Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Homeless Christmas Tree

I wanted to share a lesson with you all that I have done with my class for the past several years. We use the book The Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie M. Gordon. It is actually based on a tree here in Fort Worth, which is pretty cool and makes a great 'text to world' connection for my students.

Here is the lesson plan...

book - The Homeless Christmas Tree
Power point with verbs from book.
little pebbles and big rocks
construction paper
colored paper

This is a two day activity.

1. Remind students what a vivid verb is.... A verb is an action word and a vivid verb is where you can actually 'see' the action in your head. The students will whisper to shoulder buddy first!

2. Use power point projector to act out vivid verbs from the book. Ask students if they 'see' them in their head. Celebrate students who demonstrate for class.

3. Talk about the weight that a vivid verb holds in your paper. If have even just one it makes your paper so much better. Put scale out and show students that blah verbs like jump, run, sit, talk, etc. These are like pebbles. They don't weigh a whole lot at all. Vivid verbs represent the large rocks. Even if you only have one vivid verb, it has a whole lot more 'weight' than the blah verbs. Show on scale with one vivid verb. Give each student a rock and tell them to put a vivid verb on it. Have them put it in a jar and display the jar for the rest of the year so it is a visual representation of what a vivid verb is....

4. Read The Homeless Christmas Tree explaining that this is about a tree in Fort Worth. The author and illustrator all are from FW. Point out the vivid verbs in the story and ask how they paint a picture in your mind. The students must give you a thumbs up every time they hear a vivid verb in the story

5. Students will write a paragraph answering the questions- Pretend you had the chance to decorate the homeless Christmas tree for any holiday you want (it doesn't have to be a calendar holiday, you can even make it up!), what would it be and why?- from the overhead. Tell students that they need to focus on vivid verbs and having really excellent verbs in their papers that describe the tree.

6. After they revise and edit their rough copy, they will write a final draft onto paper.

7. Students will draw and decorate their own tree on half of a piece of paper. Glue onto large construction paper. Share if time.

Here are some pictures from our trees...


Have a wonderful day!!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just thought I would share my class website with you all in case you would like to get any ideas for your own website! It is www.tinyurl.com/missradka

Enjoy and let me know what you think!