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Friday, July 10, 2015

Favorite Lesson?

Hmmmm..... My favorite kind of lesson is themed. I know that is a dirty word to some and perhaps I am not using it correctly either. But I like it when I can take one idea, one book, one starting point and carry it throughout my entire day/lesson/unit. Like studying about apples. Let's do Apple Fractions and let's taste test, and let's record our favorites, and write about an apple, and make up math word problems and let's explore the science.... what happens to the apple when I cut it up and put it in the crockpot with some sugar and cinnamon. Now does it look the same, sound, smell, taste the same? Yum. I love science, it makes me hungry. Probably my favorite ever lesson was in college when I used the book Mucumber Magee and the Lunch Lady's Liver for my starting point for a 2nd/3rd grade combined classroom. Then we used the story for a writing prompt and they made up their own story. We tasted liver in various forms: liver wurst, fried liver, and baked liver and we recorded our observations, we identified our favorites, we graphed the results. I also made a vocabulary game associated with the book. It was awesome. I was so excited about being a teacher and about how much fun we could have! There are a few other standout lessons. One of them is the Wild Yak lesson with my Second grade reading group. We started off reading Yaks of the Mountains. Some of the examples and comparisons made perfect sense to these second graders, like that one female yak = 3000 lbs. = a small car. But the height and length, well, who could "get" 8 feet tall and 11 feet long? I was getting a little blue in the face when the idea hit me to make a life sized Yak from bulletin board paper! And a project was born! Here are a couple links to original posts, one and two.  These are both in my Five for Friday posts under the number four spot!

My best/favorites from last year are too many to mention. We did a peanut butter project that I think went well. Researching peanut butter, and making it and tasting it and graphing results. If you want to read a favorite or two, read my Five for Friday from last September. There are two favorites in this one... the marshmallow project: read the book Marshmallow Toes, built the marshmallow towers, reflected on what we could change and improve, did it again... and of course, ate marshmallows. I think the marshmallow math project ended up being one of my favorites because it felt like authentic pbl to me. After we reflected on what to change, we made the changes to see if it improved things.

You can read about everyone's best/favorite lessons here. You can even join the party.


  1. Thematic teaching is so great for kids- gets them to integrate all kinds of new learning!! Was just in a PD yesterday writing Biliteracy Unit Frameworks, and we started with the Big Ideas to anchor everything to!

  2. Fantastic! Thematic teaching is good teaching. Looking forward to more of it...