Skip to main content

Textbook Features Activity

Today I had an awesome lesson with third graders in the computer lab. The idea came from a pintrest post (see the first picture). I thought that that would make a great integrated tech project in ELA where student's learn about nonfiction text features. I got one of my willing third grade teachers to let me try it with her group during her ELA block.
I created a template (see second picture) made up of text boxes. Initially I had made it like the first picture but found that third graders would take forever typing information in some of the text heavy boxes and so I deleted them.
They came to the computer lab with their science textbooks and I had them find examples of big and little text, highlight text, bullets, etc. I explained how these textbook features make information easy to find. I then had them create a document that had all these features. The idea was that would print it out and and add to their ELA binder (or you could even add it to a science notebook!).
The kids and I had a great time. They learned how to do a lot of things in Word (i.e. highlight, change the color of text, make bullets, etc.) while applying that knowledge to their textbook.
I picked third grade because it is really textbook heavy year for our students and becoming familiar with these features might help them (they are also mature enough to follow directions in the computer lab :)
I am repeating this lesson with three other third grade classes this week and I learned a lot during our lesson today (i.e. get rid of some of the text boxes). I'm hoping those classes go as smoothly as the one today!
In some hindsight I might do this lesson in the first month of school next year when students are becoming familiarized with their textbooks but certainly think it won't hurt them to get it now :)


Unknown said…
Looks great! Any chance you could post a picture of one of the completed assignments. I'd like to see what the end product might look like.
Laura Murphy said…
This is exactly what a needed! I started first with my ELL kids to cut out these features from their magazine.

Popular posts from this blog

Moon Phase Box

I happened to walk into a fourth grade class the other day and they were hard at work making moon phase boxes. They were totally adorable and the kids were completely into it. The teacher very kindly let me take some pictures (thank you Mrs. Parker!) and add to my blog.

Students would need a shoe box and they need to cover the inside and inside lid with black construction paper. Using fishing wire they would hang a ping pong ball in the center of the lid so it is suspended in the center of the box. They then take a flashlight and trace the light end on one of the short ends of the box and then create viewing flaps in the middle of every side (including the one with the light bulb (but that might be slightly off center). It is important that the viewing areas are flaps and not cut directly out (you need to keep the light coming into the box blocked as much as possible).

The teacher used a box cutter to cut the flaps and flashlight hole for the children. I probably would have had studen…

Google Classroom Headers (and Bitmojis)

I recently taught a class on how to use Bitmojis in the classroom to increase student engagement and help with classroom organization and management.

One fun idea was to use them to make custom Google Classroom headers. The idea came from Alice Keeler's blog and she even provided a template for her header.

My computer settings weren't the same as hers so I had to tweak my version.

This got me thinking about how the headers could be changed out frequently, as something new for students to look forward to, when they opened up Google Classroom. In my head I was thinking they could be changed out weekly (38 total headers needed) if time permitted. 

I have several other ideas, templates, and instructions linked in this presentation.

I would love to see other custom Google Classroom Header ideas! Please feel free to post a comment or tag me on Twitter at @techcoachlife.

Cookie Moon Phases

I've seen these cookie moon phases before (click here for a description of the activity on Science Bob's Blog) and wanted to share my "Moon Phase" cookie story.

After seeing these online I thought it would be fun to do it in class as part of our Astronomy unit. I decided to make these at home. They turned out adorable. Then I decided to eat them (justifying that I would let my kids eat them in class :) It quickly became apparent that 8 Oreo cookies was way too many to eat (I definitely felt queasy). I went back to the online directions and found out that I was suppose to use "mini Oreo cookies" (which made much more sense).

A note of caution, the mini Oreo cookies may not be as cost effective with large groups of children (when I taught middle school I had 80+ children). It is definitely cheaper to buy the generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I would just provide a snack or sandwich baggie so the kids could take the leftovers home.