Saturday, September 5, 2009

News-2-You: Bo, America's First Dog

For our first full week back to school, we read the News-2-You article on Bo, America's First Dog.  My students really got into it and we had a lot of fun learning more about Bo.  Here are some of the activities I had planned.

Reading: 
  • News-2-You Article on Bo
  • Bo, America's Commander in Leash by Naren Aryal and Danny Moore
  • My Senator and Me: A Dog's Eye View of Washington, D.C. by Edward M. Kennedy 
  • Meet Barack Obama (Scholastic News Nonfiction Reader)
Writing:
  • We used the extension activity from News-2-You and students wrote letters to the first family asking them questions about Bo.  For my students who are writers, we used the templates provided in the activity.  For my switch users, we did an Intellitools Easy Writing Letter I created. (in the Intellitools activity exchange, search for 'Letter to the President')
Activities:
  • We used the new powerpoint activity that is included in News-2-You.  I read the whole presentation into a Step-by-Step switch ahead of time, and the students took turns activating the switch to help present the powerpoint as we went along.  I also just got a smartboard, so we did the powerpoint on the smartboard, and I used a Switch Hopper with jelly bean and toggle switches plugged into it so students could advance each slide with their switch.
  • We planned to make homemade dog treats on Friday, but ran out of time!
Sensory Bin:
  • I used the Sensory Stimulation Bowl top on the Convert-Able Table and filled it with items you would need for a dog.  It included a leash, collar, bag of dog food, squeaky tennis balls, assorted dog toys, a dog bone, and various dog brushes.  I regularly reminded people walking into my classroom that I do not let my students play with dog toys, we were just exploring these items because they went along with our topic!  I know that seems silly, but I really do know teachers who teach the same population and use some dog toys with their students.  I just can't do that.
Cooking:
  • We made the News-2-You recipe for the week called 'Bo's Bread', which was sliced tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and olive oil microwaved on a pita bread.  I was surprised that most of my kids really liked it!  I guess it was kind of a mini pizza. 
Overall, the activities all went pretty smoothly, and the kids got a kick out of learning about Bo.  One student even brought me pictures of Bo that she printed off of her computer-- which is so cool, because that means she took it upon herself to learn and research more about the topic at home!

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