Adventures in Literacy Land: biographies

Showing posts with label biographies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biographies. Show all posts

Out-Of-The-Box Biographies

Hello Literacy Lovers!

Thank you for stopping by to read about one of my FAVORITE ways to integrate art into language lessons!  Please indulge me while I sing the praises of and wax poetic about Hanoch Piven and his picture books!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Oh picture books by Hanoch Piven!  How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.....


  • Collage illustrations made with quirky and colorful everyday items.  Click {HERE} to see a gallery of portraits an his inspiring TED Talk.
  • Repetitive, patterned text that encourages students to "write their own version of the story."
  • Extensive use of  similes, that provide great models for student learning to use figurative language in their own writing.
  • Anecdotal facts about famous people that highlight a personality quality or character trait not often depicted in history books or the news.
  • Encouragement given to young readers, writers, and artists to "look at the world in a new different, playful way."
  • "Faces" or caricatures made with found objects or "happy accidents" that not only represent the outside features of the person, but also symbolize their inside personality traits.
  • Art created without pencil and paper that encourages descriptive writing and tells a story.
  • iPad app called FACES iMAKE that lets students create their own collages without you having to collect a variety of materials for them to use.  Creativity without clutter at it's finest!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


If you are TIRED of the same old research report or timeline formats you've used with your primary grade students to gather facts about famous Americans, why not encourage them to create caricatures and then use figurative language templates to expand upon and share what they've learned with their peers?  Studying biographies in this "out-of-the-box" fashion is sure to interest and engage your students!

Piven's What Are President's Made Of? and What Are Athlete's Made Of? both have a wonderful format where each famous person is defined by their most outstanding character trait, a collage made of real-life objects that symbolize achievements, interests, or important aspects of their life, and a lesser-know anecdote about them.  For example, the true story of how Washington extinguished a neighborhood fire at the age of 67 is captioned by this succinct sentence.....

George Washington is....made of good deeds.

I created this FREEBIE that I am going to use with my second graders as we learn more about the lives of people that made America great, and I thought that you might like it too!  If you download it, please be kind and leave thoughtful feedback!  You will find it {HERE} in my store.


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!
Find it {HERE}!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


As always, thank you for your continued interest and kind support of Adventures in Literacy Land! We hope that you continue to find our posts full of inspiration, new ideas, and useful materials that help you help children love reading and writing!

Be sure to visit me over at my personal blog, Stories and Songs in Second, for more ideas that will help you work "smarter not harder" in your classroom! You might also be interested in this Pinterest board of Black History Month ideas I've compiled!


PIN FOR LATER

Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Keep calm and teach on!







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Close Reading ~ What is it?

Hello everyone!

This  is Laura from Where the Magic Happens  and this is my first time blogging with this great crew! I have  been crazy busy at school and have had a million things going on!
Anyhow, I have been reading and reflecting A LOT about how to transform my literacy teaching  in this era of higher standards.  For about a year I have been a close reading groupie enthusiast.  There is so much literature out there and so many materials that, I did not know what to read or where to begin. I am so lucky to have my BFF Marie from The Literacy Spot… she always recommends the best reads.   My Amazon wish-list is about to pop!

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So really what in the world is close reading?

According to Fisher and Frey, close reading is:

“an instructional routine in which students are guided in their understanding of complex texts.”  Basically, close reading is a component of dynamic reading instruction where students:
  • Read strategically
  • Interact with the text
  • Reread to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deeper understanding
  • Analyze multiple component of the text and illustrations
  • Focus on the author’s message
These are some of the most important things that I have learned about close reading:
  • Not all texts deserve a close reading
  • Close reading is also not necessary when the text is fairly accessible. In other words,  when choosing texts for close reading… you want to pick a text that do not give up their meaning easily or quickly.
  • Close reading is MORE than a worksheet!!! Our students need to interact with their peers and their teachers using academic language and  argumentation skills as they discuss the text.
  • Close reading is not one-and-done reading! Rather, it is purposeful, careful, and thoughtful.
And honestly, I could go on and on…

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I really could give you a million reasons.

Close reading is not to be confused with guided reading. They are two extremely important instructional approaches that must be part of your balanced literacy.  Close reading  is not exclusively about eyes on print or reading accurately. In close reading we seek to explore the comprehension of ideas and structures more deeply. In other words, there will be times (especially during the first read) that my students will read, but some texts demand to be heard  and read aloud – poems are a good example.
These are some of the benefits of close reading:
  • It leads students on a cognitive path that begins with discovering the literal meaning of a text and ends with the exploration of deeper meaning and  a plan of what should occur as a result of the reading.
  • Close reading will help our students understand the mechanics of a text, especially vocabulary, text structure, and the author’s craft.
  • Close reading will require that all students cite textual evidence in their products. 
These are some of the differences between close reading in the primary and upper elementary grades:

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If you are thinking that a close read is an easy task for the teacher… then you might be like Santa Claus in the month of August.
Close reads are divided into four different phases:
  • What does the text say? (general understanding and key details)
  • How does the text work? (vocabulary, structure, author’s craft)
  • What does the text mean? (author’s purpose)
  • What does the text inspire you to do? (extended thinking)
These four phases provide our students to explore, practice, review, and navigate through literary and informational text-dependent questions. {Hello again mCLASS!} Text-dependent questions drive close reading!

You go right ahead and download this evidence based terminology poster to use during your close reading time! {click on picture!!}
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And just in case you are wondering, this is what Fisher & Frey recommend as the best think marks for close reading based on their research.

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Until next time!





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5 Great Books for Women's History Month


Hello, Royal Readers!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars here today with some books to help you start planning for next month ~ Women's History Month!

Last month, Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads highlighted some great books for Black History Month, so I thought it would be fitting to highlight some fun books for Women's History Month, which is in March.

I love biographies, and these Time for Kids biographies are perfect for many young readers.  They pictures are great and really show a lot about the person.  How can you go wrong?
This book A is for Abigail has a great deal of information about various women in history.  Students will love the short blurbs of information that will help them want to learn more about some amazing women in history!
This book about Amelia Earhart is perfect for introducing young readers to a heroic woman in history.  I love that they even have one about Lucille Ball as well!  I love Lucy!
For older readers, the Who Is/Was books are perfect for them.  This one about Jane Goodall helps transitional readers understand her life.  There are plenty others in this series as well.
I have never read this one, but it looks very intriguing! Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women highlights the accomplishments of many women inventors.  What a great way to get young girls to think scientifically!
I hope this short list has gotten you excited about Women's History Month.  It sure has gotten me excited!  I would love some other great book recommendations.  What are some other books you like to use for Women's History Month?






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