Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola

Happy Wednesday!

My ideal plan is to have a post once a week on a product from my TeachersPayTeachers store.

A little background on my teaching career first...
I taught First grade at a private school in Houston for three years before I was a substitute teacher while I was pregnant. Now I spend my days with this little girl who is a little miracle.

This was taken on Friday at our first music class- she LOVED it! #tinytotsandtunes
She is mad I won't let her eat the paper #meanmommy #notreallythough

During those three years I developed quite the classroom library (this is when my husband starts rolling his eyes ;) ) I loved getting some of my favorite books and favorite authors to share with my kiddos.

The school I taught at used Journeys for its Language Arts and Literature curriculum and while it was clear in its objectives, it was also a bit dull for the kids. I would follow the Journeys curriculum (so I could keep my job ;) ) but I would apply the strategies learned each week to a more exciting book. This is where my expansive classroom library comes in handy :) 

Tomie de Paola was one of my very favorite children's book authors that I constantly bombarded the kids with. His books include Strega Nona, The Knight and the Dragon, The Legend of the Bluebonnet, The Legend of the Poinsettia - just to name a few of my favorites.

Strega Nona quickly became a favorite in my classroom. It is such a fun storing with a great message for the kids. We not only read Strega Nona but we also read the Strega Nona spin offs- Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, Strega Nona Meets Her Match and Big Anthony and the Magic Ring

You can find my Strega Nona unit in my store at TeachersPayTeachers. 

The first thing I did with my kids after reading a book was go over the story elements. We did so often that after the first couple months of school they required very little prompting ;) Strega Nona is a great book for teaching problem and solution!

This story map is great for individual classwork or can also be used in groups during center activities. I loved listening to the students work together on this in groups.

Along the same lines of story elements- I regularly have the students work on retelling the story. Sometimes I will put this page up on the SMARTboard and we will complete it as a whole class, other times I will put it in my dry-erase pockets and have the students work on it at a center [I have noticed that when they don't have to turn in the assignment, they are less concerned with making it perfect and write a little more freely- but they still bring the dry-erase pocket to me and I read over it before they erase it, so I can still assess their work] or they will complete it in small groups.

I always try to incorporate a few FUN activities into our books we are reading while still meeting standards- this is when my spelling and map activities come in!
 I have the students cut out the letters and rearrange them to spell new words. They record it on the same sheet.
 I will also make the assignment a little more challenging by having the students organize the words the built by the number of letters- this is also great for those early finishers! :) 
Incorporating a little geography for the day- have the students locate Italy on the map and draw a line from Strega Nona to Italy and have them do the same- from the child to the country they live in!

Speaking of early finishers...I think it is nice to have a few extra activities that aren't always "more work" for them- so I created a word search and an ABC order activity. I don't know about your kids, but mine have always loved an ABC order page, so I try to always have one on hand. 

**My daughter grabbed the marker while I was holding and drew on the page so I covered it up with a blank paper**

I also have a little language activity to help the students learn a few Italian phrases

And last but not least...comprehension questions! This can be used as a quiz for a grade or just for you to know what the students retained :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this little unit!!

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