Lesson Ideas

A number of school districts have asked for some ideas for using my books with their students. My weekly blog posts contain specific study guides for use with each of my books from June—October 2017. See my June 2, 2017 blog post for the specific schedule. These study guide blog posts will be repeated from November 2017—March 2018. A new schedule will be posted in October 2017.

 

As far as general ideas as to how the books can be used, there are many possibilities:

1. Whole class reading activity, much like a text-book. I’m still a proponent of the balanced literacy and whole language movements where the students imitate the activities of the characters in the books. The science presentations can act as a springboard to an actual student activity.

2. Small group discussion. Each book can be presented to the rest of the class as a play, Readers Theater, science fact presentation according to chapter contents, individual reports, a multimedia presentation, chart presentations, etc.

3. Traditionally for independent reading and/ or book reports.

4. Supplemental classroom reading can serve as material for a class discussion, report or presentation.

5. Multiple intelligences can be addressed by allowing presentations of the book plots or actual science facts through the visual or performing arts. How about a dance of the dolphins? Or a play about how creatures interact in their environments? A song telling the life cycle of an insect? A watercolor representation of the underside of a horseshoe crab? Creating a costume to show to demonstrate how creatures can be camouflaged in their worlds? A news flash detailing the dangers of fracking to the environment? A puppet show detailing the swamp biome?

6. In summer school instead of traditional text books. Perhaps, the students can write letters to one another telling what they’ve learned.

7. How about a combination of modalities to be presented at a school assembly?

8. Use the formula poems found in The Ocean’s Way and The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion as a model and have the students present facts in this same format—even for topics covered outside of my books.

9. Conduct  an author study to compare and contrast my books with one another or with the books of other authors.

10. Create a diorama or model to show relationships, life cycles or habitats.

11. Design a travel brochure for the places the book characters visit.

12. Vote for a class president using the book characters as candidates.

 

As you can see, there are many ways to use the books in a combination of activities or as specific assignments. These books tie-in with science, social studies, and literacy curricula.

 

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