This series of lessons is part of a six week unit my school is implementing all about mythology and ancient Greece. I call this week our "Dynamic Duo" week, explaining to students we get the best of both worlds, fiction and informational text. We learn real facts about ancient Greece, and read a fictional story that takes us back to the time of ancient Greece and the Olympics. Our shared reading texts for this week are Mary Pope Osborne's books Hour of the Olympics (fictional) and Ancient Greece and the Olympics (informational).
I was a little nervous about completing two chapter books in one week of ELA time, but my students did a great job! We are in the home stretch of our school year, and with solid routines in place, students utilized some of their literacy centers time to finish any work from our shared reading that we didn't get to in our regular reading class.
You'll notice some of our reading was done together as shared reading. This provided time for scaffolding, instruction, and guided practice. However, other chapters were read independently, allowing students to practice their skills. The books are at the low-mid level of our Lexile band, which made me more comfortable having students complete more reading on their own. The Common Core Standards emphasize that students should be completing as much of the reading on their own as possible.
I hope you find this series of lessons and resources helpful with your class as you learn about mythology and journey through ancient Greece! Thank you!
*Children reading clip art on lesson header from My Cute Graphics. Thank you to this website for providing great clip art my students love!
Review: For today's review, I pop up a student sample (with their permission, of course!) and we discuss what makes this student sample exemplary! We go through the rubric at the back of our Dynamic Duo packets and decide it meets all of the highest criteria. (See Student Sample Day Two)
Sometimes I create my own samples to display and have students analyze. This is a good practice to have students find things that are done well, as well as things that can use improvement. However, I only use student samples with permission, and when they meet all the criteria.
Lesson: Similar to yesterday, I review the skills of main idea and supporting details, and summary writing with students. Although today, I'm review both the informational and the fiction at the same time before we begin our working session. We read through our Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart. We also read through the rubric at the back of our Dynamic Duo packets. I have the students share their written responses from yesterday in their table groups. (See Resource Files: Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart with Examples; CCSS Standards Posters RL/RI3.1, RI3.2)
Independent Reading and Writing: Today, my students are reading chapter 4 in the informational book Ancient Greece and the Olympics, "The Culture of Ancient Greece", and chapters five and six in Hour of the Olympics, "Hi Zeus" and "Mystery Man". Students read and work on their written activities for day three in their packets. I walk around the room, monitoring student reading and writing, but not assisting as I'll be assessing their work today. (See Resource Files: MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo Day Three Page)
*We are near the end of the school year, and my students are very familiar with main idea and supporting details, and summary writing. If your students are new to these skills they'll need more instruction, modeling, and guided practice.
We review and celebrate our new learning for today by meeting on our back carpet area. I ask the students to bring their books today.
Review: I ask students to share about the following topics:
What connections have you made between our two books we're reading this week?
Work with a partner to find a place in both books that talk about the same topic.
Which pair would like to share a connection you found?
Celebrate: I acknowledge some of the great things I saw students doing today - complete sentences, choosing ideas to build schema, reading through work after writing, etc., as we celebrate together by giving ourselves a pat on the back.
Complete Chapter 4 in Informational Text and Chapters 5 and 6 in Fiction Text: My students complete any reading and writing they didn't finish during their literacy centers time. Some students finished earlier, and others need a few minutes of their center time to finish up today.
Today, I'll be assessing my students' work. When we are completing larger projects with writing, like this one, I do not grade every day's work. I chose today, day three, because I feel the students have had instruction, guided practice, as well as independent practice with my support. It's time for me to see how they're doing with the skills of this week. I use the rubric at the back of the Magic Tree House Dynamic Duo packet to grade the day's work. There is a section for main idea and supporting detail quotes, summary writing from the fiction book, and language skills including grammar and spelling skills. The rubric also provides students and parents with the clear expectations that were set, and that are being used when assessing this assignment. (See Resource File in Section Above: MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo - Rubric Page; Student Sample Day Three; Dynamic Duo Day 3 Video)
Here are some additional items I used throughout our unit on mythology and ancient Greece. These items do not appear as lessons on the Better Lesson site, but I wanted to give them to you in case you are looking for additional ideas or resources to compliment your unit. Thank you!
Mythological and Ancient Greece Bookmarks: These are two bookmarks I created to go along with our unit for the students. One is based on mythological beings, places, and creatures, and the other has real people, places, and things from ancient Greece. Parent volunteers are a great resource to put things like this together for you! (See Resource Files: Mythology and Ancient Greece Bookmarks and Photos of Front and Back View)
You Wouldn't Want to be a Greek Athlete!: This was another shared text my students had completed during our six week unit about mythology and ancient Greece. I used it along with lessons relating to main idea and supporting details. (See Resource File: Main Idea and Supporting Details Greek Athlete)
Fantasy Narrative Story Writing Graphic Organizer: My students wrote and illustrated fantasy stories during this unit. Here is the graphic organizer they used to brainstorm their ideas. (See Resource File: Fantasy Narrative Story Brainstorm Graphic Organizer)
Main Idea/Supporting Detail Quotes Center: After we work on a skill during shared reading, I have my students practice it at their independent reading levels. This is a main idea and supporting details activity that can be used with any text. The students cut it out, glue the left side to a piece of notebook paper, and cut each section on the dotted lines (see photo). The students utilize their literacy centers time to complete activities like this. We also will use activities like these during our content area lessons, such as social studies. You can compile your students' work into a class book if you'd like! (See Resource Files: Main Idea Quote Center Activity and Teacher Sample)