Saturday, May 14, 2011

Studying Helen Keller

We've been reading Scholastic chapter book biographies for homework (Rosa Parks and Neil Armstrong) but in class we are enjoying Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson

 I have a class set so every child has a copy. The text is easy reading (third grade level) but my focus has been inferring both Annie and Helen's personality traits through actions, dialogue or monologue. To introduce the skill I refer to them as thoughts, actions, or words.This is the first time I have done this with my fourth graders and I thought they got the hang of it pretty quickly. We listed the trait, how it was revealed to us in the story, and the text based evidence with pg. number.
                      This is the anchor chart we developed for Annie, or Teacher, as she was fondly known
Several of my 4th graders have really become interested in learning more about Helen Keller. The following website for kids gives lots of info and pictures of Helen throughout her life:
Its great for showing on the Smartboard. Christine


  1. I love checking out your reading lessons - so powerful! I am wondering, how do you incorporate your Basel program along with these novel unit studies? I am having a difficult time combining the two. Thanks!

  2. I do use a basal but I don't follow the program to the T. Some weeks I don't read a story in the basal at all. Often I read the whole book instead of the excerpt which is in the basal. Don't worry about "getting through" the stories in the basal. Be concerned with getting kids to think deeply about whatever it is you are reading. Christine