Literacy Lessons by Cathy Walters, Target® 2009 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™

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

Visit this link to Cathy’s Idita-Tunes. Listen to the music.  View the lesson plans.