Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finding the Main Idea using Emotional Literacy Read Alouds

Our board does learning pathways. As a class, with input from the kids, we are expected to write a reading goal and establish success criteria. Since coming back from the holidays, our class has been learning how to find the main idea in the text and to use supporting evidence to prove their idea. It has been a pretty smooth learning goal, the kids are engaged and excited to learn.
Our overall theme has been accepting people for who they are...a pretty big idea for seven and eight year olds! As a baseline, I used the picture book "The Crayon Box that Talked" to see if they understood the underlying theme. Some did, many did not. 

After the baseline was completed, we talked about the story and read a poem inspired by the book. I downloaded the poems and writing paper from The Bubbly Blonde's tpt store for free (click on link to go straight there)! Thank you so much to Alisha. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should.

Our next read aloud was "Crazy Hair Day" by Barney Saltzberg. It was very difficult to find this book (even Chapters didn't have it). Plan B: I used Barney Saltzberg's website and played the clip of him reading his book! Talk about engaging. I love to find books that author's read and play them for the class. This story is about a little animal who mistakenly wears crazy hair day on picture day. It is a heartwarming, fun read that shows kids the value of making everyone feel good about themselves. After listening to the story, we talked about the main idea, recorded it on chart paper and did a craftivity. Kids used as many different lines (ie dashed, curvy, spiral, straight...) as they could think of to decorate a picture of a face without hair of its own. Click the picture to check out this fantastic resource...

We also listened to the song "Crazy Hair Day," which is fun and entertaining! Click on the picture below to go to the art activity that I used with the kids...they absolutely LOVED it. Another suggestion that I liked was using paper plates for the faces and stapling/gluing noodles, wrapping paper, ribbon etc on for the hair.

 Of course, Todd Parr is an excellent author/illustrator when learning about differences and what better book than "It's Okay to be Different." He has videos that go with his books, which I am looking for.

We started by brainstorming ideas of what this could be about (making connections to the books we have already read). I made a web on the SmartBoard so that I could check off the ideas that turned out to be accurate. After reading, the kids completed an activity where they filled in a four block GO chart with the sentence "Everyone is Different and That's OKAY." They had to use one idea from their life, one from another book and one from the world. The final box was their chance to express their feelings.
If you're not sure what this is, here is a picture. Click on it to go to the awesome blog "Fabulous in Fourth."
For my class, I filled in the centre and wrote a title in each of the supporting squares.

We will be reading this story on Monday. I love Max Lucado.

Any suggestions about how to tie this unit up?


  1. Thanks so much for the shout out. Just saw you added to my "followers" list and came over that way. Was surprised to see my name on here:) Can't wait to check out more of your blog!

  2. I've read a few of those books with my class. We adore Todd Parr. In fact, we've made a few classroom books inspired by him, one being "It's Okay to be Different." Check out this post if you're interested.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Forever in First

  3. Love this, and Love your blog! It's adorable and I am now following!!

  4. Keri, Thanks for the comment on my blog I have a teacher blog that you can download the template to that. Love your blog...I am your newest follower. Melissa

  5. Tag! You're it! You've just been invited to play the bloggy tag game. Come on over to my blog to check it out! :) Also, loving all of your creative ideas!

    Second Grade Sugar and Spice

  6. Tag you're it! Hop over to see what's it's all about!


  7. My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers. Over $150,000 in grant money and prizes will be given away in the Technology in Education Grant. Get the teachers you know involved in this great giveaway by voting for them and you'll give them a chance to win an iPad 2, 30 iPod touches for their classroom and a $25,000 technology grant for their school. Voting has just begun and end will end March 31st. Visit today or call 1-855-834-7660 for more information.

  8. sadly, i am canadian and am not eligible to enter...i wish everyone who does enter the best of luck, though!

  9. Love your crazy hair activity! When I clicked on the link, I was taken to icloud? Is there somewhere else to view this? Thanks!


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