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Polar Unit

Polar Unit- Grade ½ English Language Arts

 

            This unit about the arctic and polar bears will integrate art, reading, writing, research, storytelling, and word work. At the end of this unit students will be able to carry out basic research on polar bears using written resources. Students will be introduced to Inuit art. They will take part in creating snow sculptures and other snow related art work. Students will create snow inspired writing including a snow book which will start off the unit. Students will be studying a range of literature about polar bears and the arctic from Inuit legends to non-fiction books. Students will learn to use a number of organizing formats including KWL charts, idea webs, and brainstorming. Students will have independent reading time everyday before lunch.

           

Objectives:

·      Students will be able to conduct basic research using KWL charts, sticky note research, webbing

·      Students will be able to read basic informational texts that are at their own reading level

·      Students will be able listen to a range of texts about the arctic

·      Students will be able to relate texts to research and previous knowledge as well as to other texts

·      Students will be able to use Venn Diagrams to compare two books

·      Students will be able to learn about Inuit art and create their own interpretations

·      Students will be able to write poetry and prose related to arctic and polarbears

·      Students will be able to form complete sentences beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period

·      Students will be able to form sentences that contain only one complete idea

·      Students will be able to write questions using questions marks and proper wording

·      Students will be able to list words that rhyme and match rhymes to their word families

·      Students will be able to practice their printing through worksheets

 

CEL’s

Independent Learning

            -students will be completing research independently

            -students will be independently writing in the style of their choice

 

Critical and Creative Thinking

            -students will be writing creative pieces

            -students will be comparing and analyzing literature

            -students will be discussing what makes fact and fiction

            -students will be organizing and compiling information

 

Numeracy

            -students will deal with weights and heights of polar bears

 

Technological Literacy

            -students will use internet to do research

            -if time permits students will type their research using the computer

 

Personal and Social Skills and Values           

            -students will be working together to complete research and compile the polar          bear books

 

Communication

            -students will be creating a book to share information on polar bears

            -students will be participating in drama activities, interviews, discussions, and          puppet plays   

 

Lessons:

Week 1:

Monday (40mins): Review of procedures and Story- beginning, middle, end

            O: Students will be able to retell basic classroom procedures

            O: Students will be able to share Christmas and holiday stories

            O: Students will be able to listen to the little polar bear

 

  • Have the students retell all classroom procedures
  • Give students the opportunity to share their Christmas stories
  • Read to the students the little polar bear- use beginning middle and end balls to retell story
  • If time practice rhymes using beanbags

 

Tuesday (80 mins): Polar Bears KWL chart

            O: Students will be able to share what they know about polar bears

            O: Students will be able to share ideas on what they want to know

            O: Students will be able to share what they would like to learn about polar bears

            O: Students will be able to listen informational texts about polar bears

            O: Students will be able to share pieces of information that they have learned            from listening to the text

 

  • Explain how the KWL chart works- it is a way of sorting out different pieces of information
  • Fill in the K section of the chart as a class
  • Ask the students to brainstorm things that they want to know about Polar Bears
  • Read to the students an information text about P. Bears- have them share pieces of information from the book- have them write down what they learned on sticky notes for the chart (piece of the book will be read each day- once the students have completed reading the book they will organize the information)
  • Bean bag rhyme practice

 

Assessment: Students will be observed and assessed for comprehension of research concepts. I will circulate and correct and assist students as necessary.

 

Wednesday Class 1: Spelling scramble and Reading practice

            O: Students will be able to unscramble letters to form words from their spelling       list

            O: Students will be able to practice reading to gain fluency and reading         comprehension

 

  • Students will complete their spelling scrambles
  • Once finished students will practice reading from their readers as a group to gain fluency and reading comprehension- When one grade is reading the other grade will be working on phonics

 

Assessment: Spelling scrambles will be corrected for accuracy. Students will be observed during reading time for improvements in fluency and word recognition. Phonics work will be handed in and assessed for completion and comprehension.

           

Class 2: Writers workshop time

            O: Students will be able to create and edit a piece of written work of their     choosing

            O: Students will be able to edit work and create good copies for sharing

 

  • Mini lesson on description- use visualization
  • Students will work on their own works independently

 

Assessment: I will circulate and help students with any areas they are having trouble with. As work is completed I will assess work for completion, effort, and writing skills using writing checklists.

 

Thursday: Spelling Test, Polar Bear Research time

            O: Students will be able to choose informational sentences for books to use as         research

            O: Students will be able to create information sticky notes using the information       they have chosen from their books

            O: Students will be able to work in pairs to assist each other in research

 

  • Spelling Test
  • Remind students of how to choose useful pieces of information- what is information and what is a story
  • Students will work in pairs to create research cards on polar bears

 

Assessment: Student written work will be assessed using a writing checklist

 

Week 2:

Monday: Take snow pictures

            O: Students will be able to explore the outdoor environment and make          observations about snow

            O: Students will be able to take pictures of snow in order to write about it

            O: Students will be able to follow directions and stay with the group

 

  • Explain to the students that we are looking for interesting pictures of snow to put in our snow book- look for different ways that the snow sits on trees and buildings, any interesting shapes that it makes, etc.
  • Students will take turns taking pictures of snow- students who are not taking pictures will be making observations and taking note of the snows appearance.
  • Once inside students will brainstorm a list of descriptive words for snow that belong with each one of the senses (except taste)- create a chart using these words
  • Read: Polar bear, Polar bear what do you hear?

 

Assessment: Students will be observed during picture taking and assessed for listening skills and ability to follow directions.

 

Tuesday: Snow Writing Time

            O: Students will be able to use their pictures to write a descriptive passage about      snow.

            O: Grade 1 students will be able to write 3 sentences and grade 2 students will be    able to write 5 sentences about snow

            O: Students will be able to create grammatically correct sentences about snow

            O: Grade 2 students will be able to form sentences beginning with a capital letter      and ending with proper punctuation

 

  • Read: Snow, ask the students to comment on some of the describing words that they hear
  • Review with the students the words that are on the chart about snow- see if anyone has any new words to add
  • Give a mini lesson on writing a good descriptive sentence- focus on choosing good words
  • Students will have writing time to create their passage about snow- students will have the freedom to write what they would like so long as it refers to their picture- Grade 1 students must write 3 sentences, Grade 2 students must write 5 sentences
  • Following about 30 minutes of writing time have a brain break and begin reading practice/ phonics time

 

Assessment: Student rough copies will be handed in and corrected for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I will assist the students in creating richer language for their story. Good copies of the story will be assessed using a checklist.

 

Wednesday Class 1: Spelling scramble, Good copies of snow stories

            O: Students will be able to form words from the spelling list from scrambled            letters

            O: Students will be able to create good copies of their snow stories

 

  • Students will complete their spelling scrambles
  • Students will finish editing their snow stories and create a good copy of the story

 

Assessment: Spelling scrambles will corrected for accuracy. Good copies of the story will be assessed for completion, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

 

Class 2: Little polar bear comparision

            O: Students will be able to compare 2 little polar bear books using a Venn    diagram

            O: Students will be able to listen to the story attentively

 

  • Ask the students to recall the events of the little polar bear
  • Read Ahoy there little polar bear
  • Compare the 2 books using a Venn diagram
  • Phonics once comparison is finished

 

Assessment: Students will be observed during the comparison and story time and anecdotal records will be created

 

Thursday: Spelling test, begin Knut, Reading/phonics time

            O: Students will be able to complete a test of their spelling words

            O: Students will be able to listen to parts of the story of Knut

            O: Students will be able to practice reading to gain fluency and reading         comprehension

            O: Students will be able to complete work in their phonics books independently

 

  • Spelling test
  • Introduce knut- read the first 2 pages of his story
  • Reading time/ phonics practice and switch (Grade 1’s in yellow book, Grade 2’s in little purple books
  • Research time

 

Assessment: Spelling tests will be corrected. Phonics books will be handed in and corrected. Students will be observed during reading time and assessed for fluency and comprehension through observation- anecdotal records will be made.

 

Week 3:

Monday: Legends- The polar bear son

            O: Students will be able to tell what a legend is and why there are legends

            O: Students will be able to listen to the polar bear son

 

  • Review with the students what a legend is- ask them why do they think that people made legends
  • Explain to the students where Inuit people live and how they live- show on the globe
  • Read the polar bear son
  • Ask the students to brainstorm the meaning behind the text- why did they tell this story

 

Tuesday: More Inuit legends- Readers theatre, Research time

            O: Students will be able to describe similarities between two legends

            O: Students will be able to read the legend through choral speaking

            O: Students will be able to retell the events of the story

 

  • Read: through readers theatre
  • Use the beach balls to retell the story
  • Have the students orally compare the polar bear son to this legend
  • Students will have research time

 

Assessment: Students will be observed for participation in this activity

 

Wednesday Class 1: Puppet legends

            O: Students will be able to create their own legends

            O: Students will be able to show their legends using puppets

            O: Students will be able to perform their legends for the class

 

  • Review with the students different elements of legends- why there are legends, how are they told
  • In groups of two students will create a legend using puppets to describe the origin of one of the features of the puppets- the students must show adequate character development in their play
  • Students will perform their plays for each other

 

Assessment: Puppet plays will be assessed for development of characters using a checklist

 

Class 2: Writing time

            O: Students will be able to identify different action words

            O: Students will be able to identify how to use action words in a sentence

            Mini lesson on action words.

 

Thursday: Action words finger puppet story telling

            O: Students will be able to pair an animal with an action word

            O: students will be able to use an action word correctly in a sentence

 

  • Spelling test
  • Brainstorm a list of action words as a class
  • Give each student a finger puppet- ask them to think about different things that their finger puppet does
  • Start the legend of the animals- have each student add on a piece using one of their action words
  • Review with the students the different action words used in the story
  • Begin working on word family posters

 

Assessment: Spelling tests will be corrected for accuracy. Students will be observed during the puppet play for participation and comprehension.

 

Week 4:This week will be dedicated to finishing research, organizing information, and creating our book on polar bears

 

Week 5: Winter poetry/ Long and short vowel sound posters

Monday: Poetry

            O: Students will be able to listen to poems

            O: Students will be able to find meaning within the poems

            O: Students will be able to act out their poems

 

  • Read a variety of poems to the students
  • Make groups of 3 students- give each group a poem-
  • The groups will read their poem out loud and act it out

 

Assessment: Students finished poem performances will be assessed using a checklist. Students will be observed for attainment of the meaning of the poem

 

Tuesday: Inuit stories and art work

            O: Students will be able to listen to an inuit tale

            O: Students will be able to find meaning in the story

            O; Students will be able to create their own piece of Inuit art work

 

  • Read Lazurius’ story
  • Ask the students why they think the story is important- talk about only taking what you need
  • Show students some examples of different soap stone carvings
  • Students will create animal sculptures in the style soap stone carvings

 

Assessment: Students will be observed and assessed for participation

 

Wednesday Class 1: More Inuit stories

            O: Students will be able to listen to Inuit tales

            O: Students will be able to make connections between this story and other stories

            O: Students will be able to practice reading skills

 

  • Read: Kenoujak
  • Have students make connections between this story and other stories we have read
  • Reading practice/ phonics time

 

Assessment: Students will be observed and assessed for listening skills

 

Class 2: Writing time Mini lesson: Exclamation points

 

Thursday: Centers

            O: Students will be able practice various phonics skills through games

1.     Flower centre/ popsicle sticks

2.     Book on tape

3.     Boggle

4.     Scrabble

5.     Word Family Dice

 

 

 

 

 

 

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