Building Literacy in a Collaborative Classroom
Learning through Science and Story
Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others
Contributing to the Community
In this module, students build their literacy and citizenship skills as they engage in a study of toys and play. Students consider norms and behaviors for sharing toys and interacting with peers through structured conversations, learning experiences such as role-play and guided discovery of toys, and an analysis of the module texts. Students learn more about toys as they consider what makes something a toy and what makes toys fun. They learn to sort and describe toys by specific attributes. They also begin to think about perspective as they discuss and write about their own toy preferences. Finally, students interview a classmate about his or her preferred classroom toy. They use the information from the interview to create their performance task: an informational piece of writing and drawing about a classmate’s preferred toy and how the classmate likes to play with it.
In this module, students build their literacy and science skills as they engage in a study of the weather. Students study the science of weather through various informational texts. They create a class weather journal and track their individual learning in a meteorologist’s notebook. Students then broaden their study of weather as they think about how weather affects people in different places around the world. They move on to further explore how weather affects people by reading a variety of narratives where the characters are affected by a weather event. Students are prompted to think about how the weather affects the choices people make about what to wear and what to do each day. For their performance task, they plan and write an imaginary narrative featuring a character affected by the weather.
In this module, students explore the big ideas that all living things in the natural world have needs in order to survive and grow. Through a close study of trees and the living things that depend on them, students take on the roles of researchers and scientists to make observations of the natural world. From those observations, they determine patterns that explain how living things live and grow. Students learn what makes something living or nonliving, about different types of living things, and the common needs of all living things. They develop this understanding through research reading and hands-on investigations and record their observations in a Living Things research notebook. Students then engage in whole group and small group research on how trees provide food for animals. Finally, students engage in supported small group research of a particular tree, its needs, and how it supports other living things. They then use their learning to create an informational tree collage, which includes a collage, informative writing, and an animal puppet.
In this module, students build on their scientific knowledge of trees from Module 3, by exploring the importance of trees to people and their communities. Students learn how different people, both real and imaginary, enjoy and appreciate trees. They consider how real people and characters have used trees to fill a need in their community. Students first learn about the different ways people enjoy trees through reading literature and considering how characters appreciate trees. They write about the different ways trees can be enjoyed in their Enjoying Trees journal, Part II. They then read about the ways planting trees can contribute to a community through reading informational text, and learn to form and write opinions about where they would choose to plant a tree. Finally, students apply their new knowledge of the importance of trees to people by advocating for the appreciation of trees in their own community. For their performance task, they create a beautiful card that invites others to pause and appreciate the trees around them.