My name is Michele and I'm from Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans!
I'm Jen's guest blogger today for the Blog Hop.
I've had Nonfiction on my mind a lot lately. I teach sixth grade to some serious smarties, and with the changes in the Common Core Standards this year I've had to revamp a little of my Language Arts program. I was reading a lot of novels before, and using Writer's Worksop. As much as I <Puffy Heart LOVE> the novels I read like Hatchet, and Chasing Vermeer, I've found I need to spend more time on nonfiction text features and structures.
Nagivating Nonfiction was born from that. I didn't want to do just one single unit on nonfiction. So much of what is read today comes from this category, I felt I could find a way to infuse it into more of my ELA daily/weekly routines and units.
I introduced Nonfiction by teaching my students about Text Features and we practiced this using Time for Kids Magazine which my class subscribes to. As the year went on, I began focusing on the structure of the text. This was MUCH MUCH harder for them to do. They got stuck on sequences and cause and effect.. even as sixth graders. I had to back up a few times and use easier text.
Finally with almost half the school year gone we are hitting our stride. We are getting better at recognizing cause and effect and compare/contrast in text, and I have added narrative expository stories as examples. We are consistant with the task rotation cards I've created for structures and features, and I'm adding more challenging text every week.
Next I'll begin pulling my Writer's Workshop back in with expository text, we've done a ton of summary writing and hopeully pull out that longer essay soon. I am also hoping to get lucky and be able to use some of my smarties writing as examples next year!
Meanwhile, my next goal is to find meaningful nonfiction text that supports themes, ideas and issues from my novel units of study. My expectation is that by the end of the school year, our last novel, (Chasing Vermeer) will incorporate not only critical reading skills for fiction, but also articles on art, biography and history. Do you have a resource you can share with me? I would LOVE to hear it!
Thanks to Jen for letting me take up a little space on her blog today! If you are interested in having the nonfiction task cards, posters, writer's notebook bookmarks, etc at your finger tips for easy use, visit my TpT store here, and stop by and visit me at Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans!
Thanks Michele for the great ideas! I agree that the Common Core has made us all rethink how much we are teaching nonfiction in our classrooms!! Hop over to see my blog entry on teaching students how to begin writing poetry at http://drowninginpaperclips.blogspot.com/