Each day, I gather the children to the classroom rug to listen to stories and incorporate the reading into our language arts lessons. Whenever possible, I like to integrate science or social studies objectives into the lessons as well. I also like to use some of the multimedia tools, like the smartboard so that the students can hear the voices of readers other than myself. I will reread this book to the class so that they can hear my voice as well. Since this lesson is about Earth Day, it is easy to meet this goal.
Boys and girls, when I say the words, Earth Day, what do these words mean to you? Have you heard about a day where we celebrate taking care of the earth? This is what Earth Day is all about. Watch this video clip to learn more Earth Day.
Graphic organizers are powerful ways to help students understand complex ideas. By adapting and building on basic Venn diagrams, you can move beyond comparison and diagram classification systems that encourage students to recognize complex relationships. Explain to the children that when you compare two stories there are times when the stories will have things that are the same and we write these ideas in the section where the two circles cross. As the similarities are noted and written in the center, the original parts in the outer circles are erased. While I am moving the information around, I explain that the things written on the outside are contrasting or different.
Now that you have a better idea what Earth Day is all about, I would like to share two books with you about the holiday. The first book is called, Biscuit's Earth Day Celebration. If you look at the cover of the book it has a familiar character to our class--Biscuit, the puppy. He is celebrating Earth Day with his family. Do you think this story is a real story or a make-believe story?
We will make a list of things that Biscuit did in our story. What are some things that I can add to our list about Biscuit's story? (planting trees, caring for animals, turning off the water, picking up litter). You will write your list on the this special Holding Onto the Earth Venn Diagram. A Venn Diagram is a graphic organizer that we can use to help us compare information that is the same and that which is different. Ideas about Biscuit will be written on the right hand that is holding up the Earth.
Then we will look at the next book called, Earth Day. This book is an informational book. Who remembers what is special about an informational book? (photos, labels, captions, real pictures, etc.) What are some things I could list about Earth Day? (Air Pollution, water pollution, the start of Earth Day) Our ideas from the book, Earth Day will be written on the left hand.
Now I would like you to take a minute just to think. As we made our lists, was there anything that we saw in both books that were the same? Anything that is the same, I will write it on the Earth (circle) in the middle of the hands. (Read through both lists to refresh their memories.)
When we look at books, sometimes we have to decide if the story is real or make-believe, but even if a book is make-believe or fiction, it can contain true information. So for example, even though a dog can not plant a tree, planting a tree is a great way to celebrate Earth Day.
To put into practice what was discussed about Earth Day and recycling, the children will have a Recycling Activity. This can be done individually or as a whole group activity. I have used the enlarged pictures and "bins" to sort as a class. I had the children tape their pictures above the correct bin so we could refer back to the placement of each item.
From the stories that we heard, we learned a little bit about reducing, reusing and recycling. We are going to play a game where I will need volunteers to help me sort the scrap materials into the correct "recycling bins". There are enough "scraps" for each child to help with the sorting. Please do not tell your friend which bin to put their "scraps" because I would like to see how well you can sort on your own. I will be asking you to tell me how you chose to sort in the way that you did. When I observe and listen to how you sorted, I can tell how well you listened to the stories and information that I shared.