Sunday, October 3, 2010

Creepy Crawly Spiders

Besides the ice cream activity, another way we examined non-fiction text was by reading Spiders by Gail Gibbons. Gibbons is an author who has written tons of non-fiction books, and she is known for utilizing many types of text features, such as headings, labels, and diagrams.

First, students worked with group members to create a web of facts they already knew about spiders. Then, they composed a list of questions that they hoped to find answers for while reading Spiders. After that, the students read the book together and filled in any answers they came across during the course of their reading. Finally, each group shared their work, and we also discussed what we could do if some of our questions were not answered from this book. This was a nice discussion about research and different resources.

The following day, I gave each student a baggie with the following items: 1 whole marshmallow, 1/2 a marshmallow, toothpick, 2 mini chocolate chips, and 8 mini pretzel sticks. I told them that these were supplies to build a marshmallow spider, but the instructions to assemble it were missing. (Oh no!!) Their job was to take prewriting notes while they assembled the spider on their own (with discussion allowed in groups), making sure that each step was written in order. We then began a how-to paragraph together, and students had to both finish the paragraph and draw a diagram of the finished product independently. Oh, and they also got to eat their spider when they were finished! Guess how many times I heard, "Mrs. Garman, are we going to be able to eat this?" Ha ha!!

Pictures from Miss Moor's class:

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