Laura Ferguson LLED 400 December 15, 2013 Curriculum Unit Plan

When we come back to school after the Winter break, we will begin a unit in the kindergarten classroom that focuses on the season of winter. We will discuss the weather, the things that we wear, and what we can do during the winter months. To start out the unit, we will read the picture book Winter Days in the Big Woods. It follows a young Laura Ingalls Wilder as her and her family enjoy the winter season in their log cabin, many years ago. This book is beautifully illustrated and it introduces the children to the works of Wilder, who wrote books such as Little House in the Woods and Little House on the Prairie about her own childhood. Over the two week period, we will do the following eight lessons:

1. Winter clothes obstacle course 2. writing activity: If I lived in a cabin in the woods…. 3. build your own log cabin 4. thimble pictures 5. making snow taffy 6. make “paper doll” puppets and act out a story 7. music of the time watch fiddle playing on tv, have an older student share violin 8. animal study

Read-aloud plan: Before we begin the story: -I will talk to the children about how this book is about a young girl named Laura who lived long ago. I will discuss how she lived with her family in a log cabin in the woods far from any town. (Assuming that I am teaching in a rural area) I will ask the children in what kind of environment they live in. Do they live far from neighbors like Laura, or do

they live in town? Next we will discuss the season of winter. Do they like winter? What do they like to do in the winter? How is winter different than other months? -During the story, I will stop to ask the children questions, such as “Why are they gathering vegetables from their garden?” and “What kind of chores do you do at home?”

-After the story is over, I will ask the students to think about their lives during the winter and how this compares to the life of Laura during the winter. First they will share their ideas with a partner, and then together we will make a venn-diagram comparing and contrasting. Lesson Plans: Lesson #1: Winter clothes dress-up game: Topic: This game will be a fun way for the children to learn about how to properly dress during the winter months. It will also practice reading skills.

Procedures: 1. As a whole class, discuss the weather that we have in the winter. What kinds of clothes do we wear in the winter? 2. Have children split into four teams of roughly five students each by counting off. 3. Have each group form a line on one side of the room. 4. Set up four bins on the other side of the room with the same number and type of clothes. 5. Once each group is ready, put the word of one article of the clothing on the projector screen. As a group, the children will have to sound out the word and agree on what it says. If they are struggling, show the next slide (a picture of the item). Once all the groups understand what they are looking for, the leader of the line will run to the bin, find the item, put it on, take it off, and run back to the end of the line. 6. Continue until all students have gone

7. Everyone is a winner! Afterwards, discuss what made the game difficult, and what they learned about winter weather. 8. Students will write/draw in their journals about winter clothing. Duration: The game can go on for however long the teacher would like and depending on student’s interest. However, with the discussions and activity combined, the teacher should plan on this lasting about 75-90 minutes. Assessment: Students will be evaluated on whether or not they participate with their group and contribute to instructions. Additionally, their journals are evaluated every marking period for positive progress. Standards: 1.1.K.B: Employ word recognition techniques:
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Use association strategies to identify letters. Demonstrate phonological awareness through the segmenting and blending of phonemes.

Use knowledge of letter sound correspondence (alphabetic principle) to decode words in context

1.1.K.E: Demonstrate accuracy and automaticity in phoneme segmentation, letter naming, letter-sound correspondence and blending (decoding) simple words. Differentiation: For ELL students, the pictures could accompany the words on the slides. Also, the word in the native language can be shown next to the English word Materials: 1. Four of each: coat, set of mittens, scarves, boots, and hat 2. Four bins for each group 3. Slides with words and pictures already made. Lesson #2: “If I lived in a log cabin long ago…”: Topic: This lesson will incorporate art, writing, and reading. The students will make displays that include a picture on top. On the bottom will be lined paper with the words, “If I lived in a log cabin long ago…”. The student will be asked to finish this sentence and draw an accompanying picture. Procedure:

1. Discuss the book again as a reminder. Revisit the venn diagram that you already made. 2. Send children back to seats with the paper already there. First they will be asked to do the writing portion. 3. The teacher will go around the room helping where needed and reminding students to use “kid spelling”. 4. After they are finished writing and have showed the teacher, they may draw an accompanying picture on the top of the page. 5. When everyone is done, the works will be displayed on the desks and the students will have the opportunity to look at each other’s work. Duration: 90 minutes. Assessment: Children will be assessed on participation Standards: 1.4.K.A: Write, dictate or illustrate to convey ideas for a specific purpose. 1.4.K.B: Write, dictate, or illustrate to communicate information 1.5.K.F: Use grade appropriate conventions of language when writing and editing, with adult assistance.
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Begin to form letters correctly. Use correct spacing Spell words modeled in classroom correctly. Begin to use capital letters correctly. Begin to use end punctuation marks. Create simple sentences.

1.2.K.B: Identify facts from informational text Differentiation: ELL students will be encouraged to use English with teacher assistance, but will be allowed to write in their native language, or just draw if they so choose. Materials: 1. Paper already made (blank on top, lines with words already written on bottom),

2. Pencils 3. Markers, crayons, colored pencils Lesson #3: Build your own log cabin Topic: After looking at and reading books about log cabins, the students will build their own out of lincoln logs. Procedure: 1. Students will have the opportunity to look at and read books about log cabins. The books will range from children’s level (can read some on own) to big books (to look at the pictures). 2. Students will be able to construct log cabin with lincoln logs. They will first draw a picture of how they will like it to look, and then will be given the lincoln logs to build with. 3. After they have all built their log cabins, we will display them around the room. We will discuss what they think it would be like to construct a real log cabin, like Laura’s family did. Duration: 90 minutes Assessment: Students will be assessed on cooperation and participation Standards: 1.2.K.B: Identify facts from informational text 1.2.K.C: Identify important information within an informational text, with teacher guidance and support.

8.1.K.C: Explain how to locate information in a source.

Differentiation: ELL students will have help reading the text/will be read to. However, they can still observe the pictures just like the other children. Materials: 1. Log cabin books(from school library and local public library, or teacher’s own collection) 2. Lincoln Logs Lesson #4: Thimble Paintings Topic: Students will create thimble paintings, just like the ones that Mary and Laura do in the book. Procedure: 1. As a class, we will revisit the page of the book where the girls do the thimble paintings on the windows. 2. Using two liter bottle caps as “thimbles” and blue acrylic paint, the children will be able to paint a picture. Duration: With discussion, about 60-90 minutes. Children will be able to do more than one painting if they are done. Assessment: Based on participation. Standards: 1.3.K.A: Respond to works of literature.

1.4.K.B: Write, dictate, or illustrate to communicate information

1.6.K.A: Listen and respond appropriately to others in small and large group situations.

Differentiation: All students should be able to participate without differentiation. Some students, however, may require more supervision than others.


1. Enough bottle caps for each student 2. Blue acrylic paint 3. Plain white construction paper 4. Styrofoam paint containers

Lesson #5: Snow Taffy:

Topic: As a class, we will read the part in Little House in the Big Woods where they make the snow taffy. We will discuss what kinds of foods we like to eat and help make during the winter. Afterwards, we will make snow taffy as a class.

Procedure: 1. We will read the excerpt from the book before the children go to specials 2. This will be done after a time that the teacher has a planning period (specials), so that the teacher has time to prepare. This includes making the “snow”(finely crushed ice using a blender). 3. Children will be split up into groups with one parent volunteer peer group. 4. Children will take turns scooping the ice into the pan. 5. Once there is enough ice, the teacher will give each group hot maple syrup that they heated up in the teacher’s lounge. 6. Wearing oven mitts, the children will each get to pour some of the hot syrup over the ice. 7. After it hardens (should only take a few minutes), the parent volunteer will take the now hard maple syrup out of the ice, and distribute a little onto each plate for the students to try. 8. As a class we will discuss

Duration: 90 minutes, but may take longer than planned depending on how each group does. Assessment: Children will be assessed on participation in activity and discussion. Differentiation: All children should be able to participate. Standards: 1.1.K.D: Demonstrate listening comprehension/ understanding before, during, and after reading through strategies such as think aloud, retelling, summarizing, and connecting to prior knowledge 1.3.K.A: Respond to works of literature. Materials: 1. Copy of Little House in the Big Woods 2. Ice 3. Blender 4. Small cooking pans 5. Maple sugar(preferably real) 6. Saucepan for heating up syrup 7. Oven in teacher’s lounge 8. Measuring cups 9. Paper plates

Lesson #6: Paper Doll Stories

Topic: In the book, Mary and Laura play with paper dolls. In this activity, students will make their own paper dolls (one each), and together with a group they will act a scene from the book, or make up their own.

Procedure: 1. We will look up pictures of paper dolls on the internet. 2. Each child will get a paper with a “gingerbread” shape on it. 3. They will be able to color it however they want

4. They will cut their puppet out an glue a popsicle stick onto the bottom 5. Each table group will work together to come up with a story to act out. 6. Each group will get to perform using their paper doll puppets Duration: 75-90 minutes Assessment: Based on participation Standards:

1.1.K.D: Demonstrate listening comprehension/ understanding before, during, and after reading through strategies such as think aloud, retelling, summarizing, and connecting to prior knowledge 1.3.K.A: Respond to works of literature. 1.6.K.B: Speak clearly enough to be understood by all audiences using appropriate volume. Share stories, familiar experiences and interests, employing gestures where appropriate. Differentiation: ELL students would be given the opportunity to contribute to the performance however they want, in English or their native language. Materials: 1. White construction paper with “gingerbread” outline. 2. Markers, crayons, colored pencils 3. Glue 4. Popsicle sticks 5. Images of paper dolls already picked out online to show the class.

Lesson #7: Music Study:

Topic: In the book, Pa plays the fiddle for the family to enjoy. As class, we will talk about the violin and the different music that it can be used in, from classical to bluegrass, to country, etc. Pop culture can be tied in by listening to popular songs that use the violin in them. We will then have students from the orchestra (4th and 5th graders) come in along with the orchestra teacher to share their instruments and play a song.

Procedure: 1. As a class, we will revisit the page where Pa plays the fiddle. We will discuss what we think the fiddle sounds like. 2. On the computer, the teacher will play parts of songs that contain the violin that range in genre. Students will be asked to listen to find the violin parts. 3. We will discuss how music has been a source of entertainment for a long time. 4. We will have a small group of orchestra students come into class, along with the orchestra teacher, to discuss their instruments and play a song. The kindergarteners will have the opportunity to ask questions. Duration: 90 minutes Assessment: Children will assessed on whether or not they actively participate in discuss and listen closely to the music. Materials: 1. Song clips already picked out to play. 2. The teacher will already have worked with the orchestra teacher to plan the orchestra students coming in. Differentiation: All students should be able to participate. Standards: 1.6.K.A: Listen and respond appropriately to others in small and large group situations. Lesson #8: Animal Study: Topic: This activity will focus on the types of animals that live in the Wisconsin forest. Many of these animals are also found in Pennsylvania, so we can tie in that as well. Once each child chooses an animal, they will have the opportunity to get a book from the school library on that animal. Some of these books may not be on their reading level, but with teacher assistance and looking at the pictures, they will pick out three interesting facts about that animal. Then they will make a “guess who I am” art project, which will feature the three facts written out on lined paper that will be stapled at the top to a

drawing of that animal. Then, once displayed they can each guess which animal their classmates have studied. Procedure: 1. Discuss the animals that would have lived in the big woods. Let children know that the Wisconsin forest is very similar to the Pennsylvania forest. Make a list of the animals on the board (bears, deer, fox, rabbits, turkey, wolves, etc.) 2. Ask students to each have an animal in mind before they go to the library. It is okay if more than one student does the same animal. 3. Once in the library, direct students to the books that the librarian has already pulled. Allow them to mingle until they have each found a book to check out. 4. Once back in the classroom, help each student find and write down three facts. They can range from simple to complex based on the individual student. 5. Given lined paper, each student will write down his or her three facts, without saying what animal it is. “Kid spell” is okay for this assignment. Example: “I hibernate in the winter.” 6. With plain white construction paper, each student will draw a picture of his or her animal. 7. The teacher will come around with the stapler to staple the papers together at the top so that the lined paper can be lifted up to reveal the picture. Duration: Library time should be about 30 minutes, class time should total one hour. Differentiation: Help ELL students use pictures from books to find their facts. Allow them to write in their native language, but encourage them to try English words if they feel comfortable.

Assessment: This project will be put into the student’s portfolio to show their progression over the year/marking period. Materials: 1. Library books. The school librarian will already have been contacted and will be able to pull all of the necessary books prior to the class coming in. 2. Paper, both lined and construction. 3. Pencils, colored pencils, markers, crayons. 4. Stapler. Standards: 1.2.K.B: Identify facts from informational text 1.2.K.C: Identify important information within an informational text, with teacher guidance and support. 1.4.K.A: Write, dictate or illustrate to convey ideas for a specific purpose. 1.5.K.B: Generate ideas and identify content appropriate for the topic 1.5.K.C: Write words and simple sentences in a logical order.

Unit plan reflection

I absolutely loved this project. Writing lesson plans is something that is both daunting and exciting as a future teacher. I can’t wait to write lesson plans for my students, yet I worry about doing them right and making sure that I don’t miss anything when writing them. The truth of the matter is that we won’t know how to effective our lesson plans are until we put them to use in the classroom. As a teacher you might have your whole day planned out perfectly, but it could all fall apart in a matter of a few moments. Still, writing a whole unit for a two-week period was exciting. I really love some of the ideas that I came up with. Some of them might be a disaster in the real life kindergarten classroom, and some of them might be completely unrealistic because of budgets, class size, and the number of classroom volunteers. Yet, I think that as a teacher you need to try to do whatever you can and hope for the best. If it turns out as you envisioned it, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, then at least you tried and learned something from the experience.

For this unit plan, I focused on the picture book Winter Days in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book is based off of the chapter book Little House in the Big Woods, which came before Little House on the Prairie. I have to admit that I am a little partial to these books. Not only enjoy the books and the television show as a child, but my name is Laura and I was supposedly named after Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have always admired her, and love that she was a teacher as well. The picture books that are based off of the chapter books are truly special, and have great illustrations. I think that this book would be a great introduction to American history for kindergarten children. They may

not understand how long ago Laura lived, but they can understand that it was long before electricity or cars. They can also understand that Laura and her family lived very far away from any town. All in all, I believe that this book is a great one to introduce to young children.

I really love all of the lessons that I have come up with for this project. I think that some of them are very ambitious, and I may need a lot of volunteer help from parents. Depending on where I’m teaching, this may realistic, or it might not. Obviously, these lesson plans would be changed depending on such factors. It is also important that my classroom is set up with the children in table groups. Since it is kindergarten, I would prefer for these tables to be circular, with about five students per table. It is also important that I am able to have individual time with students, especially students who are not yet reading. Again, depending on where I am teaching, I could have fifteen kindergartens, or I could have twenty-five. The class size will determine how much time I get to spend with each student. I could definitely see these lessons working out, but it would take a lot of hard work and time.

Another important thing to think about with this project is the age of the students and what their reading levels may be. Some of them won’t be reading yet, and some will be fluent. I tried to make sure that my lessons would be applicable to any reading level. The fact that they are so young also factors into how they are assessed. Most of my lessons will be assessed on participation. Yet, some will be included into their portfolios or writing journals. Therefore, they will be things that I look at when assessing their progress throughout the year and completing report cards.

I really enjoyed this project. I loved picking out my own book to write my lesson plans on, and I really enjoyed writing my lesson plans. I enjoyed the fact that they did not all have to formally include reading, and could be cross-curricular. I choose Winter Days in the Big Woods because I enjoy the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think that studying her life can really give children insight into the people that were the foundation of our country, and how much of our country became what it is today. As seen here, there is so much that we can do with this book, in all subject areas. It is also a great introduction to the books for children who may want to read the other picture books, or who may want to read the chapter books in later years. I think that this unit would be a great one to enjoy during the time in January, when we have just come back from winter break, yet still have a lot of winter still left to go. I can see my future students really enjoying some of these activities, and I hope to incorporate them somewhere in my future endeavors.