| With this severe, active, hurricane season underway, here are some ideas to make areas of the curriculum relevant to your children. If you are in an area that experiences other natural phenomena, just adapt these suggestions to fit your needs.|
1. Have children express their feelings. Youngsters will be able to draw pictures and dictate sentences, while older children will be able to illustrate their own stories. With everyone participating, this will draw out your shy, timid children who may not want to take part in a verbal discussion.
2. Make a bound book of the class’ experiences and keep it in the class library. Perhaps you can have students ‘rent’ it for a night to share with their families.
3. If you do not have Pen Pals, why not try to find a class in another part of the country or world that has not experienced a hurricane. Your pupils will then become teachers as they explain what happened.
4. Instead of writing, your class could make a cassette or videotape. If sending it to Pen Pals, make sure you check on the privacy policies in your school.
5. Use children’s experiences to have lessons on adjectives, adverbs, similes, and onomatopoeia.
6. Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how as you write the opening paragraph of a story. Do it on the overhead projector and obtain input from class members.
7. This would be a good time to teach specificity and the Voice Writing Trait. Compare these two stories and tell which is more specific and exciting: a. Yesterday, a hurricane came to my city and caused a lot of damage. I was scared because it was loud. b. On September 3, 2004, Hurricane Frances roared into West Palm Beach like a lion. I felt terrified as I heard the howling wind and crashing surf. When I could survey the damage, there were humongous trees blocking the streets and houses missing roofs; some mobile homes looked like a pile of sticks.
8. Have a unit on the Five Senses of Hurricane ___. Can you smell the sweat? Do you feel hot and sticky? Have each child make his own booklet.
9. Reinforce map skills as you track a hurricane. What better way to relate latitude and longitude?! Get to know those terms for your own city. Looking at the map’s key, older children will be able to estimate how far away a hurricane is from a specific place.
10. Delve into the causes of hurricanes. Make a list of the strongest ever recorded and include their data. This will reinforce research skills and graph-making.
11. Tally how many hurricanes have occurred each year since 1960. Circle the major ones. Is there a pattern?
I hope these ideas are useful and have inspired your own creative thinking.
And remember...Reading is FUNdamental!!
About the Author
Freda J. Glatt retired from teaching after a 34-year career in early childhood and elementary education. Her focus, now, is to reach out and help others reinforce reading comprehension and develop a love for reading. Visit her site at http://www.sandralreading.com. Reading is FUNdamental!
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