Common Core Book Study Unit 3 & 4 (Many Freebies & Resource links)

Unit #3: Exploring with Friends in the Neighborhood
I have a large smoothie glass full of writing for you today!! Feel free to grab the image above. 
(See my TOU to the right for information about using my graphics for personal and commercial use)
This six weeks, students get to participate in the fun stuff - exploring fictional characters in literary texts and neighborhoods in informational texts. 

When I first glanced at this unit, I didn't really understand what the authors meant by  "neighborhoods in informational texts". I assumed it was a study on community helpers, which I always did in the month of September with my Kinders. After reading through the focus standards for this unit, I believe that the intro title is a bit misleading. The focus is more about teaching students about the setting, place, and time and allowing students to explore informational texts and determining what information from the text is important (or the main focus).

I LOVE exploring texts with students!

Here are a few of the suggested objectives for this unit - along with several resource links for you to use!!
Focus Standards
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply information about the topic.

I have several FREE resources for you tonight...YEAH!!

I previously offered this for free, but I have spruced it up and added  a little Fall Flava' for all of you (-; Here are three reading comprehension flip/flap book templates (in one download) for you to use in your classrooms (-; These can be adapted to any story or poem. When integrated with a book unit, students will get opportunities to read, write, listen & speak.

You can get the FREE flip book templates by clicking on the images below (right click & save - PC) or clicking HERE to download the PDF file from my TPT store.

I also have a  Fall Literacy unit that I really love!! I was really happy with the results and versatility of this unit...I will have it marked down to $3.00 for the remainder of next week to celebrate the Common Core book study (bwahaha)!

All of the lessons and activities in this file are focused around the book, "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt" by Steve Metzger & one of my favorites for the little ones.

The book includes topics that allow learning opportunities to discover types of leaves, predicting through repetition and rhyme, exploration of action verbs and prepositions, and science. This is definitely a great book to use to explore informational text genres.
In the unit, I have included many resources for you to use; however, I have left plenty of room for your own creativity and classroom academic needs (-;
Click HERE to get this resource.

And...where would I be without a little bit of Rhyme??
Here is a poem by Lucy Jenson that I used with my Kindergarten students. It is really sweet and I spruced this one up as well with one of my newest fall-themed images...enjoy! Just right click and copy the image. I will have this one available on Google Docs a little later and I will add the link for you once it is up.

Unit #4: America: Symbols and Celebrations

Students will explore America's symbols and celebrations through literary and informational texts. Students will being to write informative and/or explanatory pieces.

Because I love reading and writing & love teaching them even more - I absolutely love having writing workshops and book projects in my classroom!

These standards are always fun because students get more opportunities to share about their own lives through the cultural studies.

I always encouraged students to create stories that they could be passionate about (YES, even in Kindergarten...). 

As an artist, I always have the students illustrate their stories by drawing, creating a craft, or cutting and pasting images. 
One year (a very important year - the last elections), I had students research about the people running & allowed students to illustrate who they thought should be our next president and then they were paired up to help each other give a reason. For the illustrations, I wanted to students to learn how to create a portrait, so I taught them how to sketch out their drawing in pencil first. It was so cute to watch my students get so excited about drawing. I never let a student give the excuse that their drawing is not good enough...

A quick break to give all of you teachers a little hint how to get your students to love their art - no matter how it turns out...

1. Show them these pictures (don't say anything yet)
These paintings are by an artist named, Jean-Michael Basquiat. If you are going to do this with your students, please be mindful about the canvases you choose to show your students. Much of Basquiat's art includes profanity and/or content that is not appropriate. His art is great to use with middle school students for writing and interpretation. 
Images are from Wikipedia

Now, ask your students to turn and talk with their partners about what they think about this art. Then, have a few students share their thoughts. Most students will say that the art is ugly or that it looks like scribbles (among other negative reflective responses...hahaha).

Now that you have a few responses, create a range of common price for popular art in several columns up on your board or projection. Have one $1-100, $100-1000, $1000-$5,000, $5,000-$10,000.

Next, choose a trustworthy student to take down the class tallies. Go around the room and ask students to choose how much they think someone might pay for this art...

When you are all finished, tell students that Basquiat did not make $1-100, $100-1000,or $1,000- $5,000 for his art. Tell students that the average price many people paid for his art was anywhere from $5,000 and above for ONE painting.  
Explain to them that his paintings conveyed many messages that people could relate to. You could even go further - adding an extension- and allowing students to think of  what they believe the paintings mean. Their interpretations are not wrong or right & I do not suggest that you spend a great deal of time or any time explaining the meaning of his art, but that the students get the opportunity to look at art in a meaningful way. They will begin to see their art as an extension of themselves, who they are and what they are feeling, wanting, and thinking. 

I always tell my students that this is the reason that I can not tell them whether their art is good or bad. There is only opportunity for purpose in their art. If they convey something that they can describe ad talk about, then they have a successful piece of art!!
Here is another picture of Mr. B in action....To the looks like scribbles, but to Mr. B, those "scribbles" were a reflection of him and the message he wanted to convey through his art. 

I have given you the positive part of this man's life...but I would not use him a model of character. Here is a great site for more information about Mr. B ( 
If you would like to do this in your class, but lack resources or information, please email me and I will send you information and resources that you can include (if you would prefer not to show the art of Mr.B)

Okay, back to the common core and my project with my students

here are a few portrait drawings that were done by my Kindergarten students in 2009....Be AMAZED at the talent!!
President Portrait
I love this next one because little Miss P. Really conveyed that President (now) Barack Obama or "Barock Obma" (looking up towards the sky) was dreaming big!!
These are the writing  experiences  that students learn about themselves and will they never forget the lessons that impact them. 

I am going to link you to my Martin Luther King, Jr - I have a Dream project and Craftivity that I LOVED doing with my kids. 
They each got to make a really cute paper rendition of themselves flying with their "dream" in hands. 

My last year at this school, I had divider walls - not so great for bulletin boards, but I made it work (-;

You can get this craftivity HERE for FREE..

This is an older file that I have on the list to update - it is not my art that you are used to...LOL. Just keep thinking CRAFTIVITY when you download this file...I am a bit embarrassed at how out-dated this is, but the craft is really fun to do with the kids - just ignore the rest...
I am so self-conscious about this one...I looked at it for the first time in a long time...eek. Please be gentle with the rating (or you can skip that altogether). I would have liked to update it, but I just do not have the time..hahaha

Well, that is the closing of Unit 3&4!!!! Woo Hoo!! I made it through 3 and only one more to go and you can visit another one of my team-mates for unit 6!!!

Thank you for visiting!!

Kindergarten Unit Links

Grade Level Links

Please make sure to visit Jennifer Ayers who coordinated this book study

Best Practices 4 Teaching
Kindergarten, 6th, 7th, 8th -  Pin It


  1. Thank you for sharing. I love the fall flip books!
    Life with Mrs. L

  2. This is great! I really love that art work. Even though I'm not teaching Kinder anymore I can still use this with my 4th graders. Love that Kinder art work :)

    Happy teaching,

  3. Wow!! You put such hard work into your products and that really shows :) and I think that we get along so well because I appreciate art and creativity just like you ;) I could probably get into clipart since I am an okay drawer if I only knew how! :) take care!!


  4. Amazing, Michelle! I agree with Laura, you put so much into everything!
    I love the I Have a Dream project!


Love Notes...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...