Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Large Group Literacy: Germs, Health, & Safety

By this point in the school year, students have either encountered illness or have noted friends that have been absent do to sickness.  If you're Quality Rated then you've probably been practicing hand-washing procedures with your students since they came for Meet and Greet.

KWL Chart (Fill out Know and Want to Know)
This is an activity that happens at the beginning of this unit, theme, or whatever you call your Topic of Study/Interest.  KWL Charts stand for Know, Want to Know, and Learned.  Begin with a simple conversation about what they know about Germs.  They only need to offer between three and five statements.  Write these under the K column of your paper.  Next, have students discuss what they want to know and write these statements under the W column of your paper.  Again, you only need between three and five statements of what they want to know.

Wash Your Hands Retelling
Wash Your Hands by Tony Ross is a short story about a princess who questions having to wash her hands until germs are explained to her by the castle maid.  Students can wear crowns and costumes as they pretend to be various roles in the book while learning about the importance of handwashing!

Class Rules Discussion
I'm sure that some of you see this learning activity and your eyes are popping out.  AGREE ON CLASS RULES THIS LATE INTO SCHOOL?!  Are you NUTS?!  Well, you have already established your classroom routines and procedures so you actually can survive without "rules" for this long.  Many pre-k consultants still request that classroom rules be decided upon as a class so here is your time to do it.  Most of this discussion is students repeating the routines and procedures that you have been teaching them since the beginning of the school year.  At each suggestion, write them up with a positive re-wording.  Example: "No punching!" "Thank you Sally, let's keep our bodies to ourselves." (write on chart paper: Bodies to ourselves)
Students now feel as though they had a say in agreeing to what the classroom expectations are for them behaviorally.

KWL Chart (Fill Out What We Have Leaned)
This is an activity for the last day of the unit, theme, Topic of Study/Interest.  Before you take charge into simply filling out your L column for what students have learned, review on the first two columns with the students.  Talk about what they knew coming in to the learning unit, what they wanted to know.  Ask them the questions from the W column and write their answers for L.  They will enjoy seeing how they have learned and acquired the answers to their own questions (research at work!),


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