The American Revolution - The Plan

American Revolution Linky

I put a question out on Facebook yesterday about what you do to teach the American Revolution. It seems that I have pinned so many ideas that there is no way that I can teach it all. So with nine weeks left, here is what I plan to do this year.

These two products are great for the events leading up to the war. I've used the book by Michael Gravois for the last several years, and I'm excited to add in some more interactive notebook elements with {Jivey's product}.


Then I'm going to use {Amelia's FREE tax simulation}. I've never done anything like this before, but I know other teachers who have done similar activities with a lot of success. Amelia's looked really easy to implement, and it was FREE!

As for the war itself, I will be using these biographies and lapbook elements.


Of course, there will be fair amounts of Liberty's Kids sprinkled in!

Then our culminating activity will be from {Sabra's blog}. It is the ABCs of the American Revolution. Students brainstorm something for each letter then draw or write about it.

Spring Break Freebie

As I was not acknowledging the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow, I remembered that I had this spring break freebie sitting in my store.
I give kids ten minutes to write or draw in each square, then go around the room and have everyone share one thing. It gets spring break out of their system and allows us to go on with school as normal. Click {here} to get it!

Tried It Tuesday - Close Reading

A few weeks ago, the fifth grade teachers received some training on close reading. Like many of you, I thought that people were always saying "cloze" reading, which I already did.

Turns out, it's quite different. Close reading comes from the Common Core, which states in the Corresponding College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard - "Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text."

HMH Journeys does use the close reading strategy, but it's not quite the same unless you can interact with the text. I made copies of the story to distribute to the students, two pages of the story on one side of the paper.

We listened to the story with a recording for the first read. Students made marks on the story when they had some sort of reaction to it. These are some of the symbols that we used:

Then I had the students share their thoughts at their tables. I overheard some really great conversations about why they chose to mark things a certain way.

Then I asked the questions that Journeys provided throughout the story. We worked on them one-by-one and highlighted the text that we used as evidence.

We took another color of highlighter, and marked words that were used for sequencing, since that was a skill that Journeys wanted us to focus on in the story and would be tested.

Finally, we worked on main ideas and supporting details. When we were finished, our stories looked a little like this:

Overall, I really liked how the students were much more involved in the text when I gave them a copy to annotate and highlight. They seemed to have a much deeper understanding because they were more engaged in the multiple readings, rather than moaning and groaning that they had to read it AGAIN.

I decided to take a stab at creating some monthly-themed close reading passages and activities. I decided to also include some elements so that they could be used in interactive notebooks. Since I know that many of you probably know more about close reading than I do, I would be interested in your opinion. I have the first text and activities ready, but the rest is still a work in progress. If you are interested in checking it out, I will have it available {here} until I finish and get it uploaded to TpT. Like I said, it's a work in progress, so let me know your thoughts!