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Hooked on Writing April: Poetry!

I'm all about the integration of subjects where possible and this month's Hooked on Writing is no different.  This month, the focus is on Poetry but I have also integrated Earth and Environmental themes through the month with the selection of some wonderful books.

If you have never read the Adventures of a Plastic Bottle, I highly recommend it for your Earth Day studies.  It is fantastic!  It reinforces the personal "diary" type writing like Diary of a Worm and it teaches students how a bottle is made, recycled and made again.  Our Big Home is a beautiful poem about the earth celebrating all the things that make earth a wonderful place to live.  Human Footprint is an eye opener!  It is a great book to show students (and us!) how much garbage etc only ONE person makes and some suggestions on how ONE PERSON can reduce their human foot print. It's a great feeling to know that one person can make a difference.  Compost Stew is a very simple A B C book on items that go into a compost bin. It is simple, yet effective for teaching about composting and the resulting soil that can be used for growing things. I have left (affiliate) links at the bottom for your convenience.

In this April unit of Hooked on Writing, students will learn about poetry and will practice Free Verse, Haiku as well as skills like using alliteration. This unit combines skills learned throughout the year and gives students a place to apply them here. For example, students will write informational pieces, create drama about the environment, write adventure stories, and they will summarize their story by writing a poem as a summary! This unit is jam packed!

Hooked on Writing April is perfect for writing, Earth Day studies, Poetry and plants.


Help Your Students to Be Communication Superstars!

Often when we think of oral language development, we think about babies and very young learners like those in preschool.  While a good majority of language development DOES occur at this age, there is so much more for students to learn as they learn to be effective communicators.

Good communication skills are a prerequisite to most jobs and that won't change as life changes.  People admire effective communicators.  Our students can be just that but we need to teach them how. If you Google "children communicating" you will see images of children whispering in each other's ears.  You will see kids using the old can with a string thing that creates a "telephone".  How did this get to represent communicating?

 This blog post will talk about the benefits of teaching students effective communication skills and 5 simple ways to start to do that in your classroom tomorrow.

Hooked on Writing: March (Opinion Writing)

 This month's Hooked on Writing will use the skills students learned in the last couple of months about learning about voice to use that voice to share an opinion.

These mentor texts have strong themes. If you haven't read Hey, Little Ant, you will be in for a big surprise. To step on an ant or not?  This is a great book to showcase forming an opinion.  Once they have experienced the Ant story, students will then debate what the perfect pet is.  Do students agree with each other?  Henry and Leo is a story about a stuffed toy that is like a friend to Henry but no one understands.  Then it goes missing. What really happened? Although it comes back, students are left to wonder, imagine and come to their own conclusions. Perfect for the opinion writing experience. The last story is about a gardener that creates topiary masterpieces that influences not only a child but a whole community to appreciate nature. This is the perfect segway to next month's Earth day studies.

In the March Hooked on Writing, students will be involved in group, partner and individual writing lessons.  Students will participate in a debate, run for Best Class pet and many other engaging lessons that will have your kids Hooked on Writing in no time.  While each unit can be used as a stand alone unit for what ever concept you are teaching, it also works nicely as a complete unit that scaffolds on each other to make a cohesive, highly engaging unit.  Take a look at the feedback so far as you browse the other units.

(All units are at a special introductory price as they are release this year so it doesn't matter if you buy them individually or as a bundled set at the end of the year when it is bundled.  After the units are bundled, the single units will return to their regular price.)

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