Literacy Lessons by Cathy Walters, Target® 2009 Teacher on the Trail™
* These lessons support literacy goals. The lessons are brain based and often encourage students to move through music or be physically active. The lessons can be easily integrated into curriculum content and although they are developed for ‘younger students’, the lessons are easily adaptable to other age levels.
Cathy’s lesson plans and articles require Acrobat Reader
- Readers Theater
Grade Level: PK-Kindergarten: Readers Theater 1
First and Second Grade: Readers Theater 2
Language arts, reading, plays
Lesson Summary: Readers Theater is the reading of a text in a play-like fashion. This lesson includes 2 scripts. The first script is geared towards pre-readers. The teacher reads the portion of the script that moves the story, and students respond with a refrain or simple lines that are repetitive and easy to learn. The second script is for written for first and second grade students. Although props and costumes can be involved in an elaborate Readers Theater, most involve the children simply reading the text with good fluency. By performing a Readers Theater, students are given an excellent reason to read, reread, and reread a text.
- Worksheet: Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Script
- Worksheet: First and Second Grade Script
- Polar Bears
Grade level: PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, Reading, Social Studies
Lesson Summary: After reading Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons students will complete an ABC or 123 dot-to-dot of a polar bear. The teacher will read the Polar Bear Fact sheet and students will point to the corresponding physical feature on their completed dot-to-dot polar bear. After all the facts have been read, students watch the National Geographic Video. The teacher then introduces the polar bear song to the children.
- Worksheet: ABC Dot-to-Dot
- Worksheet: 123 Dot-to-Dot
- Worksheet: Polar Bear Fact Sheet
- Worksheet: Polar Bear Song Sheet
- Alaska’s Arctic Animals
Grade Level: PreKindergarten/Kindergarten, Reading/Social Studies/Science
Lesson Summary: During the study of Alaska’s Arctic animals and where they live students will be able to tell the teacher one cold fact about each animal. A cold fact is anything that tells how these animals survive in such a harsh environment. Two facts, for example, that help the willow ptarmigan survive are that he turns white in the winter (his camouflage) and that he grows extra feathers in the winter, even on his feet (for warmth). This information is reviewed and reinforced by playing the Arctic Animal Memory Game and Arctic Animal Bingo.
- Willow Ptarmigan – Master of Disguise
Grade level: PreKindergarten – 5th Grade, Reading, science, art
Lesson Summary: After conducting the toothpick experiment and reading Gone Again Ptarmigan, students will see in this art activity how important camouflage is to Alaska’s state bird, the willow ptarmigan and other Arctic animals. (Other Arctic animals that change their coats or feathers with the season are the Arctic fox, the short-tailed weasel (known as ermine in their winter coats),the snowy owl, and the snowshoe hare. Polar bears keep their camouflage all year long!)
- Worksheet: Ptarmigan Stencil
- Iditarod in Rhyme and Song
Grade Level: Pre- Kindergarten and beyond Language Arts, Brain based learning, movement, music
- Worksheet: Iditarod Song Sheet
- Worksheet: Iditarod Song Chart
- Worksheet: Iditarod, Iditarod, A Dog Sled Race Song Sheet
- Literacy and Fluency Instruction
Grade Level: Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, Reading Readiness
Lesson Summary: Students demonstrate understanding of an area that you are emphasizing in your instruction by circling or underlining on the “Five Little Huskies.” handout. For example, students can circle all the capital letters in the poem.
- Worksheet: Five Little Huskies Poem
- Sing to Read
Grade Level: Pre-Kindergarten and beyond
Lesson Summary: Students will learn strategies to decode the word “Iditarod.” They will identify all letters by name and sound, place the letters in the correct order and orally read “Iditarod” as a sight word.
- Worksheet: Iditer-cise Song Sheet
- Worksheet: Iditarod Puzzle
- Worksheet: Photo of Student in Action
- Mush Art Lesson
- Grade level: Pre- Kindergarten and beyond Lesson summary:Students will observe Jon Van Zyle’s Iditarod art as well as some of his other work showing the beauty of Alaska. They will learn a song about Jon and then draw their own Mush! Art following a step-by-step format.
- Worksheet: Jon Van Zyle Song Sheet
- Worksheet: How to Draw a Husky
- Worksheet: How to Draw a Musher and Sled
- Where on the Globe is Alaska? (Language Arts, Geography)
- Grade Level: Pre-Kindergarten
- Lesson Summary:Students will learn the location of Alaska on the globe and on a map, name bodies of water and countries to the north, south, east, and west of Alaska and learn one or two facts about the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Canada, and Russia
- Worksheet: Where on the Globe is Alaska? song sheet
- Worksheet: Where on the Globe is Alaska? Song Chart
- Memory Map (geography)
- Grade Level: Pre-Kindergarten and Beyond, Social Studies, Reading
- Lesson Summary: Location recognition
- Worksheet: Daily Map of Alaska to Label
- Hike! (Classroom Management)
- Worksheet: Husky Stencil
- Worksheet: Musher and Sled Stencil
- RACE Necklace – Character Education
Grade Level: Pre-Kindergarten and Beyond, Reading, Listening Skills, Spelling, Character Education
Lesson Summary: Students string beads in the order the teacher’s directions indicate.
Character Education Lesson Suggestions
- Respect and Responsibility – Character Education
- Worksheet: Respect and Responsibility Song
- Attitude – Character Education
- Worksheet: Attitude Song
These lessons were first posted on the website August, September, and October 2008, by Cathy Walter, Target® 2009 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, North Carolina