Early Exploration Continued

This will be a hodge-podge post as I find time to write here and there.

I just finished and uploaded (it is currently Thursday) a QR code review that I'm doing with my kids tomorrow. We are about a third of the way through our explorers unit, and I usually do some review and/or a test at this point. After the success of my Native American one, I knew that I had to do this again. This time, I uploaded this particular activity as a freebie. Click below to grab it.
Aaaaaand Monday is here and I still haven't finished this post. Guh.

Anyway, early last week, we studied Prince Henry, Dias (did you know that no two resources seem to spell his name the same way?!), and da Gama. My students always confuse the latter two, so I tried to think of some way to keep them distinct this year. In the past, I've had them color a map and trace the two routes on the map in different colors. Under the flip book, we collectively wrote summaries for each of them.

This year I remembered that the students should be working harder than the teacher, or maybe I was just feeling a little lazy. So the first thing that I did was create this:

We started with filling it out with Ericson and Polo so they could get the hang of it. Then we applied it to Prince Henry, Dias, and da Gama. Prince Henry was a little tricky since he didn't actually sail on an expedition of his own.

THEN, I gave them a half-sheet of paper with key words and several lines. I asked them to write a summary of Dias using the key words somewhere in it. Then they paired with another student and decided which one to use. Then two pairs got together and chose one between them. Then two sets of quads together settled on one. I quickly typed up the three remaining summaries and those became the three choices that they could copy into their flip book. All students handed in their summaries to make them accountable, yet we ended up with three great choices that I didn't have to write myself.

We did the same with da Gama, and our flip book was finally done!


Thanksgiving Ideas

Last year, I assigned a turkey in disguise activity. I got the idea from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6. Students had to disguise a turkey so that it wouldn't be Thanksgiving dinner. Then we wrote persuasive paragraphs stating three reasons that they weren't turkeys. I didn't think to keep copies of the paragraphs, but I still have the pictures of the not-a-turkeys :)

One of the new things that I'm doing this year will be my Thanksgiving Common "Core"ses ELA centers. There are five centers for activities including point of view, Latin and Greek roots, author's purpose, verb tense, and figurative language. Click on the picture to check them out!

I'm also thinking of trying this cute little class craft with my students. It goes with the book The Night Before Thanksgiving. Each student creates a feather to help disguise the turkey. The pin doesn't go to the source of this picture, so I'm not sure why the original pinner didn't link it to her blog. If you know the original source of this picture, please let me know so I can update the pin.

Here is a cute little turkey that a student gave my neighbor teacher. It is two rolled up pieces of construction paper with a few handprints attached to the back. I don't have specific instructions, but I'm sure that you crafty teachers can figure it out :)