Maybe it’s all the snow or the dropping temperatures, but every year in January I love teaching my kids all about polar animals and their arctic habitats! I thought I would give you a glimpse into my favorite Arctic activities and help you to bring polar animal fun into your classroom with exciting ideas and a free nonfiction text features worksheet!
Polar Animal Unit
Each year I have a fun activity-packed Polar Animal Unit that covers all areas of the curriculum. I love it because there are lots of activities to choose from so I can differentiate from year to year depending on what my kids can handle and what they need. Having choice also keeps it exciting for me.
Nonfiction Text for Polar Animals
Nonfiction Text Features
Since we were gearing up to write an informative report on the polar animals I needed to make sure my text modeled all the expected nonfiction features and more. With this in mind, I knew nonfiction text features would also be a great choice for my guided reading theme. I don’t know about your students, but many of the nonfiction text features were always a hard grasp no matter how much we covered it. This is why I LOVE Guided Reading with a Purpose.
Instead of covering the features a little here and a little there, we go in-depth each week to assure confidence and hopefully mastery in each area. The Polar Animal Unit focuses on nonfiction text features like diagrams and labels. I made sure that all the small readers had a diagram and multiple opportunities to see labels in use. Other text features I included are boldfaced words, table of contents, captions, index, and glossary, for review or as an introduction point.
Guided Reading with a Purpose
- Mini-lesson ideas to introduce the focus
- Comprehension cards to accompany the book to review throughout the book or for discussion after you read
- Parent communication: letter home going over the weekly focus with suggested conversation starters around literature
- Book talk bookmarks for guided reading groups, at-home support, or independent student use
- Posters supporting the target skills
- Bulletin board headers and posters
- Skill cards: character, setting, problem & solution, etc.
- Morning work or fast finisher activities
- Multiple worksheets covering current skills and previous week’s skills
- Writing prompt(s)
- Graphic organizers & writing paper
CLICK HERE to learn more about the “Guided Reading with a Purpose” Curriculum
Nonfiction Text Features Worksheet
FREEBIE ALERT! I wanted you to be able to take a glimpse into a small part of my latest Guided Reading with a Purpose unit on polar animals so I included a FREEBIE! The orca/killer whale book in this freebie is exactly what the small readers are like in my Guided Reading with a Purpose Polar Unit… full of many text features. I also provided one of my mentor posters and one of the many focused worksheets included in the unit.
And check out my other Nonfiction Text Features freebie in the post, “Pass, Shoot, Score! Basketball Nonfiction Readers and a Free Text Feature Scavenger Hunt.”
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