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.
Please watch the short video to see why my students are reading two extended texts this week! 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: We review yesterday's informational and fiction reading by pairing and sharing written work from yesterday. I have about 3-4 students in each table group, so I ask them to each share either the main idea and supporting detail quotes, or one of their summaries with each other.
Lesson: Similar to previous days, we review our Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart, and rubric at the back of our packet. To change things up a little bit, I call on students to lead the review. I start the students out by modeling reading aloud a few pages of chapter seven, "Let the Games Begin!" in Ancient Greece and the Olympics. While reading, I model using the chapter title to help me identify the main, or big idea of the chapter. I use the headings to show all of the supporting details I'll learn about the Olympic games. I do the same for the fictional text, modeling the first two pages in chapter nine, "Fly Away Home" in Hour of the Olympics. While reading, I model recording any important events that occur for my summary later. (See Resource Files: Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart; MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo: CCSS Standards Posters RL/RI3.1, RI3.2)
Read Independently: I pass out the Post-its from yesterday's review to help students with their work. Students read and write on page five in their Dynamic Duo packets. While the students are working, I move around the room making sure students are on task, and complimenting students who are using resources, and doing nice work. I'll be assessing student work today, so I'm careful not to give students any answers, but rather encourage them to use the anchor chart, posters, and other things we've learned to use this week to support our learning. This way, I can see where the students are with their skills for the week. Students will finish both books today, chapters 7 and 8 in Ancient Greece and the Olympics, and chapters 9 and 10 in Hour of the Olympics. If students don't finish before our shared reading time is up, they will finish at the beginning of our literacy centers time.
Review: We review our skills for the week, looking over our posters and charts, discussing as we go. I ask the students to identify when it's important to find the main idea and supporting details while reading. I also ask how summarizing can help them comprehend fictional text.
Celebrate: I feel my students have worked very hard this week, especially in the area of RL3.10 and RI3.10. They read two chapter books in one week! Therefore, I think all of their hard work should be rewarded. Here are some ideas of how to celebrate the conclusion of Dynamic Duo week:
Today, similar to day three, 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 five, because the students have practiced hard all week, received feedback from day three, more instruction, and are ready to show what they know! 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; Two Student Samples for Day Five)
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)