Friday, June 12, 2015

Large Group Literacy: Space

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 Space.  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.

Coffee Filter Planets
This is another creative writing activity.  Students give the students washable markers to write on coffee filters to hang out for hallway display.  Again, we're still in the beginning of the school year so many writing activities are focused on using writing utensils while the teachers continue demonstrating writing.

Rebus Twinkle Twinkle Little Star reading
Rebus is the art of using pictures to represent words.  As pre-k is filled with pre-readers, we do not expect for our students to come to us ready to read at the beginning of the school year.  We can start teaching them decoding skills with rebus charts.  Allow students to attempt deciphering the rebus chart before you read it to them, echo it with them, and read it together.

Twinkle Twinkle Story Change
Now it is time to shake things up with some creative writing prompts from our students now that they know the familiar nursery rhyme.  Start by writing the words "Twinkle twinkle" on the chart paper but allow the students to change the words to create a whole new rhyme while you model handwriting skills.

8 Spinning Planets retelling with planet props
8 Spinning Planets by Brian James is a fun book about the solar system that uses rhyming fun.  I have a set of planets on popsicle sticks that students use to be each planet as we read through the book together.  You could purchase a set of plush planets or make whatever suits your classroom budget.

Favorite Planet Graph
Here is where I begin introducing copying letters.  We have the planets arranged in a row across a chart paper.  I hold up a student name card and hand them the name card, a pencil, and a rocket cutout.  The student may return to their space on the carpet to attempt copying their name to their rocket before taping the rocket to their planet of choice.  I usually don't pass out these items to more than four students at a time to avoid from the graph area becoming too congested with traffic.

KWL Chart (Fill out Learned)
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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