Thursday, January 30, 2014

American Revolution Maps and Task Cards

As promised, I am back to share another lesson idea with you! We finished up our unit on the American Revolution last week. It was a long haul as we study the events leading up to the Revolution before breaking for the holidays. Then we come back and hit 'em hard with some major battles and the famous names from that era for three weeks. Whoosh. We are done.

This year I thought I'd try something a little different and have the students recreate the famous battles using play-doh. They were to draw the map on 9 x 12 construction paper and use the play-doh to highlight how the rebels used the geography around them to help. For example, at the Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill, the Minutemen hid behind trees and fired on the advancing Red Coats. So they students made trees and little soldiers out of the play-doh.

I had them work in groups of 4-5. When they were done we took a little 'field trip' around the room. Each group had to explain what battle they were representing and how they used the play-doh to show geographical features.

In honor of all their hard work, I made a little set of task cards to help them study for the exam. It's a simple set of 20 cards with an answer key provided.

We had two exams with all of this material. One before Winter Break called Road to the Revolution and the other after break called Revolutionary Battles. My students did really well with the Road to the Revolution. But not so great on the battles. Hmm?

You can pick up this Task Card set here for $2!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014!

Snow Day! Snow Day!

AND I just found out we have another one tomorrow. This is crazy, especially for Georgia. If you've been watching the news you already know how awful things have been done here. People stuck in cars for 15 hours, school buses delivering students at 10 P.M., teachers sleeping in their classrooms with their students, and the aisles of Publix stuffed full of people who have to spend the night because they can't get home.

Like I said. Cray- Zee!

On the flip side it offers me TONS of time to catch up with y'all. It's been two months since my last post and I have been missing you every day! Now I can't be totally at fault. There was that jaunt to Australia for three weeks that took me away. Then there was all that trying to get back into the swing of school after having been gone for so long. So many papers to grade and enter because report cards were due.

Now, life is back on track and I have some time to sit back and relax with  my blog. I even went all hog wild and put up tons of new things on my TpT site. You should check out the two freebies on there.

One I used in a figurative language lesson that my BBB Jivey showed me. We were talking about being more engaging in our writing pieces. Thinking ahead I took pictures of all my students as they entered the classroom with their hats and coats and scarves. I just told them to look scared. Of course they were totally interested in what I was up to. So I started off showing them a Pixar short called Knick Knack on youtube. It was so great. A wordless short film about a snowman who no longer wants to stay in his snowglobe any more. The kids laughed and wanted to see it again.

I then posed the question to them, "What would you do if you were stuck in a snowglobe?" I gave them a story organizer to jot down their thoughts. As they were working on that I was walking around prompting them to think about some idioms or similes that they could add to make their writing more flavorful. I 'made them famous' by reading out any particularly great examples.

The next day I gave them my little Figurative Language Snow Globe sheet to illustrate their examples of different figurative language. As a little more pushing towards adding more creative language to their writing. After they cut each of the globes out I had them fold them in half face forward. Then they glued one edge to the other, working around until the final edge of the fourth globe was glued to the last edge of the first globe. Here's a picture.

They had these on their desks as they were writing their HELP! I'm Trapped in a Snow Globe piece. Their stories were so funny and yes, more creative. You can grab this sheet here.

The other one is my Text Structure Flip Book.

This was for our interactive notebooks to learn more about how story structure works. I found a powerpoint presentation on TpT from Emily Kissner that we worked through as a class. The students took notes from the slides under each of the flaps. We've been looking through books and determining their structure making sure that we use Evidence Citing Sentence Starters that my friend Joanne has available on her TpT store. They are getting better at identifying and discussing the text structures. You can get this little flip book for free here.

Look for more product updates in a few!