This is a guest blog post by Dana Lester, who writes a blog called Common to the Core, in which she writes about the Common Core State Standards, student reading skills, behavior management, books and products, and more. Dana is writing a series of guest posts; to see her other contributions, you can click here!
Kindergarten Language Convention Standards
Hello everyone! This is Dana from Common to the Core. Today I wanted to share with you some ways to cover some of the Kindergarten Language Convention Standards. I’ve found that informational texts (i.e., nonfiction books) are extremely appealing to many of my students, so I was delighted to discover the low word count Zoozoo Animal World books.
The repeating text is great for struggling readers. I took Horse by Lee Waters and typed out the words for each student. After we read the book together, I gave each student the words. As I read each page again, the students found the words and arranged them in the correct order. This activity provides exposure to frequently occurring nouns and verbs (CCSS L.K.1b). You can download the word cards for Horse by clicking the word card image at the bottom of the article.
After the students ordered the words for the sentence, we talked about each one. The book provides talking points on the back cover that are very helpful; for example, the text on page two says, "A horse can sit." The talking points on the back cover give more facts about horses: "most horses are raised on farms and they are used for work, travel, and for fun; there are many different kinds of horses of all shapes, sizes, and colors.” Using the information from the talking points allows the students to practice producing and expanding complete sentences in shared language activities (CCSS L.K.1f).
I used the books Horse, Pig, Arctic Fox, and Killer Whale with these activities. We also worked on changing nouns to their plural form and whether or not the plural form made sense in the sentences. After reading about these animals, you could create a Venn Diagram of their habitats (farm and arctic). I invite you to share ways you use low word count books with your students in the comments below.
I hope these activities are successful in your classroom! Below is the image to click to download the word cards for Horse.
Dana Lester received a B.S. and Master’s Degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently teaching at Walter Hill School in Murfreesboro, TN. Dana is also a Common Core Coach with the Tennessee State Department of Education. She has 12 years of classroom experience and has just begun her role as Library Media Specialist. As a strong advocate of the Common Core Standards and Whole Brain Teaching strategies, she engages her students in hands-on, inquiry based learning and shares many ideas and activities on her blog, Common to the Core. She was named Teacher of the Year at Walter Hill in 2013.