Thursday, January 22, 2015

Animal Classification

Hey everyone!  In second grade we have launched our animals and environments unit with a blast!  This 6-week unit is always fun to start right after winter break: the kids are so engaged with this whole unit.

As many of you know our one-way dual language program at our school is made up of thematic units (K-3).  These units can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks long.  So this animals and environments unit will look like:

Week 1 - Animal Classifications
Week 2 - Desert
Week 3 - Forest and Rainforest
Week 4 - Arctic
Week 5 - Ocean and Pond
Week 6 - Dioramas

The first week of this unit we concentrated on the seven types of animals (these are the ones that we concentrate on in second grade) so when we went into each environment, we could talk about all of the groups within the habitat.  As you all know I could sit and tell the students that mammals have this and that and fish have this...  but my teammate and I wanted to come up with an exploration for the kiddos to learn about each group.  Enter animal flipbooks...

For the research time I set up bins of books around the room: each bin was a different group of animals.  The students traveled around the room with their supply boxes, learning buddies, and flipbooks.  I used a timer and gave them five minutes at each station - we did this for three days; the majority of the students got their books done in that time, but I had to keep the book bins off to the side for a few days for my stragglers.

Sentence prompts are huge in dual language methods, so of course I gave them a sentence prompt for what they were to write inside of their flipbooks; even with sentence prompts the kids had many different answers... I love it!

I was very proud of their work -- they were, too!  Now that we have ventured into the desert, forest, and rainforest they are experts in the animals in each environment.  Even though these are in Spanish, they got to share these with their second grade buddies from another monolingual class, and it was cool to see their language transfer in the same subject!