Your Favorite Units

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by taraes1982, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. taraes1982

    taraes1982 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2008

    I say we make a list of our favorite units and a rundown of the activities we do in them. You know we all have tons of units, but then there are those units that we do that just "wow" our students. Name yours and tell what activities you do.

    My personal favorite is the unit I do on Hawaii. Some of the things I do are:

    *Read "Luka's Quilt" and discuss vocabular such as "tradition" and "island"

    *Take a pretend plane ride to Hawaii at the beginning of the unit and a plane ride home at the end of the unit and discuss things like: the Pacific Ocean, islands, air travel, and climate.

    *Discuss the vocabulary "ripe", "Tropical" and "Bar Graph" and graph our favorite tropical fruit after the children get to enjoy sample portions of pineapple, mango, banana, and pomegranate.

    *Introduce the students to "connections" by reading "The Keeping Quilt" and comparing two stories using a venn diagram.

    *Continue to discuss the vocabulary word Tradition by making things like lei's, learning the hula, listening to hawaiian music, talking about lei day, making a two color hawaiian quilt.

    *Having a Luau at the end of the unit with tropical fruit, grass skirts, music, and lots of fun!

    This unit was a lot of fun, but can be very educational. It's easy to pull in a lot of Social Studies and Science. Traditions of other cultures, cash crops, transportation, Climate, ocean life, etc.


    Now tell me what YOUR favorite unit is!!:2up:
     
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  3. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2008

    I have lots of units that I just love...but our study of Hawaii has got to be the one to top my favs. I looked up each students Hawaiian name and they got a kick out of me reading out their names a million times a day. The parents put together a luau for the kids...PARTY TIME FUN! :2up:
     
  4. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Aug 23, 2008

    You guys study Hawaii??? We study the history of our community, no further-BORING!!!!

    My favorite is animals. Just because it is interesting and kids love animals. I spend one week on each: insects, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We do projects, raise caterpillars and I have done tadpoles. Nothing that great, though.
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2008


    At the end of each school year, I do a unit on the "Beach/Sea Animals" For some reason; I thought it would be cute to tie in "Hawaii" with our theme; I'm so glad I did; it was fun! :)
     
  6. caliteach78

    caliteach78 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2008

    I have to follow the Houghton Mifflin "Reading First" Program, which is for ELL and low readers. I have to follow it by the book and I will have someone coming in and watching me every other week. Any ideas how I can incorporate unit themes (Which I love-especially your Hawaiian Unit) when I have to do this program?
    As far as ideas- I love themes of travel, I just got back from Australia and New Zealand so I wanted to do that. I bought boomerangs and lots of pictures and other artifacts. I also love the ocean and rainforest. when I taught Pre-K, I did a whole western unit about cowboys and their clothing and animals. I taught my kids all the old Gene Autry songs. They loved it! We also learned about Georgia O'keeffe and all her Western art. The projects were amazing and we did tons of great stuff like make leather bracelets and creative write stories about cowboys.
     
  7. taraes1982

    taraes1982 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2008

    Omgosh! I had totally forgot about that! I did that too! They loved it! Seems like we did something with their name too....Did we graph how many letters were in each name? Or was it graph how many names had and odd number of letters and even number? I can't remember. Oh, I almost forgot, I also used weatherbug to help me chart the temperatures here in Arkansas with the temperatures in Hawaii and at the end of the week we talked about Climate differences. (Though at this time of the year, there's not much difference in the heat!) I'm glad you reminded me of that stuff!
     
  8. taraes1982

    taraes1982 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2008

    I do mine at the very beginning when they're just coming from summer break. Plus, I do a unit that integrates with whatever we have to read in our basal. Luka's Quilt just happens to be at the beginning of our basal, thank goodness!

    (Oh, and a good chapter book read aloud is "Junie B. Jones, Aloha-ha!" I'm doing that this year and letting my kids take home a disposable camera each day and making our own photo journal like Junie B does in the book!)
     
  9. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Aug 26, 2008

    One of my favs is Flat Stanley. There are tons of activities allowing practice in many skill areas. We make our own "Flat Stanley" or "Flat Kinsey" or "Flat Josh" and send them to a friend or relative out of town. We ask for info about the host community, send along a small journal, and of course include a letter explaining who Stanley is and why he is flat.

    The kids love getting up in front of everyone to present their Stanleys and share the adventures. We do LA/Math/SocSt....we even add all the miles to see how far all of our Stanleys have traveled. Last year it was over 41,000 miles and a soldier overseas even sent a US flag flown in honor of our school over his base! Many people send brochures and pix. It is a blast! (Be sure to put a school's return address sticker on the back of each Flat Friend in case one gets lost.):cool:
     
  10. taraes1982

    taraes1982 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    A teacher here did flat stanley and it was adorable! Out in the hall she put up a map and when each stanley got back, she put him out in the hall with yarn from him to the place on the map he traveled to.

    I did a cowboy unit last year that was pretty cute. I used the outlaw jesse james to teach about alliterations which helped writing, plus we drew a map of the ranch that was described in our story which covered map skills.

    I did a pumpkin unit last year and my favorite lesson was one where I gave each student a dye cut pumpkin. Then I gave each student a sheet with three different varieties of jack o lantern eyes, noses, and mouths. The students mixed and matched the faces and glued them to their pumpkin. Then, with the help of my computer and some tricky copier work, I made a venn diagram out of two pumpkins. I had the students work with a partner and do the pumpkin venn comparing and contrasting their two jack o lanterns. It was cute!
     

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