According to my students and retailers, the holiday season is here. Days off, the promise of gifts, parties with family and friends. Today, as we walked toward our room, one student shared what many were thinking. He’d rather be at home.
Fortunately, there were a few things that made being at school almost as good as a long weekend. After the last few chapters of Zane and the Hurricane, we went into a culminating part of one of TCRWP’s reading unit, Reading the Weather. This unit is a favorite not only because of the engaging subject matter but because of how students take nonfiction reading and share it in unconventional ways.
For the past three weeks, students have researched a particular area of interest: hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis or earthquakes. Today, they were to craft their presentations.
The what to, how to, and who will present their work to another student group was all up to the team. Poster boards, notecards, tape, glue, scissors, markers were everywhere.
Some had been planning for the last week.
Others just got the sense of urgency. “Tomorrow? Like ALL of it ready?”
They worked, and ideas kept surfacing. More materials were requested.
“You know this paper could make a great cape,” said team member in charge of the effects of tsunamis.
“And how is that connected to tsunamis?” asked co-member in charge of historical tsunamis.
They worked through their recess. And their lunch.
As I walked students to the buses, student team member in charge of safety during tsunamis was sharing her giant blue wave with a student from another fourth-grade class. She put her head through the hole at the top, and said, “Tomorrow we get to teach!”
Unconventional fun nonfiction reading. Almost as good as a long weekend.