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This big, multidisciplinary lesson called “Night Before Christmas” is on Writing and Much More
Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Art
6, 4, 5, 3
By – Sue Marques
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Math, Social Studies, Art
Grade Level – 3-6
Goals: 1 Students will learn about story writing, authors purpose, and the history of some of our Christmas traditions. 2 Students will gain experience of presenting their work and a classic piece of literature. 3. Students will gain experience with working in cooperative-collaborative groups
Language Arts Objectives: vocabulary development; sequencing; story details; understanding that illustrations match the text and increases story comprehension; comparing and contrasting; demonstrate understanding of the text; explore a piece of literature through listening, viewing, reading, art and speaking.
Art Objective: understand that illustrations show the illustrator’s interpretation of the text; demonstrate understanding of story vocabulary and story details through creating an illustration; acquire knowledge of a classic piece of literature.
Social Studies Objectives: develop an understanding of traditions; acquire some understanding of how a classic piece of literature can connect to history.
Math Objectives: collecting and graphing information; interpreting graphs; develop an understanding of how to create a Venn diagram.
Read or play a recording of the poem (story) “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore to the students. Reread and discuss the vocabulary. This can be done with one copy of the story/poem or with each child having a copy to follow along. Have students complete familiar vocabulary activities that you use in your room.
Reread as a shared reading. Reread as a choral reading. Place books and recording in a listening center for students to revisit the text. Display the text on the wall for students to read during center time as a “Read around the Room” activity or use sentence strips and have students lay sentence strips on top of the text written on a chart. Use any familiar activities you use to help students become very familiar with the text.
(1-3 grades) Teacher gives background information on the author, the poem/story and traditions. Have class discussions on this information.
(3-8 grades) Have different groups conduct research to find and present to the class this information. Or create research questions sheets for each group or for each student to answer. Then conduct a whole group discussion of the material.
Show the illustrations while the students listen. Have students look at, discuss and compare illustrations by different illustrators. This can be done whole group or in small groups. If you use small groups each group can examine a different illustrator’s pictures. Then they can share one or two of their favorite illustrations with the whole group and tell about the illustrator’s techniques, etc. Or each group could examine each illustrator’s work. This could continue for as many days as needed. When each work has been examined by the whole group, or by one group which shared with the whole group, have each student select his/her favorite illustrator; (3 – 8 grades) have the small groups collect this information and create a graph. Have each group write a set of questions for others to use to interpret the graph. Display each graph and the questions. Have each group answer the questions for at least one other group’s graph. (1-3 grades) can have each child record his/her choice on a class graph which is created by the whole group with the teachers help. Questions could be created by students with teacher recording them or the teacher could do this. Each student will be given a copy of the questions to answer independently or the teacher can orally ask the questions while each student records his/her answer. Then have the questions answered in a whole groups sessions.
When the students are very familiar with the text, divide the text into parts equal to the number of students in the class. Put the text for each part on a separate sheet of 12 x14 white construction paper. Each student will illustrate one of the parts. When completed have them sequence the illustrations. Have each child present his part to the class by reading or quoting from memory the text while showing his/her illustration. (1 -3 grades) Teacher place a copy of the text on the front and the back for students to have when presenting their pages. (3-8 grades) Have each student memorize his/her part of the text. Or you could have them write the text on the back to read during the presentation. Practice presenting this in your room. Then present it to other audiences (examples: other classess, parents, PTA or PTO)
Evaluations: Teacher observation of participation and products, rubrics developed by the teacher or by students, teacher made quizzes, teacher/student conferences, portfolio evaluation, etc.
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