Sunday, March 2, 2014

GROUP SCOOTING to Learn Text Types and Reader's Purpose

Hi All,
When I started this blog I thought that I would post twice a week, but I am finding that in order to keep balance I am becoming a Sunday morning blogger.  I get up early, make my coffee, boot up my lap top and then snuggle on the couch with my dog, Riley.  Its quiet and it feels, while I am writing, like I am talking to a group of friends about my week.
Forgive the couch...  this was taken while we were at the coast... hotel couch.  :)
I had originally planned to share with you the GREAT volcano activity that my students worked on in class this week for our Earth Changes unit, but I forgot to take a pic of the final display and you REALLY need to see all the art pieces displayed side-by-side to really appreciate it.  So, I'll save that for next week.  Here is a sneak peak:
Instead I am going to share with you the start to our Non-Ficton Unit.  I wanted to start the unit by introducing the class to the types of non-fiction that surrounds them everyday.  I also wanted them to understand why a reader might choose a specific type of non-fiction.   I always try to incorporate "activity" into my activities.  I'm not much of a worksheet person.  I'd rather have students up and around, talking to each other, handling real literature and materials.  So I came up with a group scoot for this introductory lesson.  (see the bottom of this post for a link to this activity in my TpT store.  Its FREE)
The prep is pretty easy, except for gathering the travel brochures.  About a month ago I went online and signed up for travel brochures and information from several states.  There are many free resources and many states will send you the brochures, pamphlets, and maps in the mail.  So far I've only had to put up with a bit of e-mail from tourism companies, so it has been worth it to me.
I gathered up about three or four samples of 12 different types of non-fiction, put them in bags and bins (Next year I might try something a bit more visually appealing, but the brown grocery bags served their purpose) and placed them around the room with the station signs.
The stations signs are taped to "corn dog sticks" and poked into the bottom of a Dixie Cup.  
When students came in from recess, we gathered on the carpet.  They were very curious about what was in the bags...  anything mysterious is a great attention getter.  We had a short discussion and created an anchor chart of what they already knew about types of non-fiction.  I explained the activity, assigned students a starting station, and handed out the scoot sheets.
Then it was time to MOVE!  I love when the kids are fully engaged... there is something peaceful about the noise in the room when you know that it is on-task conversations.  Students moved from station to station discussing what they found, what the type was and why someone would read it.  I roamed to groups, answering questions, giving hints, etc.

When groups had scooted all 12 stations, we met back on the floor and added more ideas to our anchor chart.  We talked about reader's purpose and how there is non-fiction writing all around us.
This was a quick one-day introduction to the full non-fiction unit.  The next day we moved on to the first part of my Topic vs. Author's Purpose lesson.  Unfortunately, state testing has reared its ugly head and that is as far as I have gotten with the unit.  :(

{State testing is like an unwelcome house guest.  It comes in, creates havoc on your routine, and leaves you to pick up the pieces. Just Sayin'}

If you would like to see more of the Non-Fiction Text Types and Reader's Purpose, click this link to be taken to my TpT store.  The product is free.  

Thank you for visiting!  I hope you'll come back next week to see our Volcano Clay diagrams.  I can't wait to share them with you.  


  1. WoW! What a busy week! Your dog is just precious. Does he have blue tick in him? He looks so much like my dog, Koda.
    Visit the Readbox!

    1. Hi Kristin,
      She is a doberman. :) A big love bug for sure!

  2. I'm back again! ;) I am nominating you for the Liebster blog award!!! Hop on over to my page to see what that means, how to accept the award, etc.

    Come Visit Readbox!

  3. I love the different texts your kids are using. Cookbooks, magazines, informational, and more! What a great real-life lesson. Thanks for sharing!