of Patriotism
Statue of Liberty Writing
I show students our American symbols book. I turn to the third symbol and read to them about the Statue of Liberty. In addition to this reading, we have read about the Statue of Liberty in Social Studies, and now we will write about what we've learned.
Students each gets one Statue of Liberty writing paper and put their name on the back. I do a guided writing with them, as we write what we just read. I model the writing on my own paper on the document camera so expectations are clear. Students help me find the sight words on our word wall. We sound out together to write them. I prompt them for capitals and end marks, as well.
For example, I say: We know the word ‘the.’ It is on our word wall. What letter for ‘the?’ (t) I walk over to the letter ‘T’ on our word wall and we find the word ‘the’ together. I say: Let’s write that on our line with a capital T because it is the first word of our sentence.
I say: The next word is Statue‘’ How do we write /s/? (I write capital S on my paper and students write it on theirs.) We need to make this S capital because ‘Statue’ is part of the NAME of this symbol and we always capitalize NAMES.
I say: How do we write /t/? (I write ‘t’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)
I say: How do we write /a/? (I write ‘a’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)
I say: And how do we write /t/? ( I write ‘t’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)
I say: How do we write /u/? (I write ‘u’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)
I say: There is a silent ‘e’ after the ‘u’ to tell that ‘u’ to say its name. Remember, when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking. Students can usually chant this with me because we practice this rule often chorally.
I then sound out the word slowly to read it S-t-a-t-ue. Statue Does everyone have “Statue” on their first line? I walk around the room to check that students have the two words written correctly.
I continue on in the same fashion with sight words and sounding out those words the kids can help me with. In the interest of time, there are some words that I may just model on my paper and the kids copy.
Lessons and learnings connect to each other within a lesson and/or throughout a lesson series. This part of this lesson springboards from the text because the topic of the text is Patriotism. Almost every picture has an American symbol in it. This art will be the picture representation of the writing page in their book. The rigor of creating this book is high. It cannot be done in one lesson or one day. It must be taught in a series. Also, it requires students to retain learning from day to day!