Using Nonfiction Text Features

I haven't met a group of students who doesn't love to read animal books. National Geographic books are some of our favorites in the classroom library. And Fly Guy has a great selection, but the absolute best are from the Who Would Win? series. 

I believe that my students in particular love them so much because it gives them a chance to "see" even if they have never been to a zoo or aquarium. I've been trying as much as possible to link our reading to science and social studies units. This particular nonfiction reading was for us to work on text features. 

This little booklet is perfect to use with a variety of shark nonfiction reading, which you probably already have in your classroom. Use articles from World Book Online for Kids or your favorite Nat Geo book.

How do you teach text features? I would love to know!


A Teacher's Guide to Teaching Life Cycles: Frogs, Butterflies, and Chickens Oh My!

Explore ideas for teaching your students about life cycles of chickens, butterflies, frogs, and more.One memory that stands out in my mind during my oldest's early elementary years is the experience of hatching chicks. His teacher said it was, "a dud year" and that she'd never do it again because so many didn't make it, but even so, it was truly a neat experience for him. Even 13 years later, he still remembers the chicks chirping, jumping around, and holding them, and the pictures? Sigh...just precious!

Easy Activities to Get Started with Primary Sources - Plus a Freebie!

Primary sources are an amazing way to bring history into your classroom and create opportunities for critical thinking and rich discussion among your students. At the same time, it can be daunting to use primary sources with elementary students if you haven't tried it before. Here are a few easy activities you can try to bring primary sources into your classroom today.
Start using primary sources in your classroom today with these easy yet effective activities!

Why Writing Must Be Part of Your Daily Routine

Writing has a strong connection to reading growth and achievement. Find out why in this post by Comprehension Connection on Virginia is for Teachers.

If your day is busy, and you're pinched for time, what do you eliminate from the schedule? Do you snip a few minutes from each lesson? Maybe you divide a lesson across two days? Perhaps you remove a lesson from the list? Whatever you do, do not short change writing, and here's why...

Let them TALK! Placing Great Value in Student Conversation

Students are going to talk...so use it to your advantage. If you let them talk constructively, everyone benefits.
I’m a talker!  Always have been, always will be.  My mother used to start parent conferences with, “I know Cathy talks too much, what else can you tell me?”  My very favorite high school English teacher used me in a vocabulary example, “Cathy is loquacious.” Yep, it means talkative. 

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