Saturday, 24 December 2016

Biography Research Report

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share with you what I have planned for the new year in our homeschool. The first unit we will be getting into is a biography study right after the Christmas break. The boys have narrowed their choices down to four people Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall, Waterhouse Hawkins, Wilson 'Snowflake' Bentley. We will be studying those 4 people in depth and along with that we will read many biographies of other important people.

How We Will Do This

The boys will do a research report on their chosen individual two for each child. I have gathered resources to aid them in their research.


Image result for who is jane goodall
Image result for waterhouse hawkins


I wanted them to also use other sources to gather information so I gathered some QR codes for them to use so that the research was as independent as possible.

 They will use a QR code reader and it will take them to safe 
websites and videos to support their research. 

Research Folders:

They boys will each get a folder that contains their research notebook any articles I've gathered and the qr codes. 

The folders will help keep everything together so that papers don't go missing and I don't have 
a mess every where. 

Inside their research notebook I put Q cards so that they could take notes. 
I separated the notebook into sections to keep their notes organized.

For each biography I will throw in some art for the boys to work on to keep everything fun.

Research Notebook (I only used the cover from this file and her idea for the pockets)
QR codes for Jane Goodall (this file only has the Jane Goodall QR codes)
Click on the image to download (this file contains Snowflake Bentley, Jacques Cousteau) 
Please preview before giving it to your child. I tried my best to find good clean websites and videos but 
you can never be a 100% :)

Friday, 23 December 2016

The One and Only Ivan Book Activities

Hi guys! My 3rd grader has recently finished reading The One and Only Ivan and I wanted to share some of the activities we did to go along with the book.

Character Traits:

I had him draw the main character (Ivan) and brainstorm some character traits

Once he had the character traits written around the picture. I had him pick 3 and give me evidence from the text to support his answer. You can read this post here on how I taught character traits.

Artist Study:

In one of the chapters (pg. 38) Mack refers to Ivan as Picasso. So we did a little research on him and created an art piece. I also had him compare Ivan's art to Picasso. 

Here he is reading a little about Picasso. 

Theme/ Figurative Language :

We discussed some of the themes in this book (friendship, loyalty, acceptance, etc). I had him use evidence from the book to prove each themes he came up with. 
We also worked on figurative language (Similes, Alliteration, Metaphor)

Simile (a comparison between two unlike things using like or as): On pg. 3 Ivan says "Gorillas are as patient as stones."
Alliteration (repetition of the beginning consonant): On pg. 6 "I live in a human habitat..."

Persuasive Writing:

What is the best home for Ivan? 
He organized his opinion writing using this graphic organizer.

To make his writing more persuasive he did a little research using this book and the internet. 

Editing his work. He uses the thesaurus to add vivid verbs and adjectives to his writing.

Typing up his final paper.


Ivan lived in 4 different places through out the book. Jungle, Mack's house, Big Mall, and finally the Zoo. I had him find information from the book and write about each setting. 

Story Map:

He worked on the plot structure using a large paper and a note pad. We went through the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. The note pad was very helpful if he added a detail that was not a main one he could just remove it without having to rewrite. Also, if he missed something it was easy to add. He used his story map to help write a summary. 

Other Books We Used:

We both really enjoyed this book and can't wait to dive into our next book. If your interested in any of the worksheets I used you can download them below.

Linked Up With:
Weekly Wrap Up

Monday, 19 December 2016

Teaching Character Traits

Hi guys! One of my goals for language arts this year is, to teach mini lessons that focuses on a specific skill using picture/living books. I find this type of lesson stays in their minds way more than a simple worksheet. They will remember a lesson that surrounded a favorite story way more than if I was to give them a worksheet. So, I wanted to share this quick lesson we did on character traits using The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.

We started of by talking about what is a character trait and how can we spot it in a story. We talked about how character traits can be inferred by analyzing the feelings, thoughts, actions, and dialogue that the character has. We also talked about the importance of proving it using evidence from the text.

We used a anchor chart and worked on it together. 

I also gave them a list of common traits. You can find that list here

We wrote our character traits in blue and text evidence in red so that we can distinguish the difference. Some of the traits we came up with for Princess Elizabeth;
  • brave - she was not scared of the dragon and followed the trail to track him down
  • determined- she was determined to rescue the prince
  • confident- even though she wore a paper bag it did not bother her
  • clever- she was able to out smart the dragon.

Once the boys understood the lesson they went off and applied it to their own chapter books.

The One and Only Ivan -3rd grader

 Ivan is kind, compassionate, gentle, funny, childish, friendly. I asked him to choose 3 traits and give me text evidence. 

Stone Fox-1st grader

Willy is determined, smart, polite, brave, respectful, responsible. He also chose 3 traits to 
provide evidence for.

Doing the mini lesson using a picture book made the concept easier to grasp and it was very entertaining. How do you teach new skills to your student/child?

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Cricket In Time Square Book Report

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share with you my 3rd graders book report for the book The Cricket in Time Square. He really enjoyed reading this book and worked on a fun Amazon listing novel project. We started off by going through listings on Amazon for books we've read together in the past. This gave us a a format and helped us gather ideas.

I used two white construction papers to make the book report. You can grab the free printable from here which shows you how to divide up the sections and what to include.

He worked on about 2-3 sections each day. The first section asked him to design a book 
cover and draw to scenes from the book. He chose to make his book cover on the computer with my help. 
The next section was writing 2 sentences to hook a reader.  

The next two sections were about a book summary and writing some product
details. Age range, grade level, pages, publisher, etc. 

He also had to include five book recommendations, quotes from the book, and a review plus rate the books. He gave it 4 stars

We both really loved working on this book report. It gave me a chance to check what he got from the book and he enjoyed writing out his book recommendations and pretending to be a marketing expert.

Art History: Henri Mattise

Hi guys! This Thursdays art history lesson was all about Henri Matisse. We watched a video all about his life, read a few books, and recreated one of his famous creations.

What We Learned:
  1. He was born in France in 1869
  2. He studied to become a lawyer but fell ill shortly after that
  3. His mother purchased him some paint and he was hooked ever since
  4. He became to ill to stand up and paint on the easel
  5. He began creating scenes out of shapes
  6. He called his work "scissor painting"

 We read from The Usborne Art Treasure

 We listened to a reading of Henri's Scissors on YouTube.

We also enjoyed this animation video on Henri Matisse's life

Art Work

The boys worked on a collage pieces using instructions from the Usborne Art Treasure book. 

The boys cut up all their shapes. We talked about the best way to layer the shapes (large pieces first, medium size pieces next, and the small pieces last)

That's it for our artist study! The boys have already chosen the next artist they want to study about, Damien Hirst. They were fascinated with the his spin painting technique.

Linked Up With:
Preschool and Kindergarten Community

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