Showing posts with label fables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fables. Show all posts
It's the last week before Christmas break.

And it'd be super easy to cash it in this week and print off some Christmas color by number and busy worksheets and call it teaching.

But fluff stuff for the sake of fluff stuff is just not how I roll!  It's a waste of my kids' time, a waste of paper, and just flat out boring to this teacher!

So, we kept plugging away on our fables unit!  One of our last fables of this unit was Town Mouse, Country Mouse.  Even though this story isn't terribly "Christmas-y," I love doing it around Christmas time because it's so easy to talk about wants and needs with this book!

We started off reading the book and retelling the story, just as we did with the other fables.

Then, we reread the story and talked about wants and needs.  We charted what wants and needs mean and then after we read the story, discussed what wants and needs the mice had in the story. (I did not add any of the wants and needs picture cards until later...)

Students worked with partners or alone depending on preference to sort the wants and needs of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.

Then, we checked them together (notice the checkmarks and stars on this kiddo's work!) and I added the correct picture cards to our chart.

The next day, we extended this activity by writing about students' own wants and needs for Christmas....

I love activities like this that are Christmas friendly and fun, but still substantial in content!
My kiddos are in love with our fables and economics unit on life lessons right now!  Since each table group is named after a fable from our unit, the kids are on the edge of their seats waiting for us to read *their table's* fable!

The first part of this week, we read The Giving Tree.  Here's a look at all of the economics and life lessons we packed into this 3 day series...

Sequencing the Story

We read The Giving Tree.  We talked about the life lesson and posted it at the table group.

And then my firsties worked in partners to sequence the story with our sequencing cards during Readers' Workshop.

The Giving Project

We reread The Giving Tree and focused on whether or not the story was a fable or not.  We used our fable anchor chart to record whether or not we saw the elements...

(You can find this anchor chart template here.)

Then, we talked about the life lesson again and made a list of the things the Giving Tree gave to the boy {apples, branches, trunk} and I reinforced that the giving made him happy.  Then, we talked about the fact that the tree gave things she already doesn't have to mean buying things.

We brainstormed a list of things we can give that we already have...without spending money...

We chose two of those ideas {because we couldn't agree on just one!!} to work on as a class giving project: cards for a nursing home and participating in our school's canned food drive.  We will be working on cards later this week, but we started collecting cans on Wednesday!

To help my firsties understand how good it feels to give to others in need, we set a class goal for collecting canned foods!

Scarcity & Opportunity Cost

We reread The Giving Tree.  We reviewed our economic terms goods, services, and resources from our Little Red Hen series.  Then, I introduced the terms scarcity and opportunity cost.  We talked about the connections. {When resources are scarce, we have to make choices...which means we have an opportunity cost.}

We charted the scarce resources the tree gave {which we listed on Day 2} and then discussed the choice the boy made with that resource and the opportunity cost he gave up because of his choice...

Finally, during Writers' Workshop, my firsties wrote about whether or not they agreed with the boy's choices and why.

I love love LOVE this story during the Christmas season.  Even though it's not a "Christmassy" story, it's the perfect addition to our Life Lessons Unit during the holidays!  I love how it really brings out the true giving spirit in my firsties...and I'm quite sure they will meet their goal of 34 cans before Christmas Break!

Grab The Giving Tree mini-unit  or get the full 200+ page Life Lessons Unit with this plus many more fables and activities!
One of my favorite units to teach is fables.  My Common Core Unit I use for this is Life Lessons.  I love teaching kids to read and learn from characters' mistakes!  Plus, let's face it: fables are just some of the best stories to read...that's why they've been around so long!

I especially love when fables or other stories make it easy to weave in some economics into first grade because that means I can "kill 2 birds with 1 stone."

Last year, I blogged about how I use The Little Red Hen during Thanksgiving season.  But I love this book...and I just didn't have time to blog about everything I do with this I'm back again this year blogging about more of the economics I tie in with this fable.  {Read last year's blog for more of the Thanksgiving stuff!}

We spent all last week reading this book...with a new purpose each day!

Day 1

We read The Little Red Hen with the purpose of deciding if it was a fable or not.  We had already discussed the elements of a fiction story and how even though this story was about animals, it was not a non-fiction animals book like we were used to from our previous animals unit.

{Grab these fiction anchor chart cards along with non-fiction anchor chart cards here.}

Then, we discussed and charted what a fable was and how it was a special genre of fiction...

After we read the story, we used our fables anchor chart to decide if it was a fable or not.

Day 2

The next day, we reread the story with the purpose of deciding what the life lesson or moral of the story was.  Then, we added our moral to our group sign....{each of my table groups are named for a fable from this unit}

These covers and moral cut outs are included in the Life Lessons Unit.

Day 3

On day 3, we reread the story and listened for goods and services the hen used to make her cake.  We charted them, and then they sorted in partners.  Then, we sorted and checked together on the anchor chart.

Day 4

Day 4 was a repeat of day 3 except with resources instead of goods/services.

Here's some partner work....

Our big idea board is already filling up with anchor charts after only a week into this unit!

Day 5

On the last day of the week, we reread the book and wrote about the characters, setting, beginning, middle and end and the life lesson of this fable.  We did this graphic organizer as a guided writing activity where they copied everything we wrote together...but by the end of the unit, they will be able to do this independently!  It's so fun to see the transformation!

Yes...this was a drawn out process for this book, but I've learned over the years that slower is better sometimes with fables.  My first year with this unit, I tried to cram in as many fables as possible and it just wasn't as effective as picking a few good ones and doing them well...this process will speed up to about 2 fables each week (or a new fable every 3 days) once we get better at the routine though!

Grab all of the materials for this fable HERE.  Or get the whole Life Lessons Unit with all 8 fables and SAVE!
As I've been blogging, we are in the middle of our final Common Core Unit on Fables.  In the past, we've taught this unit from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  This year, our district moved this unit to the end of the year.

I loved it around the holidays because we could focus our "life lessons" on giving back to others and service projects.

I love it at the end of the year because my firsties are more independent and we have time to do more with the stories...and I've even been able to focus on more "springy" fables this time of year too, since we are way past the holidays!

Somehow, no matter when I teach fables, I just fall in love with it!  Fables are classics and I love reading and discussing stories that I treasure from my childhood.

But fables are also my opportunity to share Jesus with my first graders.

As a Christian teacher in a public school, my hands are legally tied.  I cannot freely share my religious beliefs, teach my Bible units, or even start conversations about God...although I will never ever shut a kid down who wants to willingly talk about our Savior during class discussions.

And as a Christian teacher, I see public schools as my mission field.  My calling.  So, when fables just so happen to bring out spiritual truths, I jump all over it.

Common Core calls them, "life lessons."  My faith calls them, "doctrines," "spiritual truths," or even "fruits of the Spirit."

The education world calls them, "fables."  My Bible calls them, "parables."  And many of these fables mirror bible characters' experiences.

My Christian teacher lens allows me to see the spiritual truths behind the life lessons and weave those thoughts and scriptures into the hearts and minds of my sweeties.

Here is our almost finished Life Lessons anchor chart...

And here are the legal, Biblical conversations these fables have allowed me to have in my room.

The moral says, Treat others the way you want to be treated.
The Bible says, So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.  Matthew 7:12.
The Bible says, Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

The moral says, Slow and steady wins the race.
The Bible says, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 2 Timothy 4:7
The Bible says, Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training.  They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

The moral says, Hard work pays off.
The Bible says, So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.
The Bible says, Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
The Bible says, For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

The moral says, Always tell the truth.
The Bible says, Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.  Proverbs 12:19.
The Bible says, You shall not bear false witness.  Exodus 20:16.

The moral says, Be happy with what you have.
The Bible says, For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11.

We have had some powerful and very spiritual conversations the past several weeks.  As silly as it may sound to you, I know God was directing those discussions...helping me plant a seed...however tiny it might be.

So, even though May is upon us and the end of the year crazies are about to begin, I'll continue to focus on teaching fables because I may be the only spiritual voice these kiddos have in their lives.  And that is not something I take lightly.  That is a calling that will push the end of the year crazies back just a couple more weeks for this Christian teacher teaching in a public school.  Thank you, Common Core, for giving me a unit to express my religious beliefs in a legal way...And thank you to my Savior, Who has guided these discussions in a way that is most meaningful to my firsties.  Because people need Jesus.  Including my first graders.  And I want to choose to be Jesus to them every opportunity I get!

We are well into our unit on Fables now!  The week before Easter we read The Ugly Duckling and did some super fun activities {which you can read about HERE}.  We also started The Tortoise and The Hare that week with all of the best intentions to finish, but....alas, ITBS came and we didn't finish until early this week.

One thing I love about our fables unit is that it is super fun and relaxing this time of year and it's super easy to teach.  It is the same routine song and dance week after week, but with a new fable!  And, no, the kids do not get bored.  They just love it.  In fact, today I had a kid in each of my reading groups as with excitement, "Is this book going to be another fable??" as they got their new guided reader!

So, again with The Tortoise and the Hare, we read and discussed the fable elements and the life lesson.  Here's the life lesson chart that I forgot to take a pic of for my last post...Obviously, it's a work in progress and I'll update the finished chart at the end of the unit.

The next day, we reread and sequenced the plot in productive groups...

Then, wrote about the elements of the fable...

Then, we made our craft!  This was a fun one and a great way to relax after our first day of jail time ITBS testing...:)
 We wrote letters to Hare to give him advice on how to be a better friend.  Man, these kiddos loved telling him what to do!  { get a few of them to listen to their own advice! *wink*}

And I just love how creative they got with these Hare crafts.  These are muddy brown spots from running too fast in the mud... #lovemyfirsties
 ...and the folded ears!  My example did not have those, but I just loved that so many of them did their ears that way!

I let them choose their favorite craft to hang in the hallway for a festive Spring display!

Check out all of these materials in my Duckling and Tortoise/Hare Mini Unit!
We celebrated Easter in first grade last week. And I had so much planned I didn't even get to finish it all!!

We chose two Eastery {is that a word???} fables to study this week. We started with The Ugly Duckling. We read the book each day and did a different activity each day. 

The first day we talked about and charted the elements of fables. 

Then, we read The Ugly Duckling and talked about whether it was a fable or not. And we talked about what the life lesson was in this fable. {Treat others the way you want to be treated.} We also charted the life lesson on our life lesson unit chart that we will update throughout the unit. And admist all of the moving crazies I didn't remember to take a picture of the chart we started. I'll update next week!

The next day, we watched a short video of our fable and sequenced the plot of the story in groups. 

Then, during our writing time, we wrote about the plot of our story using our fable graphic organizer. I love this organizer. It's great for whole group guided writing and it's great for guided reading groups to do as a small group or even as homework. 

On day 3, we reread the story and made connections to the story about times when we were mistreated by others or a time when someone else was mistreated and we were a good friend to them. 

And, man! This quickly turned to counseling session 101 with my sweet firsties. I heard all of the sad stories and they loved sharing. In a quick 5 minute share time I heard about being ignored at recess, sisters lying to little brothers and a secret diary being stolen on the bus and almost being read! Deep stuff here, folks! It was really a great conversation...and more importantly, really help them internalize the story. 

After our counseling session was over, we wrote about our connections with the help of our narrative graphic organizer {which I'll blog about later}. Then, we made our super adorable, Easter themed duckling crafts!

I loved this fable and can't wait to do The Tortoise and the Hare next week. I wish I could've squeezed them both in before Easter, but it just wasn't meant to be. I love this mini-fable packet for Easter cuteness that's still substantial learning and Common Core based. Cutesy activities with no real learning goals? Ain't nobody got time for that!!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Welcome, Spring and all of the fun and colorful learning that comes with it!

We pretty much did turkeys all day today in Room 210.

Well...turkeys and hens, I guess.

We started off our morning rereading The Little Red Hen.
{We had already read it twice last week and done a few of the economics activities included in my Red Hen Packet.  Read another blog post on all of the economics lessons I used in my classroom!}

During this reading, we focused on the goods the hen used and the services she provided.  We used the interactive PowerPoints from this packet to sort goods and services.  Then, my firsties worked in their table groups to sort the goods and services from the story.

Then, we were ready use our own goods and provide our own services to make our own pumpkin pies!  Oh, heavens, the sheer excitement that brought on!

We used our pumpkin pie recipe slide from the Little Red Hen packet and highlighted the labeled the goods and services on our flip chart.  We also highlighted the capital and natural resources {which we learned about last week} on our ingredients.

Then, to quote the Little Red Hen, I asked, "Who will help me with the sugar?" We had already talked about the life lesson of this fable {Hard work pays off.} And we had already established that only the eager helpers get to share in the rewards.  So, imagine my surprise when I had 23 eager helpers for baking our pie! :)

This year I decided to make mini-pumpkin pies so each kiddo could have a whole pie.  The recipe is the same, but you half the cooking time at 350 degrees. {20-25 minutes at 350, not 40-50}.  AND, instead of having to make a double recipe, I was able to make 24 pies with some left over filling from just one recipe.  I did have to buy 4 pie crusts though.

Each firstie got to cut out their own pie crust.
 And press it into the muffin pan.
 ...some of my sweeties were so careful to make their pie crust "pretty!"  Loved the ownership of their little pies.  They were so proud!
And what do you do with left over pie crust?? Eat it, of course!!  {no worries, it's eggless!}  One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving baking with my mom was eagerly waiting for the left over pie dough.  So, I shared that memory with my firsties this year.  Not so many of them seemed too appreciate it, but it was fun watching their faces!  And I had plenty of left overs for me! :)

Then, we measured and stirred the ingredients. And I should add that I called back table groups at a time for help with each step.  The others were working on our other Thanksgiving project at their desks!

Then, each group got to come back while I poured in their pie filling.  Here they are ready for the oven!
 And AFTER...yum!
I numbered the tins 1-24 with a sharpie so that each kid could have the actual pie they made.  They used their class number so it would be easy to remember.
 I mean....

How darling are these individual pies??  No need for a fork, and we were able to cut them in "half" and talk about how one whole is the same as two halves {reinforcing our fraction ideas we had worked on last week.}

They were so proud...many of them didn't want to finish them at school so they could take it home to share with family!  Presh!!

Our other major project today was thankful turkeys!

We read the book...
We brainstormed things they were thankful for and why. {I am thankful for ____ because ____.}

They wrote 4 things they were thankful for and why, with each thing on a different feather...

...and as a grown up, I'm thankful my daddy mowed our grass too!! :)
And this... "Jesus. Because he gives us what we need."  Amen, brother.  A-Men.

Then, they made these adorable turkey hats to display their thankful feathers.  This is what they worked on while I called back helpers for our pumpkin pies.

And, finally, at the end of the day, these turkeys got to enjoy their pumpkin pie!  Gobble gobble!!

You can find the thankful turkeys activity, plus the Little Red Hen activity pack and other fables, Thanksgiving activities and Christmas activities, in my 3rd Common Core Unit, Fables, Economics, and Their Life Lessons.

I absolutely love days like today {even though I'd welcome a full week off for Thanksgiving!} because we are able to do special projects that allow me to relax a bit more and just enjoy the kids and their sweet little personalities.  Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of a "normal week" of intervention, paperwork, assessments, small group instruction, conferencing, and more intervention, I lose sight of each of the 25 sweet and unique personalities in my classroom.  Today was a special reminder of just how wonderful they each are!
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