Below are the seven lesson plans taught as part of the Sea Creatures Unit. Under each lesson, please find a photo depicting examples of the activity performed during the lesson(s). Following each lesson, I have included a brief synopsis as to what went well during the lesson and/or what will be done differently in subsequent lesson(s).
*This lesson on "What's in the Bag" served as a wonderful introductory lesson for the unit. The students loved guessing what was in the bag, and they also enjoyed the opportunity to reintroduce the tens frames. If this lesson were to be taught again, I would likely break the group into two, so that more students could volunteer to place their sea creatures of the tens frames.
*Lesson Plan #2 consisted of students creating the "K" on a KWL chart. This lesson was highly successful in that every student was able to share a connection they had with sea creatures. This opportunity to share created a sense of momentum and an eagerness to learn more. If this lesson were taught in the future, more time would be spent ensuring that the overhead projector was ready to go. The settings for the projector did not save automatically which caused some unforeseen technical problems.
*The Calendar Grid activity was very popular among the students. It was also one of my favorites because it incorporated art and mathematics. This lesson is highly effective in reviewing patterning, colors, animals, and days of the week/month, etc. Please note; however, this lesson does require a great deal of prep work, both before and after the animal markers have been created.
*The Sea Creature Handfuls activity was a favorite among the students (especially because they enjoy working in partners). If this lesson were to be taught again, I would pay close attention as to who is partnered together. Some students experienced difficulty in following directions during this activity, which led to confusion among partners. Please note, this activity takes a great deal of adult supervision and scaffolding.
*The Sea Creature Sorting activity allowed students to demonstrate their sorting skills and learn new sorting strategies. I allowed for students to complete this activity at the beginning and end of the unit, and I used this data during conference time. Having a comparison was very helpful in knowing whether students had mastered new skills, and it was also helpful in assessing student's ability to sort for the math assessments. Please note, this activity was more successful when completed in a small group setting with adult supervision and support.
*The Sea Creature Problems lesson was a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to addition and subtraction. Students loved this activity. In fact, many requested to participate in this center multiple times. I would certainly do this lesson in the future, but I would plan to spend more days teaching it. As the week went on, it became increasingly apparent that students needed at least thirty minutes to complete the activity, and with five students at a center, the total amount of time needed is more than five days. Once students were finished completing their problems, the problems were used to create sea creature dramas. Students thoroughly enjoyed acting out their dramas and this was a fun, engaging way to reinforce their math skills.
*The Rainbow Fish lesson was a favorite among students and teachers. This lesson taught students the importance of being a kind, giving, friend, while also teaching them art. Students absolutely loved this activity. In fact, they still spend every free moment sketching and illustrating fish. I would certainly teach this lesson again, so long as I had parent volunteers to help with the artwork. Cutting, pasting, and laminating fish takes a substantial amount of time, and with twenty seven fish, this was a process. For other teachers considering this activity, I highly recommend it. Parents were thrilled to see the impressive work of the students, and I am excited to showcase the student's work during Arts and Authors night.