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"Read" Illustrations to Improve Literacy Skills

This article discusses how picture books present an opportunity to introduce children to the language of visual composition and its power to inform.

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A Beginning to Creating Community

In this lesson, students think about the process of learning, and the behavioral and community needs which support a productive classroom environment, encouraging them to become contributing, consensus-building members of their classrooms.

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About Me, About Mine!

An online lesson plan for a kindergarten writing unit.

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Apples Up on Top

This lesson helps students recognize basic sight words. 

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Back-to-School: Our First Six Weeks

This unit plan includes 3 lesson plans in which children learn about values, ideas, customs, and traditions through folktales, legends, music, and oral histories. Children also begin to learn about their role as citizens by accepting rights and responsibilities in the classroom and by learning about rules and laws.

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Beginning a Kindergarten Writers Workshop

An online lesson plan for a kindergarten writing unit.

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Beyond Raising a Hand

The article presents teacher-tested strategies for getting elementary students involved in class discussions and collaboration.

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Bingo! Using Environmental Print to Practice Reading

By playing this form of Bingo, emerging readers in kindergarten and first grade are encouraged to practice their reading skills using a variety of environmental print materials.

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Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together

In this lesson, students will plan, write, illustrate and edit a biography for their book buddies and strengthen computer/writing skills by communicating with their buddies using e-mail.

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Book Cover Creator

This online activity lets students type and illustrate front and back book covers and full dust jackets.

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Book Review Template

Students can use this template to communicate about a book that they have read.

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Book Smarts

A short assignment to assess a user's understanding of different genres of texts.

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Building a Matrix for Leo Lionni Books: An Author Study

In this lesson, students listen to books by Leo Lionni, discuss literary elements and compare characters and plots, create and organize information on a large matrix, review and retell each story, and compare stories using a Venn diagram.

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Camp Paws and Claws & Farm Animals

This activity is designed to reinforce what students have learned about farm animals.

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Catching the Bug for Reading Through Interactive Read-Alouds

This lesson uses an interactive read-aloud of Miss Bindergarten Stays Home From Kindergarten by Joseph Slate to help kindergarten and first-grade students learn reading strategies and how to prevent the spread of germs in their classroom.

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Collaborative Stories 1: Prewriting and Drafting

In this lesson, students complete two prewriting activities, one on brainstorming ideas using story maps, and one on creating beginnings of stories, and then work on two collaborative-writing activities in which they draft an "oversized" story on chart paper.

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Collaborative Stories 2: Revising

In this lesson, students use a story that has been written collaboratively, and then engage in a whole-group revising process by having each student add a sentence at a time.

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Creating Classroom Rules Together

This article includes ideas for helping students create class rules.

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Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research

This lesson focuses on a “learn by doing” series of reading and writing activities designed to teach research strategies, and uses KWL charts and interactive writing as key components of organizing information.

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Digging Deeper: Developing Comprehension Using "Thank You, Mr. Falker"

This teacher read-aloud of Thank You, Mr. Falker and follow-up whole-group instruction provide a basis for improved higher-level reading comprehension.

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Everyday Rules that Really Work! Instructor

A guide for teachers to help create a productive classroom environment.

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Fairy Tale Maps

This lesson plan shows how fairy tales can be used to help understand the concept of maps.

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From Scribbles to Stories

This article from Instructor provides simple directions from an child's author/illustrator to encourage creative writing in young students using a simple scribble as a prompt. 

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From the Reading Rug to the Play Center

An article about the benefits of guided play on vocabulary and general language development.

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Genre Kindergarten Unit

This unit plan includes 4 lesson plans for teaching students how to distinguish fiction and nonfiction.

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Group Time: Sharing Personal Stories

This article includes strategies for helping children share during group time.

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Help a Child Edit and Revise

This article includes tips on helping students understand the differences between revising and editing in the writing process.  

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Implementing the Writing Process

This strategy guide explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers.

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Kindergarten Comprehension Units

These research-based units facilitate precise questioning based on evidence in the text and focused discussion to enable comprehension of the entire text. Units are based on carefully selected books with authentic paired passages.

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Leo Lionni in the Primary Classroom

An article showing the benefits for students when using author studies in classes outside of English Language Arts.

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Lon Po Po: A Chinese Fairytale Lesson Plan

In this lesson students compare a traditional fairy tale to a Chinese version and explore the similarities and differences between the two cultures.

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Main Idea Background Information and Activities

A website with lesson plans and activities that help students explore and understand what the "main idea" is for writing projects.

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Managing Student Talk in the English Language Development Classroom

This article focuses on why oral language instruction is critical, and presents strategies teachers can use to manage student talk so that it provides the foundation critical for literacy development.

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Mini-Lesson: Compare and Contrast

In this activity, students read an article from Scholastic News about the discovery of dinosaur bones in South America and then identify the sentences that make comparisons.

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My Community Book

In this lesson, students use a variety of informational text to explore places in the neighborhood.

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Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

A web article about how one teacher explored the idea of opinion writing with their kindergarten class.

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Parts of a Book

This is a very short video lesson on the parts of book.

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Peer Review

This strategy guide explains how you can employ peer review in your classroom, guiding students as they offer each other constructive feedback to improve their writing and communication skills.

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Picture Understanding! Building Comprehension in the Primary Grades With Picture Books

In this lesson, students demonstrate their understanding of stories through the use of online interactive graphic organizers and present story elements of an individual book through a book talk.

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Primary Children Study Authors and Illustrators

A study on how having primary school children do author and illustrator studies could lead to more appreciation for the visual arts.

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Promoting Lively Literature Discussion

Suggested teaching methods to help make discussing literature more engaging for students.

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Promoting Self-Questioning Through Picture Book Illustrations

Teacher guide to using picture books to help readers self-evaluate.

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Questions or Statements?

In this activity students learn six question words:  who, what, when, where, why and how.

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Reading Aloud to Build Comprehension

This article discusses the power of reading aloud and goes a step further to discuss the power of thinking out loud while reading to children as a way to highlight the strategies used by thoughtful readers.

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Reading and Writing About Whales Using Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

This lesson is designed to help students formulate research questions and write letters using fiction and nonfiction texts.

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Reading Informational Texts Using the 3-2-1 Strategy

In this lesson students read an article and then write 3 things they discover, 2 interesting things and 1 question.

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Reading Rockets Looking at Writing

This website includes writing assessment resources, writing strategies, and additional tip sheets for teachers and parents on how to help kindergarteners build strong writing skills.

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ReadWorks: Kindergarten Content

This website includes free content, such as videos and reading passages, for educators to use with kindergarteners. Educators must create a free ReadWorks account to access the content.

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Research in Reading

A study about how a kindergartner's writing complexity improves with participation in a guided writing situation.

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Seizing the Moment with Illustrator Mini-Studies

An article about the importance of studying not just the authors, but also the illustrators of books and their art styles.

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