Students discover what it means to be part of a classroom community, and learn how they can make the classroom a fun place to be by exploring a variety of texts and activities.
This unit serves as the foundational unit for establishing both classroom culture and the routines of the literature block. In this unit, students discover what it means to be part of a classroom community and how they can make the classroom community a fun place to be. Over the course of the unit, students explore hopes and dreams, how to be polite and treat others with respect, and why it’s important to be proud of themselves and who they are. The unit gives students a chance to project their own feelings onto characters in order to make sense of how they are feeling. Through a variety of extension activities, students will be pushed to think about how they can use what they learned from the characters in their own lives and in the classroom community. The final products of many of the lessons and activities should be displayed and reinforced daily as student-friendly reminders of what it means to be part of a joyful community.
In reading, the main focus of the unit is on setting up the routines of a successful literature block. Students will learn what it means to actively participate in a Read Aloud, how to listen to other students in the class, how to interact with and practice vocabulary, and how to write in response to the text. Students will also learn and practice strong habits of discussion, particularly the structures for Turn and Talks: tracking, voice, and focused bodies. Additionally, students will begin to learn about the importance of asking questions in response to a text and how questioning and being inquisitive is an important part of learning and exploring the world around them.
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Book: Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 2010) — AD480L
Book: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about Courage by Howard Binkow (Thunderbolt Publishing, 2012) — AD640L
Book: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow (Lerner Publishing Group, 2006) — AD460L
Book: Words Are Not for Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick (Free Spirit Publishing, 2004) — AD450L
Book: The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf (Random House Books for Young Readers, 1997) — 460L
Book: Today I Feel Silly And Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis (HarperCollins, 1998) — AD490L
Book: Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin (Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2007) — AD490L
Book: I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004)
See Text Selection Rationale
This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
courage confident confused discouraged fear frustrated grumpy helpful hurtful joyful listen lie lonely unique worry
Explain what caused Wemberly’s worries about school to go away by asking and answering key questions about key details in the text.
Make text-to-self connections between Wemberly’s experience of overcoming a worry and own experiences of overcoming a worry.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about Courage
Explain what Howard B. Wigglebottom learns about courage.
Make connections between Howard B. Wigglebottom and the ways we can show courage at school.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen
Explain what Howard learns about listening and what we can learn from Howard’s story that will help us have a joyful and safe classroom.
Words Are Not for Hurting
Identify the difference between helpful words and hurtful words by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.
Generate a list of helpful words to use in the classroom.
I Like Myself!
Explain why the narrator says, “There’s no one else I’d rather be” by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.
Make connections to what they like about themselves and how that connects to a joyful and safe classroom community.
The Crayon Box That Talked
Identify what the characters in a story learn by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.
Today I Feel Silly
Identify different ways that people can feel by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.
Generate a list of feeling words and pictures to use in the classroom.
Explain what the author wanted us to learn by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.
Explain what it means to be part of a classroom community and how they can make the classroom community a fun place to be.