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...]

Using the World Almanac for Kids 2013

I really like to use the World Almanac for Kids 2013 and I usually buy a class set every couple of years. Students really like to read these books because they are filled with colorful photographs and interesting facts about kid things. I also like to use the table of contents and the index of the almanac for lots of lessons. Picking out keywords to search for when answering a question is a real problem for new researchers, they tend to go on the internet and type in an entire question instead of just the keywords. Using the index to locate information inside a book is a good way to get them to think about keywords. With 2nd and 3rd graders, I often highlight the keywords in the questions to look up in the index. 4th and 5th graders need to be able to find the words themselves.   This book has 14 pages of questions, word search puzzles and cross word puzzles. The questions are from the table of contents, index, a timeline on transportation, a chart about the presidents, the space section, the calendar section, and the sports section. I like students to find the answers in word searches or crossword puzzles to make it more fun.   This is another mini-book that students put inside their lapbook. To make the book, the margins are cut off on the dotted lines and the center dotted line is cut to separate the top half from the bottom half. Stack in order of the page number and staple with a long-arm stapler.     You can get the book from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. … [Read more...]