Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ringing In the New Year with a Look Back

or the subtitle might be "Creating an Autobiography."

Our county creates a pacing guide each year with teacher representatives from the different elementary schools (we have 4).  Somehow, though, (because I can't imagine a teacher deciding this!), we are to teach nonfiction the entire second semester.  Yes, that's right.  Fiction for first semester, nonfiction for second.  As in, your every read aloud and reading group better be reading nonfiction for the rest of the year! Yikes!

I don't even think we have that many nonfiction texts in our reading room!

I love teaching nonfiction - don't get me wrong.  I just think there would be a better way to put it in during the year, even if we "flip flopped" back and forth between that and fiction each nine weeks. *Sigh*

So, I decided to make the best of it (sneak in a few informational books) and create different units.  We're starting with biographies.  Of course, there is definitely a lack of biographies under Guided Reading Level "H", but I am trying to make do with our read aloud time!  To culminate the unit, I wanted the kids to create an autobiography.

So, knowing I wanted something with a cute template and possibly planner, I went searching.  I found some great nonfiction and biography material.  Really cute, as in "interview each other and create a biography of your classmate/teacher/etc."  However, it wasn't quite what I had in mind.  After pinning way too many other things that popped up on Pinterest (happened to you too?) and searching on some of my favorite blogs, I went to the teacher stores.  Sure, they had some things, but I have to admit - I am way too picky! 

Knowing that my kids would struggle with some of the older and more complicated looking templates and formats, I finally went searching for some cute frames (have I said before how much I LOVE  She never fails!).  After over an hour of downloading clipart (I kept telling myself - one more, and I'll stop!), I had my cute frames!  I don't know what it is about those squiggly frames that just seem to make everything cuter. :)

So, in my pickiness, I created my own autobiography pack.  Okay, so I'm adding a little fiction to it - my kids are going to predict what their future is going to be like and write it like it's already happened.  I'm sure to have a few ninjas and jedi knights, but hey - it could happen! :)

We'll be working on these later next week, when the kids return the week of the 7th, so I'll be sure to post if they were a success :) or utter disaster :(.  I'm hoping they'll be so good, we'll be able to use them for our class published book we do each year!  Fingers are crossed!

Meanwhile, you can check it out at my teacher stores. Here's a quick look!


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