Thematic Units, Common Core, and Text-based Questions

This year, I've been blessed to be working in a school with a positive atmosphere.  I LOVE, LOVE my 4th graders, the parents, and my work family (can you feel the <3?)

The biggest hurdle (other than the regular "getting used to the newness") is that our school chose to forego the use of a basal (BLAH to the basal!) and use authentic literature instead (YAY!).  Although it's been time consuming to find literature to teach certain skills and find ways to do the formal assessments, I'm going to post my progress here so I can refer back to it year after year (and share it too)...

I purchased a few resources to help me along the way.  First, I bought Nicole Shelby's Reading Interactive Notebook.  Second, I bought a Curriculum Map for Thematic Units on the Common Core website.  Oh!  I forgot to mention, my school also wants us to use thematic units as we teach, too (more "newness" lol).  Here is a run-down of what I've used and taught, etc...

Theme 1: How do stories reveal what we have in common?

RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

TB? - What is the theme/lesson/central theme of the story?  How do you know?

TBR - The theme/lesson/central theme of (story title) is _____ because in the story, (character) (action he/she/it says or does).

Stories I used to teach this skill - Big Al, Kat Girl, The Ants and the Grasshopper, Horton Hatches the Egg, My Brother Martin.

Assessment: Multiple choice and open response test I created using short text I found online.

RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

TB? - What word best describes (character)?  Which specific details from the story support your answer?

TBR - In the story (story title), (character) is _____ because (action he/she/it says or does).

TB? - Explain how the paper boy's actions help the reader understand him.

TBR - In the story, the paper boy does several things to show he is (character trait).  First, he (action he/she/it says or does).  He also, (action he/she/it says or does).

Stories I used to teach this skill:  Horton Hatches the Egg, The Paper Boy, Babushka's Doll, Wemberly Worried.

Assessment: Students wrote a paragraph describing one of the characters from the book they are currently reading during Daily 5 (read to self).

More to come (last updated 10/14/13)


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