From a trip taken to the Four Corners area in 2011 as a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher. I now teach a Language Arts class to 5th and 6th graders. Their text book's first "challenge text" this year is about Spider Woman.
K5 in the Northwest: Language Arts Resources for Teaching Informational Texts (Google Doc)
Using integrated technology tools like Wall Wisher and ReadWriteThink's Flip Book, we'll look at strategies for students to engage with informational texts (an emphasis in the Common Core Standards). Textual resources will focus on themes important to the Northwest: salmon, trees, geology, conservation, Pacific Northwest Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, and the Oregon Trail. Booklists, lesson plans, and recommended web tools will be provided.
Download the CCS app for your mobile device. Summary of ALL standards K-12.
Supplementary Texts (OPAC): Use your school library! Certified librarians are experts on selecting high quality informational (non-fiction) texts. Match your students to topics they are interested in. Go deeper than your adopted textbooks...
Realia (example kit): Get students excited about informational content by bringing in real objects related to the subject matter. Reach your visual and kinesthetic learners.
Use virtual tools from the Smithsonian and primary sources from the Oregon History Project to bring topics to life. Traveling trunks from our National Parks (note: some links are not active and some trunks are only available in their state of origin). Try the OSU Extension Service for some awesome science kits. Oregon Coast Aquarium also has some worthwhile resources,
THIEVES (lesson plan from readwritethink): Create a set of posters, reminding students what parts of the text to focus on, and what questions to ask of the text.
Wall Wisher (website): Create a Wall Wisher site and set up a computer station in your room for students to post their questions about a text you are reading as a class. Direct them to do this quietly, then address questions at the end of a reading.
Flip Book (website): Use the THIEVES components to create a Flip Book which students can create themselves or which you can provide to students for guided reading of informational texts. (See Ms. Gapp for an example to use in your classroom)
Nature Journaling (scroll to links at the bottom of the page): Bring history, science, language arts, and math together using nature journals.
Cross Curricular and Cross Classroom Collaboration : K-5 teachers are better at this than secondary. Avoid teaching subjects in isolation. Partner with other classes on research.
Lesson Plan (for teachers)
Booktalk Vlog Timeline (aprox. 9 hours of student contact time required)
Parental Permission Slip (for parents & teachers)
Booktalk Evaluation Guide (for students)
Peer/Self Review Rubric (for students)
About the size of a cell phone, the Flip is as simple as filming gets. Works best in close proximity to your subject.
The Flip is a plug and play device. Editing software pops up when plugged into any standards USB port.
Digital Wish-Lesson Plans
Browse by subject or grade level for lesson plan ideas using the Flip and the integration of other technology in your classroom
The article above distills the best sites on the web to use as examples, inspiration, and education.
"I have advocated for 30 years that, in order to preserve our democracy and protect ourselves against demagogues,we should have courses in schools on how to watch TV, how to read newspapers, how to analyze a speech – how to understand the limitations of