Monday, April 1, 2013

Kindergarten and Research

With the Common Core being used now in the younger grades, my Kindergarten teachers were freaking out a bit of having their students do research.  So to support them and prove that it could be done I did some "research" with my students.

Right now in Kindergarten they are learning about Natural and Human Features in the Environment.  I started by showing students different pictures of natural made features (caves, mountains, tide pools, etc.) and some human made features (school, birdhouse, shopping center, etc.).  On the Smartboard we sorted the pictures.  They had some background knowledge because they had been talking about it in classes. 

Then we moved over to where we read books.  I explained to the students we were going to be reading a nonfiction book.  I asked them what do we listen for when we read nonfiction books.  The answer is neat facts.  I always tell them to remember nonfiction and neat facts both have an n and an f in them.

Mountains (Blastoff! Readers) (Learning About the Earth) (Learning About the Earth)The book that we read was Mountains by Emily K. Green.  After we finished I allowed those students, who wanted to, share the neat fact that they learned.  Once everyone was done sharing, I had the students move back to their seats and try and write a sentence about their neat fact that they learned.  I told them I wasn't looking for perfect sentences, but I wanted them to try.  Some struggled because of their developmental level or they wanted it to be perfect.  Others really tried, and got a sentence down.  Once they had written their sentence, they brought it to me or my assistant and we wrote it correctly.  Then they could go back and draw a picture.

After I did this activity, I made the sheet that you see in the pictures below.  When I just gave them a blank piece of paper, many of them drew their picture over the sentence.  I found that the box helped keep the picture off the sentence.

I was really impressed with what my students came up with.  Once I shared their papers with the Kindergarten teachers, I think they realized that research isn't impossible for their students.

If you do anything similar or have some great ideas, please share in the comments.

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

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