Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Out of my Comfort Zone- Teaching Dramatic Lit.

For those who do not know me, I am a 100%, complete, total book nerd. I'm the type who gets excited about new book releases like others get excited about a midnight movie showing. The last Harry Potter book? It was delivered straight to my house the morning it was released. Every single night, I read before shutting off my lamp and pulling the sheets up. On that note, if anyone has any book recommendations, please add a comment below!

However, I have a confession. I am boxed into the world of fiction. My reading "toolbox" doesn't extend much past a few nonfiction books (speaking of, have y'all read Unbroken? FANTASTIC read.). Therefore, when it comes to teaching my students something OTHER than fiction, it is a step outside my very comfortable reading zone.

When designing plans for teaching  dramatic literature, I took a look at the resources I have. There were quite a few reading passages with multiple choice questions, but I wanted to dive deeper. To create the type of engaging learning that I wanted my kiddos to have, it seemed I would have to create it myself. So I did. :)

This unit includes the A to Z on dramatic literature. Everything is included, minus dramatic literature pieces to use and read together (there are many available online or through your basal reader).

To begin the unit, we all took turns reading a dramatic literature piece from our basal reader. It was so fun seeing their personalities come out! Everyone had a part, and I enjoyed the community culture it created.

The following day, we started with fill in the blank note taking, following along with the vocabulary term slides. I would discuss parts of the dramatic literature we read the previous day so kiddos would see the connection. Students glued notes into their interactive journals.

After that, I wanted my students to have experience identifying the terms they learned. They worked with partners to identify the terms in a different piece of dramatic literature. (Only the front is shown here.)

We reviewed the terms using the sheet from the day before. Students collaborated with their tables to do so. It was great hearing the discussions! Next, students were provided a choice among 3 writing prompts to demonstrate their learning. Again, I was so impressed with how they articulated what they were learning about. 

My students completed a formative assessment so I could evaluate their knowledge of dramatic literature. They blew it out of the water! The assessment could also be paired with a dramatic literature passage and serve as a summative assessment. 

It was an adventure to be sure! I realized, through teaching this unit, that now dramatic literature is one of my favorite reading skills to teach. The kiddos love being exposed to a fresh subject and the collaborative nature of this type of literature. I supplemented my unit with whole group and small group readings of dramatic literature to provide extra exposure. Who knew it was so exciting to act as another character, complete with silly voices and stage directions? :)

If you are interested in my product, head on over to my TPT store by clicking HERE or simply click on the picture below. :) All the activities I wrote about are included.

Happy teaching!

With Love from Texas,

The beginning of an adventure

Hi there!

I've been wanting to delve into the blogging world for awhile now. I've always respected and followed fellow educators who share their learning online. Now, it is my turn. :)

It is definitely a risk to put myself out here into the internet world. However, I think that is part of what is so great about it. We ask our students to take risks everyday with our learning. Now, it's my turn to do the same. I plan on sharing my classroom experiences, technology in the classroom (our campus is 1:1 with iPads), and some TPT products.

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to my fellow 4th grade teacher Whitney Parlin for inspiring me to take this leap. Thank you as well to Kassie Garlock for creating a beautiful blog design.

Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me. It's going to be a fun ride!