Friday, January 11, 2013

Five on Friday! What we learned about feature articles!

Today is going to be short, but sweet!


We are finishing our "Feature Article" unit today, and I thought I'd share FIVE things we learned while writing them.  This was my first time teaching this unit, and it was as much a learning experience for ME as it was for my fourth graders!



So...what did we learn?


1.  Working together to research is the way to go!  Students had the GREATEST conversations about what they were learning, learned to ask each other good questions, and overall increased their enthusiasm the more they worked together!

2.  Enlist the help of your librarian!  It was great to have her on my team...she helped me pull books to teach different nonfiction text structures, helped teach students some of the research components, helped students refine their topics, and more!

3.  Explicitly teach students some of the different text structures they will encounter in nonfiction reading...cause/effect, question/answer, chronological, and so on.  It was so fun to spend a few class periods immersing the students in these texts and "hunting" to see what structures they could find.  It was also a great lesson for them to see that nothing is "pure"...that a text in chronological order (like "What Happens to a Hamburger"--we loved that one!!!) may have sections that don't fit the "rule"!

Working in teams to scan texts for different text structures!
4.  Immerse your students in a variety of nonfiction articles.  Students made all sorts of discoveries about what makes a great title, what kind of photos/glossaries/diagrams were most interesting, how different authors tackle tricky vocabulary words, and more!  (Not to mention--they LEARNED so much cool stuff reading these articles!)

5.  Do NOT underestimate what your students can do!  I was extremely cautious going into this and was unsure of what our "product" would look like.  I was AMAZED!  We learned so much new technology...they learned about inserting photos, citing sources, altering text sizes and layouts to make their article "look" better and more.  They are SO proud of what they have done--best quote..."These look like they could be in a REAL magazine!"  Fun stuff--have a great Friday, everyone!

Meg

2 comments:

  1. Is this unit, Feature Article, a unit you designed? I need something like this, but have no idea where to begin. Pam

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  2. Hi Meg,
    Thanks so much for donating to my flash drive giveaway at Rockin' Teacher Materials. I don't think I received your resources to put on the drive though. Could you please email that to me at hilary35t@gmail.com? Thanks again for donating!

    Hilary Lewis
    Hilary
    Rockin' Teacher Materials

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