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Let's Write a Book About Trees

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Keywords: writing, trees, seasons
Subject(s): Spelling, Grammar, Science, Life Science, Writing, Earth Science, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Citizenship
View Full Text of Standards
School: North Creek Academy, Walnut Creek, CA
Planned By: Nicole Rittenhouse
Original Author: Nicole Rittenhouse, Walnut Creek
Each group’s book needs to answer the questions: “How do trees change when the seasons change?” and “How does the weather change when the seasons change?”
Learning Objectives:
1. Students will first observe the teacher writing a book using Storybird.com and then try it on their own in groups.
2. Students will learn how to take known information and put it together into a story to show what they have learned.
3. Students will discuss and decide which information is important to use and then create a project explaining this information.
4. Students will use a new website to collaborate and create a book using technology, with support from the teacher and aides, that effectively explains the information learned in class.
ISTE Standards Met:
#1 Creating and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
CA State Science Standards for Kindergarten:
2. Different types of plants and animals inhabit the earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know how to observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and animals (e.g., seed-bearing plants, birds, fish, insects).
b. Students know stories sometimes give plants and animals attributes they do not really have.
c. Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs).
3. Earth is composed of land, air, and water. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know characteristics of mountains, rivers, oceans, valleys, deserts, and local landforms.
b. Students know changes in weather occur from day to day and across seasons, affecting Earth and its inhabitants.
c. Students know how to identify resources from Earth that are used in everyday life and understand that many resources can be conserved.

Retrieved from: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/sciencestnd.pdf on 9/20/16
Common Core ELA Kindergarten Standards:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Retrieved from: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/K/ on 9/24/16

Materials Needed:
*Smart board to demo how to use Storybird.com to the class as a whole.
*Class Storybird.com account with students/school iPads invited to join.
*Check out class set of iPads from the media center. Teacher has already loaded Storybird.com on the iPads and has the website open and ready to go. Teacher preset the pages for the books ahead of time with art.
* Extra Aides or parent helpers to circulate and help students with the iPads during creation stages- need at least teacher , aide plus another 2 aides or parents to assist the 4 groups.
* Rubrics printed out for reference for the students

Lesson Procedures:
1. Using the smart board, teacher demonstrates how to use Storybird.com and visually demonstrates that the pictures are preloaded into a book and shows them how to navigate the pages and type words next to the picture. Teacher also visually and verbally reviews the basics of the iPad and, some general safety rules for the internet.
2. Teacher then passes out iPads to the predetermined groups based on a range of abilities of spelling and technology in each group. Students begin looking at the pages that are already preloaded and open on their iPads. The group needs to collaborate and work together to decide who will write which pages. The book has 7 pages and a cover preloaded so each student is responsible for two pages. The group can brainstorm ideas and support each other as they figure out what to write. That student is ultimately responsible for those two pages though. Four adults are in the room to assist with spelling and typing, and offering suggestions when needed.
3. After an hour at the most, each group should have all 7 pages written and a cover with a title and their names typed in to share with the class.
Materials: Whiteboards, Internet Services
Other Items: 16 iPads