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Unit 1: Establishing a Classroom Community
Note: Many of these activities can be extended or shortened.  
This schedule is based on an uninterrupted 90 minute block for
Communication Arts.

Day 1:
Begin with Anticipatory Set (15 minutes)  Introduce the unit.  What does
the word community mean?

Discuss the characteristics of a good friend.  Make a list on the board
as students give answers.  Identify the characteristics the students
would want in a friend.  Should we all be good friends to our
classmates?  How does being a good friend improve our classroom
community?  Encourage a classroom discussion and multiple students'
input. (10 minutes)

Introduce the focus book,
The Hundred Dresses.  Give some
background information.  Pass out vocabulary sheet and unit
check-lists. (5 minutes)

Mini-lesson on Text-to-Self Connections.  Read Chapter 1 aloud in
class in        coordination with the Mini-lesson (20 minutes).

Guided and Independent Reading Activity Time (40 minutes) Note:
Students use the
check-list during independent reading throughout the

Assignment: Read Chapter 2 at home.  Note: Because you will have
students with diverse needs, it may be good to know that this book is
also available on audio disc and on Kindle.

Day 2:
Review what happened in Chapter 2--ask a few comprehension
questions (3    minutes).

Read Chapter 3 aloud in class (10 minutes).

Mini-Lesson on text-to-text connections.  Compare the text to the other
texts used in Guided and Independent reading times.  What are some
connections between them? (20 minutes)

Guided and Independent Reading Rotation (60 minutes -- 20 minutes in
Guided Reading group, 40 minutes in Independent Reading Rotation).

Day 3:
Read Chapter 4 aloud in class. (10 minutes)

Mini-Lesson on listening behaviors.  (20 minutes)

Guided and Independent Reading Rotation (60 minutes -- 20 minutes in
Guided Reading group, 40 minutes in Independent Reading Rotation).

Day 4:
Read Chapter 5 aloud in class.  (10 minutes)

Writing Activity. (5 minutes -- students should already be
somewhat familiar with the friendly letter format.)

Review types of sentences.  If you have a smart board, I recommend
creating a quick activity that involves students coming up to the board
and identifying the types of sentences.  Then, ask students to volunteer
to create their own sentences for each type and share them with a
partner.  Make sure everyone is clear.  (15 minutes)

Allow students to begin writing their friendly letter during part of their
independent reading rotation. (20 minutes)

Guided reading and Independent Reading Rotation (60 minutes total --
20 minutes in GR, 20 minutes doing Independent Reading Activities,
and 20 minutes working on their friendly letter).

Assignment: Complete friendly letter if not completed in class.

Day 5:
Read Chapter 6 and 7 to complete the book aloud in class. Discuss the
book and its significance.  For discussion questions,
click here. (35-40
minutes minutes)

Put students in peer-editing groups.  Use the
rubric for students to
check that their peers have met all of the requirements for the letter.
(5-10 minutes)

Give students time to make corrections on their letters.  If students do
not have corrections, they can spend this time doing Independent
Reading Activities. (15 minutes)

Have students read their letters aloud to the class.  Make sure that the
other students are practicing their
Proper Listening Behaviors.  Tell
students at the beginning that after each presenter, any student may be
called on randomly to share something they liked about the letter being
shared.  Everyone should be listening carefully so that they will be ready
if they are called.  This is a good way to make this a community building
activity while emphasizing the skills learned.