I am looking for a thematic unit plan idea for first grade. I want it to be interesting for them, but also need to incorporate 5 detailed lessons along with an anticipatory set for each. Any unit ideas? Thanks a bunch! Happy Valentine's Day!
Some themes with wide open topic areas for a unit:
springtime and animals,
a foreign country like China or Mexico,
another state such as Hawaii or Florida,
Author of the Day Unit in which you do Read Alouds of some interesting books, explore the authors, and they write a response to the book - one or two sentences as a group on a big chart. Then, it's their turn: each gets to read the reply from the chart on a different day. Go as many days as there are students.
You can cover many topics for cross-curricular lessons such as counting, exploring Space, food and healthy eating, homes and families (biographies), or pets, etc. hope this helps.
This is a great time of year to plan a weather unit. There are many angles to approach the theme - types of weather, what causes the various kinds of weather, water cycle, etc. My favorite approach to weather was one year we learned about different weather "events" and realized that young children have different emotions with certain kinds of weather - scary storms, exciting snow, etc. We decided that year to focus on those feelings and help children learn about weather in order to be prepared - tornado awareness, storm safety, what to wear in different kinds of weather. If you want more info let me know. (There is a multitude of literature out there for this unit so it is quite easy to integrate your day around this theme.)
In first grade we are working on a Penguin unit. Read penguin books, studied different types of penguin. Penguin puppets on our science table. Had penguin races, waddled like penguins with a dice on our feet. Had a penguin party (watched a penguin video, everyone wore black and white outfits to school that day) had black and white treats --chocolate cupcakes with white frosting, chocolate circle cereal and mini marshmellows in a bag, oreo cookies. Make cut and paste large penguins and hung them in the hall above our lockers. Petunia in Kansas
Thanks for all your ideas. I ended up settling on a penguin unit bc my coop teacher had lots of ideas and supplies already handy. Thank you for your input - I will keep all your ideas with me in case I end up teaching first grade. Thanks again!
Originally Posted by hescollin
In first grade we are working on a Penquin unit. Read penquin books, studied different types of penquin. Penquin puppets on our science table. Had penquin races, waddled like penquins with a dice on our feet. Had a penquin party (watched a penquin video, everyone wore black and white outfits to school that day) had black and white treats --chocolate cupcakes with white frosting, chocolate circle cereal and mini marshmellows in a bag, oreo cookies. Make cut and paste large penquins and hung them in the hall above our lockers. Petunia in Kansas
For our weather unit in Kg., we study several kinds of weather, writing about them as we go and use our writing to create a bulletin board about all kinds of weather. I have the kids made the border for the bulletin board using weather pictures and we make a pattern around the bulletin board. The children do the artwork for each kind of weather. We also use the same weather patterns as manipulatives to use for addition or subtraction practice. We make windsocks with the pictures, making a pattern on the windsock. We also used Red Cross volunteer to come and talk with us about disasters and how we can help during a natural disaster (a great link to community service since the tsunami). The children found pictures of items to put in emergency boxes for "lights out" weather, snow emergencies in the car, etc. We learned about what we need on hand for various kinds of weather (sunscreen, hats, for hot days, umbrellas for rain etc.) Lots of great books: What Will the Weather Be LIke Today?, Rain (Kalan), On a Hot Hot Day (Wise I think) I can e-mail more after I go back to school and check my web for that unit. We actually made "friendship boxes" through the Red Cross to give to children experiencing a natural disaster -- including crayons, scissors, etc. They used to have this program and our class loved it. It actually spread to a building-wide program where each grade contributed one item. We also wrote a lot about our feellings during the weather event. We learned what caused the weather and how to be ready for it. This time of year in Ohio, we experience tornados so our TV stations actually provided us with info on weather preparedness. It is great unit for this time of year. You can make tornado bottles, experiments on the water cycle, and lead that right into a plant unit for spring. I will try and add more details after I check my file at school. Have fun - it's one of my favorite units.
Hey all. I'm a little slow today; I posted a request for help finding ideas for a 10 day unit in the wrong forum (early childhood). I just recently started teachers college and I have to write my first unit plan. It has to be for grades 1-3 and has to include concepts from the backward design approach. I was initially thinking of doing a unit on "me and my community" but reading the past posts, am thinking about other ideas (esp. the weather idea). I am a bit overwhelmed as to how to do this since it's my first lesson plan. Any ideas would help esp. regarding how to come up with an "essential question".
Thanks in advance.