This unit was developed for my first grade intervention class. It can be modified to work in Kindergarten or second grade as needed. It can also be used with ELL class to introduce American traditions. I always begin the lesson with the word wall vocabulary words. They each have a corresponding picture to aid in meaning recognition. I find that this helps them remember what the words mean and they refer back to the word wall frequently to use the picture cue. Four mini books are included that break the unit up into four areas:
• Fourth of July
• Memorial Day
• Columbus Day
The mini books are assembled by folding in half with picture on the outside. Place in page order with fold facing out. Staple along opposite side of fold. There are a few activity sheets that go along with the theme:
• Time Line Work Sheet
o Students cut out pictures and paste them on the correct date on the time line.
• Thanksgiving & 4th of July sorting sheet
o Students cut out pictures and paste them under Thanksgiving or 4th of July
• 4th of July writing
o Students draw a picture and tell how they celebrate the 4th of July.
• Thanksgiving writing sheet
o Students draw a picture and write about what they are thankful for.
• Venn Diagram
o Students compare and contrast Memorial Day and 4th of July.
• Thanksgiving and Columbus day sheet
o Student look at pictures and write Thanksgiving or Columbus Day
Included assessment can be given when unit is complete.
This unit is designed to take about eight 40 minute lessons with the assessment given on the 9th day. This can be modified depending on the level of your class. This will take me anywhere from 7-10 days depending on the day. I incorporate trade books from the public library as well as videos from Brain Pop and Discovery Education to enhance the concepts.
I developed this unit with the Common Core in mind. The importance of informational text and non-fiction reading is stressed within the Common Core through-out the grade levels. This presents material in a way that students do not seem threatened by, unlike a large text book. Also, writing is incorporated quite often as this is such an important and developing skill in first grade.