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A ____ is ____.

Play a game in pairs that challenges students to describe and classify their knowledge and research into one word categories, illustrating that word using dry erase boards and dry-erase crayons.

  • Grade 2
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Begin the assignment by reading to the class from the beautifully illustrated books by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long “A Rock is Lively”, “An Egg is Quiet” and “A Seed is Sleepy”. Discuss how the authors are able to examine an aspect of natural history and arrive at descriptive adjectives that help to explore and explain its important characteristics.
    2. Break the class up into pairs and either assign or let the students to choose their subject (for example, a mountain). On individual Crayola® Dry-Erase Board with Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons, have each student write, A _____ (mountain) is _____., along the top.
    3. Next allow each team time to think about its topic and come up with a word to complete the sentence accurately. Students must also visually defend their word choices on the board with a picture as well as writing words in support of the sentence. (A mountain is obvious-it’s tall, big, seen from afar.)
    4. The two (or more) students who have the same word share their sentences and discuss their reasoning for their choices.
    5. After that students delve deeper into the topic, doing individual research to gain more understanding of the subject and return to partners with a new sentence to support their new knowledge. This back and forth continues until the pair feels the subject has been fully covered.
  • Standards

    LA: Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

    LA: Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to grade level or subject area.

    LA: Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

    SCI: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

    SCI: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

    VA: Art communicates about and helps viewers understand the natural and constructed world.

  • Adaptations

    Students may take photos of each word and the picture illustration. When the subject is exhausted, they may compile the photos into a poster or booklet to share with the rest of the class.

    Record each descriptive word from the assignments, posting them on the board daily for the weekly vocabulary.

    Ask students to pick their favorite sentence and illustration to render in watercolors as used in the books.

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