Monday, November 2, 2015

Fossils Tell of Long Ago- Monday's Must Read Mentor Text

Happy Monday and Happy November! Time is flying by!

Today's Must Read Mentor Text is all about fossils! When I taught fossils in third grade, this was always one of my favorite books to use! It's called Fossils Tell of Long Ago by Aliki.
This book is a great way to introduce your students to fossils! I always read it at the beginning of my fossils unit.

I started by creating a KWL chart together to see what they already knew. I like to make mine on chart paper and then give students sticky notes. They write down what they already know and and what they want to know on different colored sticky notes. Then they can come up and share their thinking with the class as they place their sticky notes on the chart. I found that this really helps encourage participation because they love writing on sticky notes and then coming up and sharing. A lot of times I let them work with a partner too so they can discuss their thinking together.

After we created our chart of what we knew and wanted to know, I gave the students another colored sticky notes to write down what they learned as we read the book. I love to have students think about their learning! Having them write down facts they learn helps to hold them accountable as I read aloud. They are actively engaged! I usually read a few pages and encourage them to write down some things they are learning- I tell them they don't have to write down everything, but to pick things that really stand out to them. I stop every few pages to call on a few students to share what they have learned and add it to our chart. I also stop and have the students turn and talk to each other about what they have written- this way everybody has to share and is participating. When I stop along the way I can also address misconceptions that the students may have had- things they thought they "knew" that changed when they heard me read the book.

As I read the book aloud, I also pointed out key vocabulary that I knew we would be working on during our study of fossils. This was a good way to preview the words. The illustrations are also so informative, and they really help the kids understand how fossils form! If you have a document camera, you can project some of the illustrations up and have the students "read" the pictures- they can add new learning from the illustrations to their sticky notes.
When I finished the read aloud, we added our sticky notes to the learned section of our chart and discussed misconceptions, more questions that we had, etc. Because all of the sticky notes couldn't fit on our class chart, I had the kids stick some in their science notebooks- that way they could still refer back to their new learning. 

I LOVE studying fossils because they are so much fun! We made imprint fossils out of play dough and clay, and the students loved that! There are so many cool experiments and activities out there!

We have a couple of fossils products available in our TpT store if you want to check them out! The nonfiction articles and flip books are great for interactive notebooks, and the accompanying comprehension sheets are a great way to assess student learning. There's also an All About Fossils Printables Pack that is great for review!

Thanks so much for checking out this week's Must Read Mentor Text! Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say that I'm so excited you're bringing back the Must Read Mentor Text? I love seeing all of the different books and how to use them in the class!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late


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