During our writer's workshop, we have again been working on informational (research-based) writing. During Spanish, we have been learning the names of the continents and their locations so it seemed only fitting to dig in a bit more to find out some special facts about each one. To do this, each child wrote down their top 3 choices of continents they'd like to learn more about. I then went through their requests and paired students up that had similar requests paying close attention to partnering my lower readers with a classmate that would be able to help them out.
Students then read a book about their continent and took notes on post-its as they went (My class LOVES post-its!). I asked them to find at least 4 interesting facts about their continent. We used the Rookie Reader: Read About Geography series. The readability of these is great for end of the year 1st graders.
Students then worked with their partner(s) to write a paragraph which included a topic sentence, details (their facts) and a wrap up sentence about their continent using their information.
We are now working to rewrite our pieces on paper shaped like the continent we researched. When we are done, we plan to hang them up in the hallway in the correct locations to create a gigantic map of the world.
Update: Here are a few of the finished continents. I really love how they turned out and the kids did a fantastic job working together as a team.
I have a student who is legally blind and is learning to read and write braille this year. This was a great project for him as well as his partners read the book out loud. He worked to take notes of his own using his brailler as you can see to the right.
When his group wrote their paragraph, he wrote his sentence in braille and we glued it below the words from his sentence so everyone can experience it in braille as well. This little guy has done a tremendous job this year and it is inspiring to see him participate in all that we do with a few modifications.
Here is our completed project out in the hallway for all the read and enjoy!