Our Changing Times
Comparing the past and present is a perfect theme for the month of November.
I LOVE thematic teaching.
I fully believe it is beneficial for the kiddos, too.
It helps cement new concepts. Encourages “buy in” and involvement. It allows full immersion into topics that may otherwise be a little abstract. It’s beyond “setting” a stage – it is full immersion.
The theme must be meaningful, carry academic weight, and last quite a bit of time.
Our first grade team’s school year is designed around our social studies and science standards. Our themes last an entire month and coincide completely with those standards. You can read more about our thematic teaching schedule on my backwards planning series.
November is a super fast, short month for us. It’s also extremely busy. We will go on a field trip this month to an old ranch where the kids visit what life was like in the past. We wash clothes using a wash board and bucket and hang them to dry. The kiddos make ice cream, tortillas and butter by hand! And eat all of that, too! The house is kept as it was. The kids learn about life without a bathroom or even a bedroom! They learn about chamber pots, cooking with a wood burn stove and chores. There are a few animals to feed and old farm equipment to look at. It’s a marvelous field trip. If you are in the Southern California area, I highly suggest you check out Jensen Alvarado Ranch!
During this unit of comparing the past and present, we talk a lot about how life has changed – yet our needs have remained greatly the same.
OUR CHANGING TIMES – COMPARING PAST AND PRESENT
Shelter Materials and Structure
Modes of Transportation
This canoe craft accompanies an expository writing assignment wherein the kiddos describe what they would enjoy seeing back in the time before modern conveniences. There are differentiated lessons in this unit to meet the needs of K-3 students.
The writing lesson included in this resource offers opportunity for differentiation. The paragraph results from this type of writing plan range from simplistic to advanced.
The car representing modern transportation is actually an interactive reader. It’s an effective little reader and it works perfectly as a past vs present comparison for transportation.
Modern Conveniences / Inventions
We explore how inventions have made our lives easier. The kiddos in our 2nd grade classrooms have taken this activity to the next level with the more advanced writing lessons and make lengthy expository reports on the modern invention of their choice. Several black lines are included in this resource, and children are also encouraged to come up with their own ideas, or to explain precisely how these modern inventions have affected their daily lives.
Each month I put on my focus wall vocabulary words that we will cover throughout the theme. November’s changing time theme is no exception. All of my vocabulary words for each month are laminated and have sticky magnet tape on the other so I can easily throw them up on the white board and remove them and move them with ease.
Children enjoy the transformation of the room each month and the fact that all that they work on relates to one another. Reading and writing are no exception.
TIMES CHANGE-THEMED WORD WORK
Word Work Activity Cards
Word Work Activities
All of these activities are part of the Our Changing Times resource which includes a variety of writing plans, lessons and craft black lines.
COMPARING THE PAST AND THE PRESENT – THE BUNDLE
Both units are more than enough to fill the month of November and support a comparing past and present theme or unit of study. They are available in a $$ saving bundle, too!
This bundle contains so much! Combining it with our core curriculum fills our days in November with tons of fabulous and engaging learning. I hope you enjoy it! Head over and check it out in my store.