Monday, May 28, 2012

Arrr! A look at our week as a pirate...

Last week we finished up our Pirate Unit. I know this is a popular first grade unit this time of year, and we enjoyed it very much! Here are a few pictures from our adventures... our poem, "My Brother is a Pirate" by Helen Reilly, for the week was a hit. Poetry Center is one of the work stations I am constantly trying to tweak. I'm glad I did a poetry unit in writer's workshop because I think it gave more meaning to this work station. The activity for this poem was to read it with a partner and then draw what they "visualized" in their head while reading and listening to the poem.
My other favorite activity from this week was our Grow A Pirate kit. A co-worker gave this little guy to me as a gift months ago and he had been sitting in my desk drawer awaiting his debut. We combined scientific inquiry and measurement standards by hypothesizing what would happen when we plopped him in the water. Since most students predicted he would grow, we thought it would be a good idea to measure him. Paper clips are our favorite non-standard measurement unit. Next year I think I'll make a cute worksheet for students to make predictions and record observations.

 There are so many great books to read during a pirate unit. My favorite is the Pirate Cruncher by Johny Duddle. The details in the pictures are amazing and it really makes the children use those critical thinking skills. We read it 3 times this week and had lots of things we wondered about, especially after the first read. I made this quick pirate ship for students to stick their "I wonder..." statements too. We talked about what to do if you have questions about a book and this discussion lead to us reading the book 2 more times. It was a great lesson in how important it is to read books more then once.

On Thursday we had a visit from our Book Fairy who read a pirate book and taught us how to talk like a pirate. I'm so angry I didn't take a picture of her because her costume was the real deal, fairy wings and all. The children also got to dress up. They loved their little pirate hats we made. I just had to capture this moment of two of my reluctant readers totally immersed in their reading. I couldn't even fuss at the one sitting on the bookshelf because he was too focused on his book!

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