Sunday, June 3, 2012

"If we are to have war - let it begin HERE!"

- Captain John Parker at the Battle of Lexington 
We are continuing our Revolutionary War unit. The kids have be EATING IT UP! Recently, I have been having a LOT of substitutes due to district meetings, teacher evaluation {went WELL BTW! EEK!} and other events. With that being said, I have had the subs watch a couple Liberty Kid videos with the kids. I am not a big fan of videos, I like using short ones to launch a lesson, unit, or break up the day, but 20 minute movies are generally not my thing. However, they are perfect for subs {I do create little movie reflections so the kids have to PROCESS the video} and I feel that liberty kid videos are QUITE educational. The coolest part about them is that many of my kids go home and watch them OnDemand and are now watching something clean and educational on their OWN time! {Teacher heart made happy!}.
Here is an example video {they are ALL on Youtube} and a free video handout for discussion for the first two episodes: {PERFECT for sub plans! *grin*}

The freebie handouts can be found at my TPT store ... haven't figured out how to embed them on the blog page yet ... . . . .
 Here are a few more activities we have been doing:
We have been traveling down the "Road to the Revolution" and learning about all the different events that led to a declaration of INDEPENDENCE!
We worked on our Paraphrasing skills {something that is quite hard for kids I am realizing!} by paraphrasing the different important sections of the Declaration of  Independence.
Can't seem to turn the picture for some reason .. sad. You get the idea :)
We studied about Paul Revere and his midnight ride - we read the famous Henry Wadsworth poem {I use the kid's version from our Scott Foresmen Basel Series}
 Then we learned about the actual battles themselves - Lexington and Concord
I have them watch this video {I love this ENTIRE documentary, I show blurbs throughout the whole year for each unit}

We talk about the battle information and add this information to {This} battle matrix that I got from Teaching in Room 6.
One my most favorite mini-units during this unit is our Poetry unit. We start by breaking down the song sung by School House Rock on the video "Shot Heard Round the World" - which is obviously a poem as well. I give the kids the lyrics to the song and we use and adaptation of {this} sheet, which is ALSO from the amazing Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 to begin our unit on poetry.
I introduce the vocabulary we will be needing and then we talk about the different characteristics of a poem {Rhythm, Rhyme Scheme, Stanzas, etc.}
and yes, I KNOW I spelled RHYTHM wrong - it happens when you are talking and writing at the same time - the kids corrected me - life moves on.  I need to remind myself to cross the "e" out so no one else "reminds" me! ha!
We go through the poem together finding these things as I give the examples on the chart. Rhyme Scheme and Rhythm are both hard at first for some kids so make SURE you give them LOTS of practice doing it with lots of different poems. This is a great introduction to our poetry unit which we just finished up Friday - I will post about that later.
For more unit and lesson ideas for the Revolution, please visit the link below! 
American Revolution Linky
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