March 1st begins a celebration of Women’s History; it’s Women’s History Month! First established as a week of recognition by president Jimmy Carter in 1980, the month has since become a time to celebrate women’s accomplishments. Students often fail to realize that women had quite the struggle to gain rights in our country, and in many ways, still do to this day. Encourage students to learn about history and these women who took a stand when no one else would.
Eleanor Roosevelt lived during an exciting time. Women had just gained the right to vote. As a first lady, she made her own agenda and gave her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, plenty of advice. She stood up for the weak and advocated for equal rights regardless of gender or skin color.
Jane Goodall is the world’s leading authority on chimpanzees. She moved to the African jungle to study them. Her visit to Kenya led to a meeting with famous paleontologist Louis Leakey. Although she wasn’t a trained scientist, Goodall began working with Leakey in 1960. She earned the trust of the apes and observed their social interactions. She studied them for more than 30 years. She learned that chimps use tools and are more intelligent than was previously thought.
Marie Curie’s work in radioactivity changed the way scientists think about matter and energy and led to advancements in the treatment of disease. With her fellow scientist and husband, Pierre Curie, she searched for the source of radioactivity and discovered two elements, radium and polonium. They shared the 1903 Nobel Prize, the world’s highest science award, for their discovery.
In this title, examine the life of courageous environmentalist and author of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson. Readers will enjoy digging into Carson’s personal story, beginning with her childhood writing stories and exploring the Allegheny River near her home in Pennsylvania. Students can trace Carson’s success, from her education at PCW and Woods Hole to her roles with the Bureau of Fisheries and the FWS, before her writing career took hold. Engaging text and photos offer insight on topics such as marine biology, pesticide use, and the birth of the EPA. While a timeline, glossary, and index supplement the text, an entertaining science activity allows readers their own hands-on experience based on the science that inspired this woman’s groundbreaking career. Checkerboard Library is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Abigail lived during times which were much more difficult for women than today. Despite this fact, Abigail Adams traveled, believed in women’s rights, and experienced the American Revolution. A devoted wife, mother, and American patriot, Abigail influenced history by helping her husband, John, make important decisions.
This title examines an important historic event – the women’s suffrage movement. Easy-to-read, compelling text explores the history of women’s rights and the League of Women Voters, the roles the antislavery movement, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and literature played in the movement, well-known figures such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul, and the effects of this event on society. Features include a table of contents, a timeline, facts, additional resources, Web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Essential Events is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Women’s History in the Classroom
It was once said about Eleanor Roosevelt’s determination and leadership that “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Discuss this quote with your students, and engage them in reading about famous women in our history who stood up for what they believed in and forged new paths with their candles. How will your students celebrate Women’s History Month?
Want more classroom ideas for using e-books in your classroom? Check-out Big Universe’s YouTube channel.
RTI is a process that is designed to give all students success in the general education classroom. In stead of waiting for the student to fail in order to be evaluated for services and provided support, RTI is an ongoing process of assessment and monitoring progress before the student has fallen so far behind that stye need intensive support out side of their regular classroom.
RTI begins with instruction
RTI begins with the way we teach all students. RTI relies on the use of differentiated instruction- which means using different types of instruction to better reach all types of learners.
For example, when introducing new concept to an entire class, instead of only describing how something is done, the teacher could use pictures and visual aids, concrete or representational models of the activity, and give students an opportunity to work in pairs or small groups to complete the activity.
These are examples of teaching to different learning styles within the classroom. Research shows that all students benefit from differentiated instruction, because even individual students learn differently in different situations.
Tiers of Intervention
RTI is set up to allow for different levels of support to students as needed, focusing on keeping the students in the general education classroom as much as possible.
The three tiers of Intervention include:
Tier 1: Primary
This is the core curriculum used for all students. It includes whole class and small group instruction that is the foundation of student learning, and this model believes it is essential that all students participate in Tier 1 as much as possible.
Tier 2- Supplemental
Tier 2 interventions are designed to meet the needs of individual students that can be addressed in small group where students target the specific areas that require additional practice or support.
This level of intervention falls somewhere between supporting the whole class with differentiated instruction and those students who require intensive and significant support.
Tier 3- Intensive
Tier 3 students require specific skill instruction daily in addition to the regular instruction. This is not limited to students who are identified as needing special education services, since many students who are struggling in certain areas do not have Individualized Education Plans or special education services.
RTI encourages even this intensive support to happen in the general education classroom, rather than being separated from peers and missing instruction given to the rest of the class.
Monitoring Student Progress
A key component of the RTI model is monitoring the progress of the students to ensure that the interventions are working.
It is also necessary for identifying areas that may need additional support.
Whether it is diagnostic (used to determine if a child needs support) or outcome assessment (measuring the progress of the student after the intervention), it is impossible for RTI to be effective without checking in at scheduled intervals.
Informal assessments that are done through observation are very useful to give a snapshot of whether the method of instruction needs to be adjusted or continued as it is.
RTI cannot be implemented and carried out by the classroom teacher, alone. It takes a team of instructors, administrators and support staff to help make this successful.
Teachers and specialists need to communicate often to keep make sure the interventions are working and to move students within the tiers as needed. RTI relies on flexible grouping so that students can return to the tier 1 instruction or seek additional support ad different points in the school year.
Big Universe Learning supports RTI in the classroom with an easy to use literacy platform complete with leveled instruction, built in assessment, teacher support, management tools, lesson plans, data reporting, and more.
Instructions for Assessment, intervention, and progress monitoring can be found in RTI in the Classroom:Guidelines and Recipes for Success, Brown-Chidsey et al, The Guilford Press. 2009.
For many students, staring at a blank sheet of paper does not inspire the creative writing process. In fact, it can have the opposite effect, causing stress and overall difficulty generating ideas.
Beginning the writing process is usually the most difficult step. Prewriting activities can help students organize their thoughts and ideas before they begin. There are several types of actives that can be used independently, in small groups, or as whole class activities.
In this article, we will focus on strategies that students can use independently to generate ideas for writing.
Students may already have writing journals in the classrooms. If not, a writing journal could be as simple as a few pages of lined paper stapled together, a spiral bound notebook, or a composition notebook decorated by the student.
The last two pages should be dedicated to a list of ideas and topics that the students can add to throughout the year.
The first topics can be generated as a whole class activity, and may include events such as: summer vacation, starting school, making new friends, birthdays, sports, current events, etc.
As the year progresses, students can add topics they find interesting from class, new experiences, holidays, pets, something they would like to learn more about, etc.
This is a fun way for students to build on familiar ideas to generate new or more in-depth topics. For this activity, a graphic organizer works best.
The idea is to begin with a word, either provided by the teacher or the student, and create a word map or web that adds words one at a time building on the word before.
The maps can be linear, meaning the next word builds off the last in a line:
Polar Bear—>Arctic—>Snow—>Sledding—>Friends—>Sleepover—>Birthday Party
Or, the map can be conceptual, meaning all the words stem from the original word:
An idea jar can be any container used to hold tiles or laminated pieces of paper containing group generated topics.For the writers who need a little help generating ideas on their own, an idea jar can help spark the creativity and imagination of the students.
Students can pick an ‘idea’ out of the jar and make it unique to their own experiences and knowledge.
Some Idea Jar topics may include:
Riding on an Airplane
Be sure to include topics discussed in class or local geography, climate, or landmarks.
Look Through a Picture Book
Students can browse the pages of a picture book or informational text to find interesting and creative ideas.
Often, a picture or photograph will provide several topics for a student. If students record whatever they find as they look through the text, they can later decide which topic to use for the current assignment, and keep the rest in the back of their writing journal to use another time.
This is also a great way for students to take a note in-depth look at topics they may already be familiar with.
Usually, once students begin generating ideas, they find it easier to think of new topics connected to those ideas. The more time the students spend writing, the easier the writing process becomes, so having a list of topics for creative writing and free-write activities may enable students to spend their time practicing these important skills.
Some of the CCSS addressed in this article include:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
(W.3.9 begins in grade 4)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Once students have chosen a topic for their writing activity, there are several ways of organizing the information they will use in their writing.
Graphic organizers are a great way to give students a step by step guide to creating an outline for their writing. There are graphic organizers for any type of writing assignment, and most can be easily edited for a specific assignment or student as needed.
Since personal narratives do not require creating characters, reporting facts, or persuading the reader, the graphic organizers and outlines usually focus on the sequence of events and creating a clear beginning, middle, and end. Depending on the grade and support needed, outlines range from a broad description of information needed, to prompts for each element of the story.
Persuasive essays require students to present a clear opinion that is supported by reasons and examples. Outlines and graphic organizers for this type of writing are especially helpful in guiding students to provide strong support of their opinion and adequate examples to illustrate their point.
Below is an example of an organizer students can use to outline their ideas:
Research Report Writing
Reports and informational writing requires facts, rather than opinion. Graphic organizers and outlines for these types of essays will provide space for the student to record facts found during their research.
Organizers for younger students may include an outline for the topic and facts only:
Or, they may include more advanced prompts for quotes and citations:
No matter what the assignment, graphic organizers can be customized to fit any genre, grade level, or individual support needed by the students. Graphic organizers break the often daunting writing process into smaller, more manageable steps. They keep track of information and help students make comparisons and connections.
As students follow the prompts on the worksheet, they practice the skills needed to outline and structure their writing in an easy to read format. Moving on to the next step becomes a much easier task once the student has identified the important information and arranged the details in proper sequence.
Book Report Writing
Organizers are especially helpful for writing book reports. Information such as characters, setting, and theme are essential requirements that can sometimes be difficult for students to identify. Separating the components of the story before writing the sequence of events allows students to connect how the elements of the story work together to support the theme.
Although organizers are beneficial to all students, it is especially helpful to the following groups of students:
Students with ADD/ADHD
Students with Dyslexia
Students with Learning Disabilities
Once students have completed the organizer, it gives the teacher an opportunity to check for understanding and organization of the students’ ideas before the students begin the formal writing process. Students are less likely to become frustrated if there are changes to be made on the worksheet rather than the written work. It provides the teacher a quick and informal assessment of student work, while giving the student clear expectations for their writing.
Some of the CCSS addressed in this article include:
On the third Monday of February each year, we take time to celebrate present and past presidents on Presidents’ Day. Created in honor of George Washington and celebrated just a few days after Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, most students only associate Presidents’ Day with a long weekend and sales at the mall. Why not help them understand the meaning behind the holiday just a little bit more? George Washington was our nation’s first president, and Presidents’ Day is just a small reminder of his accomplishments in helping to form the United States of America as we know it today.
Help your students learn and understand more about this great leader with these Big Universe E-Books!
It’s not easy to find biographies that truly appeal to very young readers. Perhaps it’s because they take a special talent to write! What’s needed is an author who can distill a lot of complicated facts into clear, simple concepts, add a touch of warmth and humor, and create a story that a little kid won’t want to put down. Add to the mix some lovely child-friendly art set in a framework of pastels and that’s Benchmark’s American Heroes. These charming titles, all carefully researched and well documented, will fire the imaginations of young readers and help set them on a lifelong path to learning.
George Washington helped form the United States into what it is today by making wise decisions. After becoming a war hero in the French and Indian War, he went on to lead a fight against the British in the American Revolution. He continued his legacy by becoming the first president of the United States.
This title examines an important historic event, the making of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Readers will learn about the events leading up to the making of these historic documents, including European settlement in America and the Revolutionary War. Covered in detail are the First Continental Congress, the Connecticut Compromise, the Constitutional Convention, the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the first presidential election. Key players, such as George Washington, James Madison, Edmund Randolph, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin are included. Color photos and informative sidebars accompany easy-to-read, compelling text. Features include a timeline, facts, additional resources, Web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.
Using the graphics, students can activate prior knowledge—bridge what they already know with what they have yet to learn. Graphically illustrated biographies also teach inference skills, character development, dialogue, transitions, and drawing conclusions. Graphic biographies in the classroom provide an intervention with proven success for the struggling reader.
Presidents’ Day in the Classroom
Invite students to read about George Washington and celebrate his life and accomplishments through these e-books. How do you plan to incorporate these titles into your curriculum?
Want more classroom ideas for using e-books in your classroom? Check-out Big Universe’s YouTube channel.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time of year to get children writing. Children can write cards and letters to family and friends. Letters and poems can be sent in the mail to relatives and friends. Students can make handmade cards to give to classmates and teachers. Encouraging children to make handmade cards helps them to develop their writing skills.
Children should be encouraged to utilize descriptive words in their writing. Posting and referencing a word list helps students to create interesting writing pieces.
Valentine’s Day Word List
box of chocolates
Encourage students to add words to the word list. Students can look for related words when reading the Valentine’s Day books below.
Crafts That Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Children love to make crafts. Using everyday objects can help to create affordable art projects. In the picture above, a student decorated a toilet paper holder to make an adorable pink butterfly. Decorating paper lunch bags with pink and red tissue paper can turn them into a beautiful gift for the parents when students glue a poem on it. A shoebox covered with red or pink construction paper can be used as a “love note box”. Students and parents can save the love notes they receive and place them in the keepsake box.
Valentine’s Day Books
Recommended Reads Related To Valentine’s Day
Big Universe Learning offers a large variety of books about Valentine’s Day. Schools and families can easily access several online books to read with children. http://biguniverse.com
by Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dean Griffiths (illustrator)
Which boy will win the grand prize?
Johnny Maverick and his friends Tom and Stu want to win the prizes donated for their hockey team’s Valentine’s Day dance fundraiser. Whoever wins the dance contest takes home all the prizes, one of which is a graphite hockey stick. When the boys learn that Connie, the new girl in Howling, is a great dancer, they each want her as their dance partner. But they don’t think about asking her to go with them until it’s too late. And as usual, things don’t turn out as planned for Johnny and his friends.
Find out what goes on every day inside of the human body! This title offers children an exciting voyage through the heart. Detailed illustrations, color photos, and simple text combine to make a fun and easy introduction to how the heart works. This book also includes simple activities and crafts like We’ve Got a Beat, Valuable Valves and how to make a Heart with how-to photos to further engage young learners. Super SandCastle is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
StinkyKids Have a Heart
by Britt Menzies (author), Greg; Trent Hardin (illustrator)
In this little stinKer adventure, best friends Britt and Jen are enjoying a fun summer day at the pool with all of the StinkyKids. While playing Marco Polo, the kids hear a familiar sound…the ice cream truck. The StinkyKids excitement over these tasty treats quickly turns sour when Britt and Jen get into a disagreement over which flavor they should all buy. Jen tells Britt that she wants them to get the same flavor because “that’s what best friends do.” Britt gets upset as she does not like Jen’s bullying and does not want to follow her. Can these best friends be Leaders of Good and “work it out,” or will their fun day at the pool turn into just a wet and soggy afternoon? Can the other StinkyKids help Britt and Jen get over their troubles or will they all have to learn a lesson about what it means to “Have A Heart”?
StinkyKids Have A Heart is the third book in the StinkyKids series, which delivers another fun-filled story of learning from your mistakes and striving to “Always Be A Leader of Good.” Also enjoy StinkyKids And the Runaway Scissors and StinkyKids See A Full Moon, available in hardcover print and digital formats.
Would you like more information about writing and Valentine’s Day? Visit
Editing and revision are critical elements to the writing process. Often, students have a difficult time revising their own work in a meaningful way. The skill takes practice and the ability to read their own work objectively.
Why Teach Peer Editing?
Often, students are much more successful at editing other students’ writing. It can be beneficial for both the writer and the editor. With direct instruction, students can learn the most effective way to peer edit through compliments, constructive feedback, and helpful suggestions.
It is essential that the peer editor make suggestions for the writer to consider. This allows students an opportunity to think about what needs to be changed, why it needs changing, and what would be a better way of organize the writing. The hope is that this skill can then be carried over into their own writing.
Peer Editing Guidelines
It is also important for peer editors to use specific guidelines as they edit. We can provide examples through modeling the activity and by providing a checklist or rubric for students to follow.
Peer editing checklists may include items such as:
Start with a compliment
Highlight a well written sentence
Tell the writer something specific that you thought was interesting
Point out an interesting and well-chosen word or phrase
Identify an area the could be improved
Tell the writer why you think it needs revision
Explain what exactly needs to be changed
vocabulary- did the writer use the wrong word?
phrasing- is the reader confused by the way the sentence is written?
details- does the writer need to add more description or details?
main idea- is the main idea carried throughout the writing, or are new topics introduced?
Once an area is identified that needs revision, give specific examples of how the writer can change the work.
Ask questions that help the writer understand what needs to be written more clearly.
Peer editing trains students to make thoughtful, objective revisions. As writers read the edits suggested by their peers, they begin to understand which suggestions and comments are most helpful to their own writing, which will then guide them as they edit the writing of others. This process will also give the students a constructive and positive experience as they grow as writers.
Writing with Big Universe Learning
Big Universe Learning encourages writing through standard-aligned lesson plans organized by grade level. We also provide opportunities for members to publish their own writing. Browse through thousands of member-created books on our website: big universe.com. The easy to follow guided tour is available to assist every writer become a published author on our site!
Some of the CCSS addressed in this article include:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Television specials, heart-warming interviews, traveling torches, and building anticipation can only mean one thing: the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are here! Every four years, the Winter Olympics take the world by storm captivating audiences and sending them on an exciting two weeks of competition. Students will, no doubt, be just as invested in the games. From the twelve new winter sports to the over-all medal race, there is something for everyone.
Take your students on an exhilarating reading adventure with e-books sure to capture the culture, countries, and sports of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:
Colorful graphics, over-sized photographs, and short, engaging sentences draw reluctant readers in to the fascinating life of two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White! This book introduces readers to White’s childhood, family background, rise to fame, and future plans. Readers will learn about his background in surfing, skiing, and on to snowboarding and skateboarding, as well as how White’s bold snowboarding tricks have made him famous. White’s performances and gold medals won in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics are covered, as well as the background and history of the Olympics. White’s X Games competitions are also highlighted. Features include table of contents, maps, “Did You Know” facts, a “Snapshot” page with vital information, a glossary with phonetics, and an index. Big Buddy Books is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Colorful graphics, oversized photographs, and short, engaging sentences draw reluctant readers in to the fascinating life of Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn! This book introduces readers to Vonn’s childhood, family background, rise to fame, and future plans. Readers will learn about Vonn’s journey to become professional skier, from her father’s early lessons to her break into international races. Vonn’s performances in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics are covered, leading up to her first Olympic gold medal at the 2010 Olympics. Vonn’s World Cup wins are highlighted, including her prize cow after a 2005 win in Val d’Isere, France. Vonn’s marriage to fellow skier Thomas Vonn, her friendship with competitor Maria Reisch, and her hobbies are also included. Features include table of contents, maps, “Did You Know” facts, a “Snapshot” page with vital information, a glossary with phonetics, and an index. Big Buddy Books is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Informative, easy-to-read text and oversized scenic photos draw in readers as they journey through Russia – home of the great Caspian Sea, the vast and desolate Siberia region, and Moscow’s ornate Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Readers will learn about Russia’s history, government, major cities, land features, natural resources, culture, and more! Maps, a timeline with photos, fun facts, and pronunciation guides aid readers. The book closes with a facts page including Russia’s population and total area, as well as images of the Russian flag and currency. Students will find valuable report information while exploring Russia! Table of contents, glossary, and index included. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Big Buddy BOOKS is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Shaun White is considered the face of snowboarding. He has won two Olympic gold medals by catching big air while doing difficult jumps and tricks. Children will discover how snowboarders carve down slopes and push the limits of gravity through several different kinds of competitions.
Moscow’s Red Square is a center of Russian history and culture. This book explores the physical and cultural geography of Russia, showing the reader what daily life is like in Russia and how Russians keep their cultural traditions alive in the modern world.
This title examines an important historic event, the Bolshevik Revolution. Readers will learn the history of Russia leading up to the revolution, key players and happenings in the revolution, and the event’s effect on society and politics. Color photos and informative sidebars accompany easy-to-read, compelling text. Features include a timeline, facts, additional resources, web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Essential Events is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company. Grades 6-9.
Best Sport Ever: Hockey takes readers from the beginnings of hockey to present day with a focus on the legends, the amazing stories, and the unique characteristics that makes the sport great. Discover the early games of hockey, the equipment used in the game then and now, the thrill of the Miracle on Ice, and the achievements of Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, Jacques Plante, Bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Cindy Curley, and so many others in this amazing overview of the Best Sport Ever: Hockey! Through colorful descriptions, a glossary, additional resources, engaging sidebars that go “beyond the basics” into advanced skills and health benefits, and more, the Best Sport Ever series is a can’t miss for today’s sports fan. SportsZone is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Teachers can use literature to teach students to compare and contrast. The Common Core State Standards require students to compare and contrast two or more things, items, places, or characters.
Jobs-Then and Now
As the needs of people change, so do the jobs of the world. With the use of modern equipment and technology, today’s workers may do their jobs differently than those of long ago. It is beneficial to children to teach them about the jobs of today, and how those jobs were done long ago.Students can read the text to get important information about how people do their jobs. In addition, students can refer back to the text and closely read how jobs were done long ago. When students closely read, they reread for important information and concepts. They take a “close” look at the text.Reading informational texts about jobs now and then takes a multifaceted approach to career exploration. Students can benefit from reading about the different types of jobs that are available. In addition, this unit of study takes a historical approach. It informs students about the current workplace situations and provides them with information about how those jobs were done long ago.Reading about now and long ago can also be used to teach comprehension skills. The skill, compare and contrast, helps students to better understand and comprehend text. Students can compare the jobs of today with the jobs of long ago. Teachers can use a “T” chart to help organize the information for the students.
Great Reads That Help Children Learn About Then and Now
Student have a wide variety of informational books to choose from. Many career topics are covered.
Farmers are important because they grow the food that people eat. Modern equipment enables farmers to grow more food for an ever-increasing world population.
Doctors Then and Now
by Sarah Kartchner Clark
Doctors help people stay healthy. When people get sick, doctors help them get well again. Today, doctors use many complex instruments to treat people. Long ago, doctors had few instruments and did not know as many ways to help people get well.
Fishers Then and Now
by Lisa Zamosky
Fishers have provided food for thousands of years. Long ago, fishers had to fish close to land and used simple fishing tools such as knives, hoes, and spears. With the use of modern boats and fishing equipment, today’s fishers fish far out in the ocean and catch a large variety of fish for market
Community Leaders Then and Now
by Christina Hill and Torrey Maloof
Community leaders guide people and help them in times of trouble. They are role models, such as school principals, mayors, and Red Cross volunteers and often teach and help with charities. As the needs of people change, so do the jobs of community leaders.
Connecting To The Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards clearly outline what is expected of students at each grade level. The Common Core State Standards can be found at www.corestandards.org/
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9a Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
Many students, including those with special needs, learn best when we incorporate the senses into the activity.
Creating successful readers means engaging students in the reading activity. Students who have positive experiences with reading are able to make deeper connections and have a greater interest in reading, overall.
Every Child’s Learning Style Is Unique
Since every child is unique, it makes sense that the way they learn is also unique. Not everyone likes the same color, food, music, or games. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, when children demonstrate preferred methods of learning.
In the classroom, differentiated instruction is meant to teach one concept in several different ways. In reading comprehension, this can take the form of involving the senses as students read.
How to Use the Senses in Reading Instruction
Even students who read well enjoy being read to. Listening to a text as it is read aloud is both enjoyable and beneficial to may types of learners.
Readers learn tone, inflection, and fluency as they listen along to proficient readers.
Listening to a text reinforces comprehension by providing cues the reader can identify based on the way a story is read.
Reading along with the text while listening to an audio component has shown through research to be a very effective method of reinforcing fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension.
Input from visual components can be very powerful tools for some students. Connecting written text with pictures and diagrams gives visual learners a greater depth of understanding and clarification of the text.
Visual learners also benefit from including visual components in their summaries and assessments. Often, these learners can organize their thoughts and process what they read as they create visual responses to the text.
Photos and pictures can help students make connections with other books, experiences, or media.
Many children’s books incorporate bright colors to stimulate readers and gain interest, this technique is just as effective as children get older.
Students who enjoy sensory activities can increase comprehension by creating representations of important parts of the book as they read. They can use: paint, crayons, clay, mixed media art, drawing, etc.
Some students learn through movement and role-play. Acting out scenes from a story is a great way for students to engage in the text and ensure deeper understanding of what they read.
Younger students have many more opportunities to read books that include different textures and physical components built into the books.
Finding ways to teach to the strength of each learner is critical to the success of students. All students will enjoy a variety of formats and styles when it comes to reading.
At Big Universe Learning, we have an extensive collection of ebooks with visual and audio components ready to engage all readers. Books are conveniently arranged by reading level, grade, subject, language, and more.
Some of the CCSS addressed in this article include:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.