The nonfiction features were taught daily during our reader's workshop minilesson. The kids then went to independent reading time and guided reading groups. In guided reading groups we read nonfiction books to practice the skills of using our nonfiction text features.
To integrate the knowledge of roller coasters into our vocabulary instruction, the kids used pic collage to create posters that explained the meaning of our roller coaster science words. If you are interested in how you can use pic collage to integrate vocab instruction, click to read another blog post here.
Here are the science words we learned in this unit:
Each day we would learn a new science word and complete a science/math experiment to make meaning of the words. The math skill of measurement was used greatly during this unit.
After learning all about roller coasters and nonfiction text features the kids created a nonfiction book all about roller coasters. The books were published and binded for our roller coaster presentations to our parents.
On the last day of the unit, our parents came in to see our "roller coasters". We used insulation piping, tape and marbles to create roller coasters in groups of 2 kids. The students were required to use what they have learned to make a coaster that had enough speed and momentum to make 1 loop without the marble falling off. The nonfiction books were sitting out for parents to see and our pic collage vocabulary creations were on a slide show on the smartboard. To top it all off, I borrowed a cotton candy maker to really give off the Amusement Park feel! The Coaster unit was a huge success!
If you are interested in using this thematic unit, you can check it out here!