Friday, January 5, 2018

Winter Evergreen Trees

Are you looking for some new winter activities? How about a mini unit on Evergreen Trees? This is a great topic to study with your kids in the snowy month of January since the evergreen stays green all winter! Who says you can only make evergreens in December, right? So here's a new take on the old Christmas tree!

The perfect place to start this unit is on YouTube.  I have some great, kid friendly, videos on evergreens on my Firstieland YouTube channel.  You can take a look at them here.

After you spend some time learning about the magnificent evergreen tree, work together with your students to create a class web about evergreen trees.  You can do this as an interactive writing where the students will share the pen with you and help write the words on your web.  

Next, take a minute to show your students what you expect when they write their reports about evergreen trees.  This is called "shared writing" and the teacher will act as the scribe while the students help you come up with the words for your report.  Here's a picture of the report that we wrote.  We talked about how every report should have a title, an opening sentence, 2-3 facts about the topic and a closing sentence.  

Now that your students have a good background on the topic, it's time for them to create their own reports.  The first thing they need to do is work on a graphic organizer collecting some facts about the topic.  Allow your students to use your class web to help them decide on the facts that they will include on their web.  Finally, they will use their graphic organizer to write their own report.  

When your students are first learning how to write a report, it's a good idea to give them a template to follow.  I absolutely using LOVE these writing templates.  They are leveled for your struggling writers, on level and advanced writers, so everyone can write a report.....but they work at their own ability! Plus, they make my grading life sooo easy with the built in KID FRIENDLY rubric! You can grab a copy of these writing templates here


Finally finish off your unit with a super cute evergreen craft.  If you are familiar with my blog you will know that I am not a huge fan of patterns.  I use them on occasion, but I really like to let my firsties use their imaginations and see what they come up with.  And, as usual, they didn't let me down!!  For this project, I gave the kids three pieces of green paper...three different sizes and shades.  They folded it in half, vertically, and drew the zigzag lines like a Christmas tree on the fold side of the paper.  They cut them out and voila!......evergreen trees!!  🌲 We used half a sheet of blue construction paper and a small piece of torn white paper for snow.  The kids glued their 3 evergreens to the blue paper, added the torn white paper snow and then splatter painted the evergreen trees with white paint.  And there you have - Evergreens in The Snow!! ❤️

I took a little video of one of my fab firsties in action!! You can take a look at it here. 

You can pick up some great ideas for this mini unit with September to Mrs. May's unit "All About Evergreens".  It has leveled readers with comprehension questions that made a great end of the unit assessment! 



I absolutely LOVED this unit and so did my firsties!  Who says evergreens are only for Christmas?  I thought this was a perfect compliment to a cold and blustery winter in Ohio, where we see plenty of evergreen trees!!!