Natural Disasters: An Adventure in Non-Fiction
is an eight-week study designed for the first grade classroom. The unit is formatted in three sections. The first focus is learning to read non-fiction text and recognizing its format. The second section of the unit is using non-fiction text to perform experiments related to natural disasters. The third portion will be a writer's workshop which will allow the students to use data from their experiments to write their own non-fiction text.
Using natural disasters as an exciting subject, I hope to introduce that content, vocabulary text features and text structure are unique to non-fiction. The students will experience the science in connection with reading, and use these new skills to create their own text to be published and shared with other classes.
My unit will be taught to a self-contained first grade in New Haven, I have a class of 26 mostly six and seven year olds with a possible eight year old. Our neighborhood magnet setting is a rewarding environment, with students coming to school each day from many home settings and at many different academic levels. As a result of these variables, the children have differing levels of background knowledge and life experiences. The classroom is a mixture of varied ethnicities, economic strata and social and emotional strengths and weaknesses. The unit will help to prepare the students for the Connecticut Mastery Test by exposing them to new experiences in science and non-fiction reading and writing.