Last week we wrapped up our in depth travels around the world with Australia as our last stop.
While I have not been to Africa or Antarctica, which were the two previous continents, I have been to Australia and could share my experience with students.
To kick off the week we started by locating Australia on a map and read a general facts page. This lead to questions and discussion, and comparing Australia to other continents we have studied.
In addition to this we watched two videos by Travel Kids about New Zealand. I liked that the videos cover somewhere other than Australia to remind students that the continent is made up of more than just the country Australia. Students love the Travel Kids videos so they were sad to hear these were the last two.
What I was most looking forward to was having students read a small informational book I created on Australia. It has been many years since I traveled there, so it was like taking a walk down memory lane putting it together. Picking out pictures and deciding what information to add brought me right back as if I traveled there yesterday.
The small book was perfect for a readers’ workshop lesson on rereading informational text. Students were able to listen to the text, read with a partner and then reread as they hunted for answers to a reading comprehension guide I created. As I read through the book the first time students had lots of questions about my time there. It was fun reliving my time in Australia with students as I answered their questions.
This week as a follow up to their reading students are going to do a STEM lesson called Kangaroo Rescue to pair with the small book. Kangaroo Rescue is a natural connection to information students learned about marsupials. It should also be a lot of fun for students to put together. After students test it out, I will have it up on my TpT store to go along with the small book.
Each small book and accompanying STEM lesson I have created for our continent study has been so much fun to put together. Not only is it a practical way to share information with my own students, it is something I was eager to share with my 2nd grade colleagues so they can read them with their own students. The small books allow students to learn more about countries and cities on the seven continents in a meaningful way, while expanding their world view.
I am sad to have our seven continent studies wind down, however it won’t stop me from writing more Travel Adventure small books. My goal is to try and write at least three more by the end of school to read with students. We also have our big continent fair in early June when students will show off country posters they make at home. It will be a wonderful celebration with songs and student created work for parents to see.