I love using themes to teach and plan. It is an easy way to keep the vocabulary and skills associated with it front and center. My kiddos always do better when they hear the words and concepts over and over again...definitely deepens their comprehension.
This week is all about apples!
We introduce and review our theme vocabulary daily during morning meeting.
Once students are able to know the vocabulary and what each means, we move on to asking questions such as, "What is something we could climb to get on the roof?" or "Which is something that could grow another apple from?" These types of questions deepen student's understanding and is another opportunity to practice WH questions.
In language groups, we practice reading and following verbal directions using these sight word booklets.
I use these booklets in small groups. We read the title and predict what the book is going to be about. Next, one student reads the sentence aloud while the other students follow along. We then read that sentence aloud again, but as a group. After reading the sentence, I give a one to two step verbal direction on how to color or mark the sentence. For example, on the farmer page below my direction was to, "First color the hat red then the shoes black." As the year goes along the verbal directions will get more complex ans complicated.
In science, we explored the different kinds of apples and talked about how they are the same and different. Next, we cut them apart and tried each kind.
After we tried each kind we graphed our favorites to cover math. Once our favorites were graphed, the conversation naturally turned to talking about which kind had the most and least likes.
Interestingly, yellow apples one for the second year in a row!
We rocked fine motor skills and following step be step directions with these apple trees. This art project is from Teaching Special Thinkers.
We put them together to make our very own apple orchard!
Lastly, we use these interactive books to learn the apple life cycle. My students LOVE interactive books!! It keeps their attention and drives them to participate.
You can find the interactive apple books HERE
Do you use teach using thematic units? We would love to hear how you use them in your class. Leave a comment so we can all learn!