Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Chilling Out" with a great book!

One thing I love to have my students do is recommend books to each other.  We do it during book talks where I "advertise" books, we do it during status of the class where I ask students to tell a little bit about their book once in a while, and sometimes I ask them to do something a little more formal.  I was beginning to think it was about time to take our world map projects down from above our lockers (ummm....the ones that have been up there since October) and create something a little seasonal!

I talked to my class about what it means to "chill out", and everyone agreed it is a way to tell someone to relax and take a break.  I told them that one of my favorite ways to "chill out" is to grab a great book!  I asked them to think about all the books they have read so far this year and pick ONE that they think others would really like to read as well.

We are in the middle of our opinion writing unit, so I asked them to think about what reasons/evidence they have to support a topic sentence like this:

In my opinion, you should chill out with (book title).

They worked to create drafts of paragraphs where they defended their opinion about why their book was "chill out" worthy!


I then had them work in partners and trios to read over them and try to do some peer revision and editing.  A parent volunteer and I read through each one quickly and "tidied" them up a bit.  They aren't going to be perfect final drafts, but we gave each student a teaching point or two and cleaned up some key spelling and punctuation errors.

I then gave each student a final copy sheet where they worked on their final copy as I passed around my circle tracers so they could make their snowman bodies and heads.  After all--what better symbol of "chilling out" is there than a snowman?



They cut out their final copies and got ready to get creative!  I had tracers of three sizes...11 inches, 7 inches, and 5 inches and let them go.  I reminded them about work quality (probably could have stressed it a little more with a few!) and let them get their "chill" on!






I created some fun winter-like letters and got ready to hang them all up!  The students love reading each other's recommendations and our hallway is all spruced up for winter!  Here is a part of our display...I even found places around the corners to put some of the little snowpeople!  



I put it all together in a resource if you want the letters, directions, template, and everything all in one place.  



Have a great weekend, everyone!

2 comments:

  1. Love the idea...do you have your opinion writing unit in your tpt store?

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  2. Hi Melanie! I have one opinion writing product in my store, but the unit I teach is loosely based on the work of Lucy Calkins so I do not have it in my store because it is too closely linked to what she does. I will be adding a "Scoop" resource of a few of my own activities related to it but they aren't quite ready yet. Thanks for inquiring!

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