Friday, August 31, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel

Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits

I highly recommend  Ruth Culham's & Raymond Coutu's book to teach 6-traits!  I first came upon this resource while student teaching.  As many know, there isn't time to read large books while teaching.  This describes each of the 6-traits.  Each 6-trait has two or three lesson plans, and each lesson plan is based on a mentor text.       
 I love Scaredy Squirrel--and it is a great book to use to talk about how to organize a story.

Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt
I split the class into six groups of four.  Each group received a large piece of paper--and worked together on that portion of the book:  the completed project: Scaredy Second Grader.

The six categories:

What scares you about going to third grade?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of staying in second grade?
Daily Routine of second grade?
Second Grade Emergency Kit
Emergency Plan
Exit Plan

Scaredy Second Grader

Scaredy Second Grader never leaves second grade.  She'd rather stay in her safe and familiar classroom than risk venturing into third grade.  Third grade can be a scary place for a second grader.

A few things Scaredy Second Grader is afraid of: ISAT Tests, third grade bullies, not being in class with the same friends, third grade work, teachers, Worker Wednesdays, and Wednesday overheads.  She even heard there were clowns, snakes, and spiders in third grade.

She is perfectly happy to stay right where she is!

Advantages to never leaving second grade:
  • No new time test
  • No new teachers
  • No ISATS
  • No clowns, snakes, and spiders
Disadvantages of never leaving second grade:

  • Same lockers
  • Same teachers
  • Same tests
  • Same classmates
  • Same lunchtime
  • Same poems
In Scaredy Second Grader's classroom, every day is the same.  Everything is predictable.  All is under control!

Scaredy Second Grader's daily routine:
  • Daily Work Journal
  • Read
  • Pledge
  • School Pledge
  • Calendar
  • Response Journal
  • Gym
But let's say, just for example, that something unexpected DID happen..... You can rest assured the the second grader is prepared!

A few items in Scaredy Second Grader's emergency kit:
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Scissors
  • Bandages
  • Parachute
  • Tissues
  • Smart Hat
  • Guard dog (for the bullies)
  • Bug spray
  • Helmet

What to do in case of an emergency according to Scaredy Second Grader:

Step 1: Panic
Step 2: Run
Step 3: Get kit
Step 4: Put on Kit
Step 5: Consult Exit Plan
Step 6: Exit second grade (if there is absolutely, definitely, truly no other option.)

Exit Plan (top secret)
1. Jump out of window.
2. Get bad grades so they will send me back to second grade.
3. Run around the school like a hobo.
4. Pretend to be sick so they will send you back to second grade.

Remember, if all else fails, playing dead is always a good option!

With emergency kit in had, Scaredy Second Grader learns and studies.  Day after day she learns and studies until one day . . . . . . 

Second Grade Ends!  Scaredy Second Grader jumps in panic, knocking her emergency kit out of her classroom.  THIS was NOT part of the plan.  

Scaredy Second Grader jumps to catch her kit.  She quickly regrets her idea becasue she jumps right into third grade.

She notes that third grade isn't so hard.  There is nothing horrible happening in third grade.  Even ISAT tests aren't that hard!  

After compiling the book--each student was able to illustrate their own personal book.  Think about the students making their own emergency kits.  I would love to be able to do this project again--and hope it would turn out even better!