Trains and Mushrooms” Week 34 Fourth Grade
The Transcontinental Railroad (Non-fiction, Level 14, Stage 3) by Eric Kraft
Fungi (Non-fiction, Level 14, Stage 3) by Mary Kay Carson
I often think about how different my life might be if I had a girl or two around to balance out my two rough and tumble boys, but then again maybe girls like talking about mushrooms growing on poo and how smelly the workers on the Transcontinental Railroad were too, who knows? Needless to say this week we had fun with our AlphaSkills books again, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’re probably not surprised.
The activity I want to highlight this week is one of the reading activities for Fungi. This lesson plan provided 5 days of reading activities, and the one I want to highlight is Day 1. First we talked about how this book falls in the non-fiction genre, explaining the elements of non-fiction from the Read with Sarah Training Manual. Then we went over the publication data, photo credits, Table of Contents, Index and Glossary; discussed the pronunciation in parentheses for words in Glossary; and I asked Elijah to use a dictionary to compare the pronunciations for chitin, chlorophyll, and simbiont, asking if they are the same and if it’s possible for both to be correct, and expounding on preferred pronunciations of words and how a dictionary helps us determine them. We then read a few pages and talked about definitions for words new to us, and we had a fun discussion about what places fungi might have lived in The Transcontinental Railroad. Last, we completed steps #1-4 of “Investigate Mold” on page 19 of the book and talked about what observations he could make in the book throughout the rest of the week, and then he ran off with his camera to take pictures of all different kinds of fungi he remembered seeing earlier. Who knew there was so much to learn about fungi! Not to mention what the activities for the remainder of the week!
For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.