external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7yEN7SAUCiyOOKxScNpl-iE61xwxRGD5aZ-CnA2SKzTAP6d-ZSgA Season for Chapters

In this first six-week unit of second grade, students read chapter books by Cynthia Rylant, informational texts, and poetry--all related to the four seasons.

Focusing on the beauty of language in poetry and a well-written fictional story, students learn poetry terms and the beginnings and endings of stories. In preparation for writing informational text, students complete a research project on a seasonal activity from a contrasting region of the U.S., such as snow skiing or sailing. Enjoying the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, students write seasonal poetry. Students review the roles of authors and illustrators. They also read about specific authors/poets. This unit could become a weather unit or a solar system unit by adding topic-specific titles to the informational texts.
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRHbj7ajcPzXcSWcupPtPLVTX-GE_-NEWUjA3QB9fxsax6mDSZiZwexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRGFGfq-W9OY3C4iug7pqOBAOykKRTbf5ahrT0_NohHuSNVFJpjvwexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQuY0QZmt2EqkokLixiptCxNDSQzKOi2x4S2RpOvjP2Pupgs2A-external image 2067139.jpgexternal image snowballs.jpg
Theme Essential Question
When is language beautiful?

Focus Standards for the Unit:
LAFS.2.RI.1.2: Identify the main focus of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text
LAFS.2.RL.2.4: Describe how words and phrases (ex regular bests, alliteration, rhymes and repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem or song.
LAFS.2.RL.2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story adn the ending concludes the actions
LAFS.2.SL.1.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade Two topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups
LAFS.2.SL.1.2: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media
LAFS.2.W.3.7: Participate in shared research and writing projects

Unit 1 Overview with End of Unit Learning and Project

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcStG-WsmoWyxqODDDsU2jZnVFu6P1b_zL0fWBTpaFu0NXKcpsLbiwtracker week 2.jpgexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRyIPKlBW0Q8E4nRlh7wGzK6vBUycqr4E9JMdJh0gs1BFLTNiqtexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRxWzP_i_frRIzzLQ3f5iJGlaBEQ9LzCKdRq8e4dtrkwg7s366kexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcROls2M2VgKeOmPtR1PTWzZRbFO_2noCcTXcnVRyaPRuZbCscvUIQexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT5pIeKSiNMlLwnnlSK3D2WiGqHOCm1A0sOVdVYYlU_SePu2KbnFA
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS7EGTlL6JqamSwZj7-w_eTiix_XX-26oYVcfJymJXRC1eQ3nPn1A

Suggested Objectives:

    • Independently read chapter books according to ability.
    • Distinguish between the roles of author and illustrator in chapter books.
    • Ask the questions who, what, where, when, why, and how after reading fictional books.
    • Study the beginnings and endings of chapters and stories.
    • Use digital resources to research a seasonal activity.
    • Use a computer-generated graphic organizer to organize class research.
    • Create an informational class book from this shared research.
    • Study art pieces to see the artist’s techniques in creating a sense of cold or warmth.
    • Create a collection of adjectives and adverbs.
    • Expand sentences by adding adjectives and adverbs from the class discussion on art.
    • Write a paragraph using complete sentences.
    • Write poetry based on music (e.g., Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons).
    • Enjoy and analyze poetry related to the seasons, noting alliteration, rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.
    • Study the organization of informational text, specifically the purpose of paragraphs.

Interdisciplinary Connections:

  • This unit teaches:
    • Art: van Gogh, Seurat, Bruegel, Caillebotte, Tiffany
    • Music: The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
    • Geography: U.S. landforms (e.g., mountains, coast, plains, hills, and deserts)
    • Science: Seasonal cycles

    This unit could be extended to teach:
    • Geography: U.S. geography (e.g., the Mississippi River, mountain ranges such as the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, and the Great Lakes)
    • Science: Weather, the water cycle, and/or the solar system

Suggested Activities:

  • Teacher notes: Your choice of texts for this unit can be made in a few different ways, such as completing a few weeks of fiction and then shifting to poetry, and finally to nonfiction, or the unit could move along by seasons, with all of the winter materials used during two weeks of the unit before moving on to the other seasons in a logical order.

    Art, Speaking and Listening

    Artists often convey a sense of season in their depictions of flowers or trees. Ask students to study the Tiffany image, van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree, and the work titled Snow-Laden Branches. Note that these works were created on three different continents at around the same time period. Ask students to discuss similarities and differences in these artists’ techniques for depicting the seasons. (SL.2.2)

    Art, Informative Writing

    Select a work to study—for instance, you might choose the Seurat for a clear depiction of a season. Ask the students to name the season that the artist has painted. Then have students write a two-or-three-sentence explanation identifying elements in the work that led them to their observation. (W.2.2)

    Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening

    Introduce and read the first chapter of Poppleton in Winter by Cynthia Rylant. The following day, look at the chapter again. Explain to the class that Cynthia Rylant is an author who knows exactly how to write the beginning of a story and how to wrap it up with a strong ending. Direct the students to look closely at how the story begins. Reread the section where the story is set up. Students will see the setting, characters, and situation/problem in the first two sentences of the story: “Poppleton’s house grew very long icicles in winter. Poppleton was proud of them.” Create a bulleted list as the students discuss what they see, finishing the sentence “A strong beginning has . . .” Then turn to the end of the story and discuss the attributes of a strong ending. Read Rylant’s final sentences: “Poppleton was glad his icicles were knocked down. Icicles always melted. But a new friend would stay.” Continue the bulleted list, having students finish the sentence “A strong ending has . . .” As the students read each successive chapter independently, with a partner, or with the teacher, make these charts a focus of discussion. Eventually add a chart for the action in the middle of the story. (RL.2.5, RF.2.4)

    Research, Informative Writing

    Follow the local community research with a new research challenge. This time, organize small groups to research and to write about a community in a contrasting climate and geographical location. Focus on the seasons there, a sport (or activity) that is important, and the way they affect their community. Help students generate the research questions that will guide their work. Ask them to gather information from a variety of online sources and possibly hold a conversation via the Internet with the Chamber of Commerce from the community. Introduce a digital tool for organizing information. Model the organization of gathered information into broad topics through webbing. Use one part of the graphic organizer (web) to demonstrate to the class how to write one well-developed paragraph. Working in small groups, students should use the webbed information to write the remaining paragraphs. When the paragraphs are completed, combine them into books. Students can add illustrations by drawing or by collecting photographs from online sources. (RI.2.2, W.2.2, W.2.6, W.2.7, L.2.2)

    Art, Language Usage

    View the Bruegel, Caillebotte, and Seurat images. As the class studies each piece, ask the students how the artist creates a sense of warmth or cold, dryness or wetness in the painting. As the students use adjectives and adverbs in the conversation, write them down under the appropriate category on a whiteboard or chart paper. Use these words to create and expand sentences (e.g., “The artist painted snow. The talented artist painted snow with cool colors. Using an icy blue color, the artist painted a snowy scene.”). Extend the activity by using the word bank to create free-form poems to go with each painting. (L.2.1e, L.2.1f)

    Research, Informative Writing

    Focus a discussion on the characteristics of seasons in your local climate. Discuss activities that your students might associate with each season. Talk about how one of the season’s activities might help the local economy more than others by generating research questions such as, “Which season is most important to our community?" Use digital resources and speakers who have visited to gather information. Conclude the research and communicate findings with a class write such as: “Research a sport or activity in your community that relates to a specific season. Create a nonfiction text about the season, the sport, and the way it affects your community.” (RI.2.5, SL.2.1, SL.2.2, W.2.2, W.2.8, L.2.3)

    Reading Informational Text, Language Mechanics

    Use the informational book How Do You Know It’s Fall? to introduce apostrophes. Discuss the concept of contractions by creating sentences starting with “It is . . .” and then contracting the words to “It’s.” Continue generating lists of contractions for “he is,” “she is,” “they are,” “we are,” and so on. Ask the students to create detailed sentences related to the season of fall using a variety of contractions. Extend the lesson by discussing apostrophes used to show possession. Staying with the fall theme, generate a list of possessives focusing on nature’s preparation for winter (e.g., a bear’s thick coat, a squirrel’s collection of acorns, a tree’s slow growth.) (L.2.2c)

    Reading Informational Text, Informative Writing

    This unit contains a wide variety of informational texts. To introduce the work of organizing informational text, choose a book with a variety of text features and strong paragraphs. Explain to the children that as you read for information, you will also be looking at the author’s craft. Guide students to look closely at the way each informational book on the four seasons is arranged (e.g., through the use of headings, subheadings, and paragraphs). Choose one page to look for the purpose of paragraphs in organizing the information in the text. You might want to make a copy of the page for the students to examine as you demonstrate the topical chunks of information in paragraphs. Extend this lesson by listing text features in multiple books on seasons and related topics. Focus on the purposes of the text features in the books. Follow this reading lesson with having students write a paragraph as a shared write. Choose one topic related to the book read, and write a paragraph with a strong topic sentence, detailed information, and a satisfying conclusion. (RI.2.2, RF.2.4)

    Music, Language Usage, Writing Poetry

    Listen to one of the four concertos in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Instruct the students to write down words or phrases that come to them as they are listening. After they are finished, tell them to work together as a class to compile a list of words and phrases they thought of while listening. Choose a descriptive word or phrase and then challenge them to think in simile or metaphor (e.g., falling leaves—like what? Like jewels falling from the sky). Use the collection of words and phrases to write a class poem titled “Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” or “Winter.” Be sure to use rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, and/or repetition in your class poem. (RL2.4, L.2.5b)

    Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening

    Ask students to pick a favorite book from the easy section of the library. To introduce the characteristics of a good solid beginning and ending of a story, ask the students to read aloud to a partner just the first paragraph or two and then the last paragraph. Later, allow students to share the books in small groups to see what each child notices about these solid beginnings and solid endings. For example, they may notice things such as a clearly described setting with vivid words at the beginning, the book coming full circle, and the ending providing a sense of satisfaction. (RL.2.5)

    Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening

    After reading the fictional read-aloud picture books for each of the seasons, have students ask and answer questions using who, what, where, when, why, and how. Challenge students to create questions from these stems that apply directly to the books you are reading. Encourage students to answer the questions on sticky notes under each question on the following chart. (RL.2.1)
    • Who?
    • What?
    • Where?
    • When?
    • Why?
    • How?

    Reading Poetry, Performance

    The Seasons (ed. John N. Serio) is a book of collected poems by different poets. Introduce the poem “Summer Song.” Ask the students, “What did you notice about the first four lines of the poem?” (Possible answer: Repetition of “By the . . .”) Note the pattern of rhyme in the first four lines (i.e., ABAB) and how it changes as it progresses through the poem (i.e., AABB). Continue to look at the features of poetry as you read other seasonal poems in this unit. Each of the poems from The Seasons exemplifies at least one of the characteristics of the Grade Two standards: rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, and repetition. Encourage students to choose a poem to perform (recite) for the class. (RL.2.4)

Online Resources:

Sample Literacy Block

Reading Workshop
Familiar Reading (15 min)
Word Study (30 min)
Read Aloud (15 min)
Reading Workshop (1 hour)
Book Talk (5 min)
Mini-Lesson (10 min)
Independent Reading-Guided Reading-Independent Research (40 min)
Sharing-Reflection-Feedback (5 min)
Writing Workshop
Writers Talk/Mini-Lesson-Status of the Class (10 min)
Independent Writing/Guided Writing/Investigations (45 min)
Sharing/Reflection/Feedback (5-10 min)

•Digital graphic organizer
•Digital sources
•Main idea
•Shared writing
•Spelling patterns

Sight Words
Fry’s List

Terminology for Teachers:

•Alliteration – use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse; "around the rock the ragged rascal ran"
•Author – The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). This can be short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, technical or literature; in particular it is a profession (doing this for pay).
•Beginning - the first part or section of something
•Chapter - a subdivision of a written work; usually numbered and titled
•Conclusion - the act of ending something
•Digital graphic organizer – a graphic organizer that is created using techonology, for example a Smart Board Venn Diagram
•Digital sources – an online reference source
•Ending – a final part or section
•Illustrator – an artist who makes illustrations (for books or magazines or advertisements etc.
•Introduction – the act of beginning something new; the first section of a communication
•Main idea – The primary topic of a passage whether expressed or implied.
•Paragraph – one of several distinct subdivisions of a text intended to separate ideas; the beginning is usually marked by a new indented line
•Poet – a writer of poems (the term is usually reserved for writers of good poetry)
•Poetry – literature in metrical form
•Repetition – the repeated use of the same word or word pattern as a rhetorical devices
•Research – systematic investigation to establish facts
•Rhyme – a piece of poetry; be similar in sound, especially with respect to the last syllable; "hat and cat rhyme"
•Rhythm – recurring at regular intervals; the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements; "the rhythm of Frost''s poetry"
•Shared writing – Writing executed by more than one person
•Spelling patterns – A pattern that occurs frequently in spelling, such as bright, light, and sight.