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Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport: A Book Study for Primary Students
This pack was created to accompany the book Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. All the activities are designed to help students read for understanding, think, and write critically about the text and its historical time period. This unit is perfect for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Black History Month!
The following activities are included:
• Comprehension Strips: Comprehension strips allow students to practice returning to a text to find key information to answer specific questions. They are a fun alternative to a traditional question and answer worksheet and can be used as an individual or partner literacy center, or as a whole class activity when displayed under a document camera. Twelve comprehension strips and recording sheets are included.
• Problem and Solution Text Based Writing Prompt: Students are asked to return to the text, Martin’s Big Words, and identify the problem Martin’s community was facing and how he helped to solve it.
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Was, Believed, Helped Map: Students will return to the text to identify and list things Martin was, believed, and helped.
• Describing Martin: Students use adjectives to complete a bubble map describing Martin. An optional writing prompt asking students to chose one of the adjectives from the bubble map and use evidence from the text to explain their choice is also included.
• A Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life: This is a differentiated timeline activity. The first option asks students to return to the text to locate the year each key event in King’s life happened, and then paste the events in order on the corresponding timeline. The second option provides the years. Students need only to order them and paste them onto the timeline.
• Essential Questions: These are four open-ended questions for use with literature circles, partner discussion, or Socratic dialogues. These could also be adapted for use as open-ended writing prompts.
• Four Questions for Martin: Students practice writing interrogative sentences as they come up with questions they would like to ask Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. if he were alive today.
• Inspired by Martin Creative Writing Prompt: Taking inspiration from King, students consider ways they can make their community a more peaceful place.
Please note that all activities are provided on paper with and without hand-writing lines. Simply choose the option that best meets the needs of your students.
This resource addresses the following Common Core Standards for Grade 1:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.2: Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
This resource addresses the following Common Core Standards for Grade 2:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.3: Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.8: Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
This resource addresses the following Common Core Standards for Grade 3:
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
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
You may also find that these activities tie in with your state social studies or history standards.
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I have been teaching elementary school in an urban district in Massachusetts for six years. I began my career teaching in first grade and have now transitioned into second grade. I especially enjoy creating engaging book studies and center activities for my students.
I believe in providing my students with plenty of positive reinforcement and a variety of ways to access any and all academic content. My lessons incorporate authentic, hands-on, and cooperative learning experiences whenever possible, and I provide many opportunities to build reading and writing skills across all content areas.
I hold a bachelor's degree from Clark University where I majored in Psychology and minored in Education and Sociology. My master's degree is in Teaching and is also from Clark University.