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MissO MissO is offline
 
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MissO
 
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2,039
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One of my favorite units! (kinda long, sorry)
Old 03-04-2008, 09:05 PM
 

I've found that third graders really respond to a theme of spiders when talking about facts and opinions. I usually start by having the kids tell me how they feel about spiders - invariably someone will say "they're scary," and someone else will say "they're cool", which may spark an entire classroom "discussion," depending on your class.

We talk about these opinions and how it's ok for one person to think one thing about spiders, and another to think something different. These are opinions - what people think.

(I've done this different ways - one would be to start a t-chart on chart paper - facts and opinions. Fill in the opinion side first)

For facts on the first day, we list basic facts we know about spiders - "this is true about spiders no matter how you feel about them" - they have 8 legs, some spin webs, you get the idea.

I usually have the kids make their own t-chart using the things we've written down plus some of their own from other non-fiction books about spiders.

Then (here's my favorite part) we make "pockets" by taping two squares of copy paper on half a sheet of construction paper - one pocket for facts and one for opinions. The children cut up their statements from their t-charts and file them in the correct pocket. They decorate the pockets and paper with pictures of spiders, webs, etc. This is a great reinforcement tool, as the children can switch sets with each other and file each others' facts and opinions.

I've also done an envelope fold about spiders - related words, facts, how spiders make me feel, definition, decorations.

The kids really get engaged with this one because it's a topic that's sure to draw some sort of emotion. I do it early in the school year - Halloween is perfect - and we refer to it throughout the year.

Sorry it was long - hope you got some ideas!
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