Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's a challenge to meet Common Core State Standards!

So, you're using the Common Core State Standards and you want books that align* with the standards, right? Let's try a little challenge...I'm going to see how many standards can be partly or completely fulfilled with one of my books.
*Is it just me, or does the use of the word align, often used in this context, sound a little funny? As if a chiropractor was involved, perhaps.
My new fall book, Jack & the Hungry Giant, starts out the same way as the traditional fairy tale. There are magic beans, a beanstalk, and a boy that climbs into the sky. It isn't long before Jack is discovered inside the huge castle. The fearsome giant announces, "I'm hungry!" so Jack takes a flying leap to escape. The giant manages to grab him by the shoelace, warns him to be more careful, and asks, "Are you hungry, too?" It turns out that Waldorf is a friendly giant and an excellent chef. The rest of the book revolves around turning veggies, fruit, grains, and the rest of the MyPlate food groups into a healthy meal, then dishing up a plateful. For more info and images from the book, see this post on my blog.

••• By the way, until October 31 the publisher is sponsoring a giveaway of several copies on Goodreads. I'm hoping that a couple of I.N.K. readers will win a copy! •••

To compare the old with the new, pick out a traditional version of Jack and the Beanstalk to contrast with Jack & the Hungry Giant for the following *Common Core standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures. 

Or choose an informational book or other text about MyPlate to compare with Jack.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.9 Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

A Venn diagram can work well for this kind of comparison. (Hmmm, guess we can't claim any math standards, can we?) The image below could be a model for an anchor chart:
The picture of the giant on the left is from ClipArt Etc., a source of free, mostly antique images for educational use.

I've made this freebie book activity to use with Jack that's available on this page in my TeachersPayTeachers shop. Kids will make lists of foods, so that can count as the "answer questions" part of:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Also included is a MyPlate printable for kids to draw and label food items in the various groups: Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Protein Foods, Dairy. In addition, it would be easy to do some vocabulary word work using the food groups and names of the individual goodies:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
For example, students can make an individual or class picture dictionary of words and definitions to fulfill that standard.

So, that adds up to 5 standards for Jack & the Hungry Giant. Not bad for one book. But wait...I hate to leave out math standards entirely....

Let's use the illustrations to do some counting: how many grapes are visible on the Fruit pages? How many raspberries? How many peas does Jack put on his plate? Draw a picture of Jack with 10 blueberries in a circle around him; draw a straight line of peanuts across the page then count how many.
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.

Students could do a survey about the food preferences of their classmates in each food group. Would you rather eat broccoli, green beans, or asparagus? Then they'll make a graph to display the results.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4 Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Kids can measure items in the book such as the corn on the cob on the Vegetables page or the banana on the Fruits page.
CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.

Okay, now we're up to 8 standards! I hope most of these suggestions are more or less reasonable and will inspire ideas about how an informational picture book can be used to meet Common Core standards.

One more thing...would anyone be interested in a resource that can be used with any informational text?
These printable Nonfiction Reading Response Cards have only been in my TpT shop for a few weeks but have been downloaded over 1,000 times already, so there must be a need for this kind of template. Students fill out the cards based on a book they're reading. The cards come in pairs as shown on the cover image above: Sentence Start and End; Question and Answer, Word and Definition; Main Ideas and Details; and Fact or Fiction? Teachers can utilize some or all of the cards depending on the circumstances and try one of the game ideas to turn reading into an engaging group experience. Note: this resource will be free until the end of October. What standards can these cards help to meet?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [e.g. include page numbers]
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area
These are all for 3rd grade but there are similar standards in other grades.

Whew...this turned out to be a long post...hope it has been helpful!

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*The Common Core Standards are © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

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