Friday, June 26, 2020

Units on Mexican and Guatemalan History and Culture that would Align Well With Common Core

Mayan Ruins at Chichén Itzá in Yucatan, Mexico
Courtesy of Chris Newsome
Looking for lessons about Mayan Civilizations connected to the CCSS?

Harvard puts out a great teacher's guide, Magnificent Maya, and NASA puts out Calendar in the Sky that deals with the Mayan concept of time.

Both would align well with the following Common Core standards:

Grade 2: Recount stories, including fables and  folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

Grade 6-8: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

In addition, check out the resources for the Magnificent Maya lessons and a great unit that includes a study of Mayan fables

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Multicultural Poetry for Phonological Awareness and Reading Fluency

Multicultural Poetry is also a good way to teach rhyming words. Also, you can consider culture with respect to poetry and read poems by diverse groups of poets. See https://poets.org/anthology/popular-poems-teach
Teaching students multicultural poetry requires that they "develop an established receptive and productive oral language vocabulary, an established understanding of the concepts of print (e.g., directionality, the understanding that print carries a message), the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words (phonemic awareness), a basic sight-word vocabulary (i.e., any word the learner can recognize immediately and without decoding; Ehri, 1995), and a growing understanding of how words work within the larger grammatical structures of language (syntax). Prepared with these skills, students can begin to develop automatic word recognition, or automaticity" (Helman, p. 182).
Once they have these skills they can learn poetry as part of the third grade standard for reading literature
Teaching poetry gives all students a chance to learn about the flow of the English language when it's read aloud, or it's prosody, which is oral reading expression. When students read aloud with prosody they are showing that they are comprehending the text. Poetry is a good way to illustrate prosody. You can also teach prosody by modeling it and then having students follow repeat what you said with expression.