The Field Day from the Black Lagoon

My class can't wait for Field Day!  They love the water balloon fights and the tug-o-war!  It's a great day as long as the weather is nice!  No fun on a cloudy day!

This week I started reading The Field Day from the Black Lagoon!  They cheered when I brought it out.  "What is Hubie up to now!"  These books are quick reads and full of fun play on words!
They get a booklet with vocabulary, comprehension and writing activities to do along with the story.  They even get to design their own obstacle course!

At the end of the week we will read about Olympic History compared to now and answer questions on key details, vocabulary, author's purpose and make connections!  They love highlighting!

Do you have a field day?  What events do you have?

Another cool thing is that our PTO provides each child with a free t-shirt that is designed by a student.

Flash Giveaway!!!!!

I had started a TpT Gift Card Giveaway before I realized there was going to be a TpT Sale!
So Let's Have 2 Giveaways!!

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Click picture to enter give away!

Good Luck to you all!!


Writing Biographies - Part 4 Publishing

Part 4

The students have been working hard reading and researching about their person of choice!  They are learning so much and so excited!

One little girl ran up to me and said, "Did you know that Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day! I need to put this on the timeline!"


It's important to model how to write complete sentences from their recording sheets.  If you do not take time to do this students will copy word for word from their recording sheets.  This will mean they will either copy it from the book or write an incomplete sentence.

This student researched Dr. Seuss.  She has some spelling issues but she has been finding some great facts.

After she filled out the recording sheets she chose what kind of paper she wanted to use to write her report.  I offer the children many different types of paper.

Each paper choice has a spot for a heading.  These headings get transferred to the Table of Contents!

 Students love filling out the About the Author page!

Students look at a photo or drawing of their person and they draw on the cover with pencil.  After they are done they trace the drawing with Sharpie.  This helps bring out the details and helps when they color.

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Writing Biographies - Part 3 Research

Part 3

After we have spent two days exploring biographies and reading an example together, it's time to get started with researching their person.  I display this anchor chart and also give each student their own copy for their writing folders.  Anchor chart is included in the Complete Writing Unit.

You can have partners or they can choose to work independently.  I've done it both ways in the past.

I model to the students reading my biography aloud and adding post-it notes where I found key details.  

This recording sheet is a simple version to use and also a quick version if you do not have a lot of time.  This could also be used for a final report if you're short on time.

These are the two recording sheets that I use in second grade.  It requires them to research more about their person.

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Little Priorities May Giveaway

Use this for the end of the year ideas!!  I've seen a lot of great ones lately!!!


Writing Biographies Part 2 and a FREEBIE!

Part 2
Nonfiction - Text Features

So the kids have chosen the person they want to research for a Biography!  See a list of book choices from this previous posting. Here!

But before we start reading the books let's learn all about the text features.  I like to model a book and find all the text features we are learning about.  I have had most success in using the biographies by National Geographic.  They have awesome timelines and also include quotes by the person.  I find the students are able to read them independently.

I start by displaying this anchor chart. Then we look through the book as a class finding the text features.  We discuss each feature and what is the purpose of the feature.  How can it help make us better readers.

This is included in the Complete Writing Unit on Biographies in my TpT store if you're interested.

Together we read the book, The Life of Ben Franklin.  This book is written in two reading levels so I would be able to differentiate of use in small groups.  We noted many different facts about Ben Franklin.  Students wrote about 4 of them on their recording sheet.  
You can pick up this recording sheet for FREE!

Students love getting out their highlighters.  
With an accompanying checksheet students highlighted the text features as they found them in the book.

Then with a buddy they found text features in the biography book they chose!

Tomorrow read about Biography Research!
Did you miss Part 1 - Biography Book Choices and Other Resources


Biography Book Choices and other Resources


When I was going to school I don't quite remember getting so involved in learning about people from the past or wanting to write about them.  I especially do not remember this from 2nd grade!

My 2nd graders amaze me with their interest in reading about the person they have chosen to research.  I checked out many, many different biographies from our library! Each child was able to chose which person they wanted to read about. 
I have one young girl who chose to read Who Is Malala Yousafzai? by Dinah Brown.  She didn't even know who this girl was.  She has been  reading this book during silent reading and begged me to take the book home so she could keep reading!  How could I say no.  Not only is she interested in reading but in the history and culture of this young hero.  I can't wait to read what she writes about Malala. 

Click book title for Amazon Link

Now don't feel you have to buy all these.  I have a few in my private collection but the school and public libraries are the way to go.  There is no way you can own all of them!

These are just some of the books I checked out from my school library.  There were so many I didn't even need to go to the public library.  Now if someone wants a particular person you may have to do a bit of searching but there is usually a book available.  

However, if there isn't a book available there are wonderful websites to search.  I like to limit the parameters of their searching so they don't accidentally go on something inappropriate.  

Here are some websites I've had great success with.

I list the following websites on Google Classroom and then they follow the links. 
I feel better knowing what sites they are on.

Tomorrow follow the post on learning the Text Features of these books.

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