Third trimester is our big unit of reading and writing nonfiction. I've checked a TON of National Geographic Kids books from the library. I've got all different subjects: animals, plants, people and inventions to show them how many different things you can learn/read and write about. They love the Nat Geo because they are books they can read, they have great photographs and of course jokes! When you head to the public library these might be good books to check out (although I think I have every one they have checked out right now ha ha)!
In reading, we will spend a lot of time reading the books, and learning how to use nonfiction texts to help us with our writing. We will learn the different parts of nonfiction: table of contents, glossary and index and how they can help us both understand and write research. The photographs will help tell us important facts as well as the information we read. Eventually we will learn how to pull out key facts for our writing research. This will take us to spring break.
In writing, we will continue our sticky note projects, gradually getting to the point where they will be able to take notes, write rough drafts and final projects themselves. Next week will be Planets. I'll read a generic book about them and then let them pick their favorite to study! We will begin in again with taking sticky notes, talking more about what is important to include in the research of an animal/person/plant/insect or invention. We talked a lot about with our frog study that you need to include facts about their looks: body, size, color and their habitat and eating habits. It's important to tell where they live and if they migrate or hibernate. This time with our Planets, we will not only write a rough draft but take that rough draft and write a final copy on writing paper with picture space. This will be a new step for them, but they are familiar with the paper and have done a short version of this with polar bears.