To help students become independent in choosing which graphic organizer would be best to use for prewriting (or organizing information in a science/ math notebook), I have been creating an anchor chart that has the text structure on the left side and pictures of connected graphic organizers on the right.
We are building this chart together during both readers' and writers' workshop. During a mini-lesson or interactive read aloud, we'll discuss the text structure of the book (for younger children, I have included a photocopy of a page to remind them, for older students we create a definition of the text together)
During writers' workshop (science/ math notebook), we refer to the chart together and choose one that would best organize information.
Many students also need modeling on how to take the finished graphic organizer and construct paragraphs.
I attached a reproduction of part of our chart.
I attached a list of books that can be used to find connections and common themes among different holidays and traditions. Instead of doing a theme like Christmas Around the World or Letters to Santa, focus on peace which will include the beliefs of people of different religions and languages.
Start out a Peace study with Todd Parr's book, The Peace Book. Invite families to contribute their ideas of what peace means to them. Create a mural together, "The Peace Mural."
A Peace Mural "reminds us that regardless of where we come from, who we pray to, or what we believe, we all want peace in the world."
Theme #2: Wishes (Try the book Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World by Roseanne Thong)
This motivational theme allows you to link many cultures and languages in your classroom while also teaching foundational literacy skills.
Some of the content connections include, African life, farms, farming, interdependency of community, liquid and dry measurement, nutritional foods, producer-to-consumer cycles...
Languages and Cultures: American-style pancakes, banh xeo (Vietnam), beghrirs (Morocco), blinis (Russia), chapatis (India), okonomiyaki (Japan), kartoflane placki (potato pancakes, Poland), spicy chickpea or black-eye-bean pancakes (Africa), or tortillas (Mexico).
Books: The Runaway Tortilla (Kimmel, 2000), The Runaway Latkes (Kimmelman, 2000), If You Give a Pig a Pancake (Numeroff, 1998), Pancakes for Breakfast (dePaola, 1978), The Runaway Rice Cake, Latkes and Applesauce, Pancakes!Pancakes! (Carle, 1970), Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya (Chamberlin, Chamberlin, & Cairns, 2006), Curious George Makes Pancakes, The Great Pancake Escape (Numeroff, 1998), Miss Mabel's Table (Chandra, 1994), Mr. Wolf's Pancakes (Fearnley, 2001), Perfect Pancakes, If You Please (Wise, 1997), Sunday (Saint James, 1996)...
- Children can read and review recipes (By creating them in class, you are integrating math: volume, dry/liquid measurement, graphs/survey questions, compare and contrast graphic organizers...)
- Children can write their own recipe.
- Retell the stories. Act them out. Create puppets to help the retell.
- Create word charts highlighting the nouns, adjectives, and action verbs of the stories read.
- Sing songs and poems. Visit http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/p047.html for songs about pancakes
- Word families (ex. an, -ake) or compound words (pancake...), word sorts...
- Create text sets for independent reading (nonfiction books on foods, African village life, measurement,...)
- Draw maps with keys when reading a "Runaway" story. (Teach directionality, distance...)
- Use a world map to locate the origin of the stories you read/recipes you try...
- Send the runaway tortilla, gingerbread man...on a quest to students' relatives in other locations. Mail the "man" with a request for a pancake recipe. Map the addresses of returned recipes...Read the letters received from relatives in class. Ask for pictures...