Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Common Core Curriculum Maps Book Study

Hi everyone! I am honored and excited to be participating with some of my fellow teacher bloggers in a Common Core Curriculum Maps English Language Arts K-5 book study.

We will be reviewing the Grade One curriculum materials. Melissa at Dilly Dabbles gave an overview of the book on Monday.

Today I will review Grade 1 Unit 1: Alphabet Books and Children Who Read Them. This is a beginning of the year review of the alphabet, concepts about print, and study of the library, friendship, and the alphabet.

The Essential Question: "Why is it important to ask questions while you are reading?"

Overview: Students conduct shared research and learn that inquiry and investigation are important and essential to learning. Books are used that lend themselves to conversation, inquiry, and thinking. An example of one such book is The Graphic Alphabet by David Pelletier.

The students begin with a class question. They then research the question topic and write a class ABC book based on the topic. Sentence formation and proper punctuation is reviewed as part of the writing process. The students respond to a question prompt and use research information to write about healthy habits. Lastly, they apply what they've learned to poetry and choral reading of poetry.

Focus standards:

RL.1.1: Ask and answer questions about key details and events in a text.
RI.1.1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
W.1.7: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade One topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
SL.1.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade One topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
L.1.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.1.1j: Produce and expand complete and simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

Suggested Student Objectives:

A list of objectives are given. They are suggested student outcomes. Some of those included are: use pictures and details to describe key ideas, listen to one another, punctuate sentences correctly, and perform choral reading of poetry.

Suggested Works: 

A list of Literary Texts {includes stories and poems}, Informational Texts, and Art, Music, and Media are given. Exemplar texts are noted. A few examples:

Literary Texts:

Little Bear's Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
Morris Goes to School by Bernard Wiseman
Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! by Dr. Seuss
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood
How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam
Books to the Ceiling by Arnold Lobel

¡Marimba! Animales from A to Z by Pat Mora

Informational Texts

I Read Signs by Tana Hoban
School Bus by Donald Crews
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
Exercise (Rookie Reader-About Health) by Sharon Gordon

The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Sample Activities and Assessments:

Eight different activities and assessments are highlighted in the book. Here's an overview of one of them:

6. Writing/Shared Research
Students use an alphabet book as a model and write their own class book. They begin by deciding on a research question to lead their inquiry. The children agree on a theme for an ABC class book. They use different texts and digital resources for each letter of the alphabet. Each student takes a page/alphabet letter and completes it by writing the letter, key word, an illustration, and a sentence using the key word. They follow the rules for spelling and punctuation.

Resources and terminology are included.

The unit ends with a detailed sample lesson plan for A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik.

The students follow the sequence of the kiss and study the use of the illustrations. 

Differentiation activities are included for advanced and struggling learners. 

This unit as a whole helps to illustrate activities that can be used to meet the ELA Common Core standards for first grade in an integrated manner. It helps teachers look at ways to address the standards with the big picture in mind. It shows how the standards fit together in a meaningful way to teach English Language Arts.

I hope you will join the group for the rest of our book study.

Meet Team First Grade!!

Melissa: Overview and Units 3 and 5
Mona: Unit 1 and Unit 6

Kelley: Unit 2 and Unit 4
Sour Apple Studio


  1. I purchased this book over the summer and have been using it this school year. It has been very helpful to have a scope and sequence already thoughtfully matched to the common core. Also, I am so glad to have a detailed list of non-fiction books to choose from! Our principal wants us using more non-fiction and it isn't easy to find quality texts for little ones. Now, I need to add more mini-lessons to go along with the texts they have provided.

    1. I agree. The non-fiction book list is so useful. I've recently started using the book to prepare lessons, and I'm also finding it especially helpful.


  2. Thanks for sharing. I wrote a grant last year to get some of the suggested Exemplar texts for out team. I had the summary lessons, but did not know there there was a book to go with it!

    Check out my blog for the common core workbook! If you blog about the kindergarten workbook, you can get it for FREE! Its a great resource, even for first grade. I also ordered the first grade workbook.

    The Resourceful Apple

    1. Thank you, Tammy. I'm on my way to visit your blog. I'll have to check out the first grade workbook, too. It's so helpful to hear about all of these great resources.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.