Flags of the World

My 2nd graders' favorite unit is my Flags of the World unit. My focus for 2nd grade is alphabetical order and I found a fun way for students to look up words alphabetically and not even realize it. I start the unit by reading a book called, I Know About Flags, which is getting to be an old book but gives a nice overview about flags. After I read the book, I ask students to raise their hand and tell us one fact they learned about flags. When we return to our seat, I ask students to think of keywords that will help remind them of the facts. For instance, the fact is "flags are flown in front of important buildings", the keyword could be "buildings". I type all of the keywords into a PowerPoint or write them on the whiteboard. I also have the bibliography citation information written on the PowerPoint for students to copy into their books. After we have several keywords, students will write their three facts using complete sentences or short phrases depending on their ability. When they are finished, they begin working on their flag book. For this book, students will need a resource like almanacs or atlases. The book is divided by continents and students will color four flags from each one. I made cards with every country, and students will randomly select one to determine which flag to color. Kids really like choosing cards, I guess because it is kind of like a game. They find the country in their almanac and color their flag. Then they return the card and get a new card. Every week, I read a new nonfiction book that has something to do with flags and students continue working on their two flag books. My unit has the two books and the cards for every country and can be found here. Students will listen to nonfiction books and recall facts, write facts and bibliography citations, use resources, look up words alphabetically, write geography words using capitalization. Common Core: RI.2.1, RI.2.3, RI.2.5, RI.2.8, L.2.2.A, L.2.2.E, L.2.4.E, W.2.8, … [Read more...]

Keep ’em Buzzy Blog Hop

We have an awesome Blog Hop this weekend! We are presenting ideas for craft projects to do this summer with your kids, grand-kids or for summer camp and classes or just for you to try out. My kids are grown, but I came up with a craft using technology that they could participate in, even the one who lives across the country! Gotta love technology! I was inspired to make a Wordle craft, when I saw one hanging in a teacher friend's house that someone had made for her. The first thing I did was make a form in Google Docs for my family members to fill out. I use Google Docs a lot and I love it. I use it to give tests to my students that can be automatically graded. I have made forms for voting for student council, favorite books, class choices. You need a Google account and then click on Google Drive. On the left side click on "create" and then move down and click on "form". Fill in the blanks to make your form. There are several formats that you can use to make a form: multiple choice, check boxes, paragraphs. I used a text box. When I was done, it looked like this: I listed each member of my family and asked that everyone think of 10 words to describe each person. Not everyone came up with 10 but I was happy with whatever they came up with. The words can be descriptive, like cute and smart, or about the person's life: teacher, librarian, reader, etc. I copied the URL for the form and sent it to each member of my family and asked that they fill out the form. I had to prod a couple of them a couple of times, but eventually they all filled it out. They came up with some interesting words. One person gave each family member a color. Mine is purple. I don't know why. I got the results in a spreadsheet that looks like this: I looked through the words, deleted some that were somewhat unflattering and I capitalized each word. I didn't delete words that are duplicates because duplicates make the Wordle picture more interesting. Then I added … [Read more...]