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Sunday, January 20, 2013

US Regions and Tall Tale Characters

We have been very busy in fourth grade!  I am finally adjusting to our new curriculum and the Common Core.  It was hard letting go of our programs and transitioning into trade books.

We are working on the Regions of the US and Tall Tales.  I am really enjoying learning about tall tales and the integration into the regions.  Here is the list of characters that we are using:

  • Northeast- Old Stormalong
  • Southeast- John Henry
  • Midwest- Paul Bunyan
  • Southwest- Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue
  • West- Febold Feboldson

We are using Mary Pope Osborne's anthology of tall tales, Lynne Peppas' regions of the United States and My America Poetry Anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  I also have printable short stories and reader's theater by Scholastic.  We have been comparing and contrasting the different versions of tall tales.  I spend two weeks covering prose(fiction and nonfiction), drama and poetry of each region.  We are creating scrapbooks like last year that include dialect speech bubbles of the tall tale character from that region along with the scrapbook pages from Jill Russ on TPT, here is her blog with great resources (power points).
My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

I just purchased the book below which fits in perfectly!  It is an abc book of idioms and proverbial phrases with a glossary that gives you the meanings and US origin.  The author's note refers to the development of these phrases due to tall tales and exaggerations.  It is one of my new fourth grade standards and I love how it fits into the tall tales!
I have added the tall tale characters to my post card bulletin board that continues to grow.  I divided my map into the five regions with a black sharpie and have marked the post cards with colored yarn.

Here are a few photos of my scrapbooks from my last year from an old post that you might want to check out for some other ideas.

I am planning a great culminating activity with my neighbor's class...can't wait to share!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Multiple Meaning Words

I have so many new standards to teach this year and love looking for new ideas to implement in my class.  Last week I taught multiple meanings. Here are some of the activities we did:

Here is one my students sheets that she is working on.
Click the link below for sheet from  Mrs. Russ.

Russ' Rockets

Pick A Stick Therapy Activity and Multiple Meaning Words
Word List and Activity (great resource list to download)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sensory Detail Poetry

I have been talking about sensory details to create visual images since the beginning of the school year. I want my students to start including them in their narrative writing. 

The Polar Express cover

I read "The Polar Express" and we created a list of sensory details including things that you see, hear, smell, taste and touch from the book.  I had the children create a chart of sensory details about winter.  They had to create a free verse poem using sensory details from their own charts.  Some of the children created more than one poem.  Some of my students focused on just one sense.   Here are a few examples of their final products: