September 11, 2012


I am going to jump the gun a bit today.  I have a doctor's appointment in the city bright and early and my scheduling ditty hasn't been working in my Blogger. So . . . you get this a little early :)  

I am guessing that common core is in full swing in your neck of the woods just as it is in good old Nor Cal.  Overall, the whole planning process is pretty much the same for me and I don't have to alter my style much to fit the "common" package.  However, I do need to make some adjustments in the standards that I am targeting and when I am slippin' them in my day.  With this said, I have joined forces with a wonderful bloggy crew to participate in a book study of the Common Core ELA Curriculum Maps for 1st grade.

Today, I have the pleasure of presenting Unit 2 to all you alls - The Amazing Animal World!  
Yup . . . peace out folks . . . I'm UNIT 2!
Great graphic from The 3am Teacher - Thanks Michelle!
In this 6-week unit, students read informational texts about animals and learn how to strengthen their own informative/explanatory writing. The focus standards are . . . 
  • RL.1.2 - Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate an understanding of the central message or lesson.
  • RL.1.5 - Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
  • RI1.2 - Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • L.1.5 - With guidance and support, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.  
  • L.1.5(b) - Define words by category and by one or more key attributes (e.g., a duck is a bird that swims; a tiger is a large cat with stripes).
  • W.1.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.  
  • SL.1.2 - Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read-aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
That all mighty essential question is . . . How can reading teach us about writing?  

This book provides ya with lots of suggested objectives and/or activities that you can try with your kiddos.  From writing informative reports on animals, evaluating texts, and retelling fun fictional tales to comparing works of art by Matisse (The Snail) and Henri Rousseau (The Flamingoes) and analyzing poetry, this unit offers up a little bit of everything.  

While I was reading this, my mind started wandering and I immediately grabbed onto the whole writing aspect.  We really start hitting the expository writing in October and continue to build on it throughout the year.  Animal reports are always a logical choice (especially mid-year on).  So, I made up a little collection of expository writing templates for you to take with ya today - just click on the pics below to snag your free copies (awesome frame by Teaching in a Small Town).  

On a final note today, here are some links to the books that fit ever so nicely with this unit.  (These are just a few of the books suggested in the unit write up.)  I can so see doing some fun "retells" with these fun stories.  Speaking of retelling, I might as well give you a little beginning/middle/end ditty to work with. Two versions have been included to help better meet your specific classroom needs - easy (pictorial only) or harder (pictorial + written).
CLICK HERE to download these!

I recommend this book to any K-5 teachers who are having a hard time wrapping their head around creating ELA units for the Common Core.  It has definitely helped me generate some new ideas and "think outside of the box" when it comes to tying in art and poetry (two topics I have ALWAYS struggled with as an educator)!

Thanks for taking the time to visit me today friends.  Check in tomorrow (Thursday) with Melissa for UNIT 3: Life Lessons over at Dilly Dabbles.  I will be back for a review of UNIT 4 and more freebies on Friday!

Here is our posting schedule.  HUGE thanks to The 3am Teacher for the cute graphics!!
Kinder teachers . . . interested in reading up on the common core?  Visit The 3am Teacher!
She is leading the kinder unit reviews this week :)

Our first grade crew is outlined below!

Melissa: Overview + Units 3 & 5

Mona: Unit 1 + Unit 6
First Grade Schoolhouse

Kelley: Unit 2 + Unit 4
Sour Apple Studio


  1. I teach 2nd grade, but some of those graphic organizers are excellent to use for my kids as well. I'm going to have to search and see if there is a linky for 2nd grade CC...if not, there needs to be! That is a great idea!

    BTW - I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog...a free, personal laminator! Come check it out if you don't already have one!

    I just started a giveaway as well!! A papermonster personal laminator! YAY for great giveaways! :)

    Sensational Seconds

  2. We have almost gone through best probabilities and there is also need to get over the common core book stud and we also have to substantiate every possible thought in review. statement of purpose writing service



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