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A collection of Big Book Activities, dealing with the book What Will the Weather Be Like Today?
Art, Language Arts
Title – Big Book Activities
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Language Arts, Art
Grade Level – 1-2
What Will the Weather be Like Today? by Paul Rogers; illustrated by Kazuko
I chose this book because children are very familiar with weather and the terms and words that are used to describe weather. Therefore, this book is relevant to their lives and understandable to children. In addition, the front cover and the inside pictures are wonderful. They are not too detailed as to take attention away from the story, but they are simple, colorful, and fun! Furthermore, the language is great. The author uses descriptive, yet easy, words and the story has a fun rhyming pattern to it that I think children will enjoy.
I think I would prefer to use this book in a first grade classroom, which is the grade for which I will describe activities with the book. Even so, the book could probably be used in grades K – 2. I would use this Big Book for about seven days by doing pre-reading activities, activities with the book itself, and extension activities. Some themes into which I’d like to incorporate this book include: weather, biomes, animals, and communities. The following activities will fit best into a unit or theme on weather.
Before reading this book for the first time, I will have my students brainstorm all of the different ‘weather’ words that they can think of. After each named word, I will ask the students to describe the word, and then I will write it on the board. I will add my own words if I think they are important. Next, I will ask each student to draw a picture that represents his/her favorite type of weather. They should label their pictures appropriately, using the words on the board. These pictures will be placed on a wall in the classroom to begin a Word Wall for this book.
After this initial activity, we will read the book as a read aloud. I will read through it once, instructing the students to listen closely to determine if ‘their’ words are mentioned in the book. When we are done, I will ask students whose words were mentioned and what they were. I will ask questions such as: Do you remember what the picture looked like on the page that your word was printed? How did it look like your picture? How was it different than your picture? Then, I will tell the children that we will read through the book again, only, this time I want the children to say the weather words with me.
Another activity I will do with this book is a rhyming activity. First, we will do a mini-lesson on rhyming words in which I will help children to understand what rhyming words are. Then, I will put children into pairs, giving each pair a small version of the Big Book. I will give the children about ten minutes to look through the book to find one pair of rhyming words. Finally, I will put up a large piece of butcher paper for the children to write their words on. I will have already printed words at the top which their words will rhyme with, so students should print their words underneath the proper word. Students will explain their choices, and if any mistakes are made, they will be corrected at the end (I will go over each list of words, and students will point out if and why any words do not belong).
To begin another activity, I will ask the children what the weather is like outside today. I will write this word on the board, and I will ask the students to name another weather word from our word wall. I will write this word on the board as well, and I will tell students that we will be completing a Venn Diagram. I will give a short mini-lesson on what a Venn Diagram is, and then I will ask students to give ideas about how these weather words are the same and how they are different. I will also hand out small versions of the Big Book so that the students can look at the pictures to gain ideas. When a child says a difference or similarity, he/she should tell me where I should write it on the Venn Diagram. This activity can be done using other weather words from the book as well.
Another fun activity that I will do is an oral rereading of the book, only the print will be covered up this time. On each page, I will call on one or two children to make up a line to the story. The lines should be different than the original story, but the children must pay attention to the pictures so that the lines they say make sense with regards to the picture on that page. This is a fun activity because it can be done over and over again, and the story will never be the same!
Also, to go along with our theme, I will have students write a short story about what they do on a _____ day. Students can choose their weather word from the Word Wall, and then they should write a story that makes sense for that particular word. This will be done on paper that is lined at the bottom so that they can eventually illustrate their stories. I will encourage children to look through the Big Book to get ideas on how to write their stories.
Another activity that will be fun for the children is a newscast activity. This activity is pretty involved, so it may be divided into a period of a few days. Students will be put into pairs, and they must decide on a type of animal that they will ‘be’. Once they have decided, I will hand out a sheet that is divided into three parts: Today the weather is _____; We are happy because _____; We are sad because _____. Students will be given time to do research at the library to determine what they will say about certain weather conditions for the different animals. After the pairs of students have been able to finish the three sentences, I will ask them to add on to them however they would like. They may draw pictures to illustrate their stories, or they can tell ‘Special Report’ stories about an animal that had a particular problem with the weather condition. They should keep in mind any weather reports that they have ever seen (I may choose to show a couple of recorded news reports to help the children if this is difficult for them). When they are finished, I will set up a small ‘news desk’ for the students to sit behind while they give their weather reports. I will bring in old play clothes for the children to wear during their reports. Finally, I will videotape each report so that the class can watch the entire tape of their weather reports while munching on animal crackers that I will bring to class.
These are only a few of the possible activities to do with this book. There are so many fun activities that make sense with this Big Book, and I am positive that I will use this book in my classroom someday.
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