Nonfiction Learning

Hi friends! We have been knee-deep in our nonfiction learning the past few weeks! We spend most of the first semester studying fiction…story elements, character traits, etc. The 2nd semester is mostly about nonfiction until we study fairy tales at the end. I definitely do class read-alouds of all types all year long, but our interactive read alouds and mini-lessons are usually strutted around that schedule.

During our first week, we hit text features really hard! I hang anchor charts up in our room that we reference a LOT.  You can grab these in my Nonfiction Text Features Unit. 

After we have our text-features down (I usually spend 2-3 days on them) we start working on recognizing new learning, discussing our schema, and making connections. 
We do it as a whole class first, and I chose Pigs…I don’t really know why, but I did, haha! 🙂 

You can grab that mentor text here! I think Gail Gibbon’s books are a little too hard for most firsties to read completely on their own but I LOVE them as mentor texts for our lessons. They don’t have photographs, so that stinks, but they have all the other text features and they are seriously FULL of facts for them to learn. 
The next day, I wanted to them to do this activity on their own, with a little support from me. 🙂 First, we filled out our schema about penguins. 
They knew alot about penguins, but we definitely had some misconceptions! I forgot to snap a picture of the book we used, but it was also Gail Gibbons. You can grab it here
Then, I read the text, and as I read they showed their new learning by flashing their little “light” over their head. It’s really simple…they take a fist over their head and “flash” it like a lightbulb. They love it. 🙂 
When we were done, they drew and wrote 2 new things they learned. This week, we will work on tracking our thinking and writing it on post-its as we learn new things. But for this time, we did it at the end. 
After that, we discussed questions we still had with our table mates and they wrote 1 question they still had about penguins. 
So after their little books were completed, I gave them a cover page and  I stapled them! It’s super important you staple them first! 🙂 
Then, I gave them black, orange, and white paper and had them create their own penguins. I didn’t give them templates because I love it so much more when it’s their original work. They turn out different with stencils too, but I’m a sucker for low-prep for me and their little personalities showing up on the wall! 

If you want to make your own little penguin book, you can grab it by clicking on the image below. I included a few other pages in case you want it to truly be an “All About” Penguins book. 🙂  
If you make your own little penguins, I can’t wait to see them! 🙂 I have a few sweet little girls who think EVERYTHING needs a bow. I kind of agree with them!! 
Here are some other Penguin books we have read during this Winter! 
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

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