Rocks & Minerals Unit- Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
ED 914 Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
The created thematic Rocks and Minerals unit was created as a unit to be implemented within a fourth grade classroom as a requirement for ED 914. It integrates reading, writing and science skills to create a comprehensive knowledge of what rocks and minerals are, how we use them in everyday life, why we study them, and so much more.
Competency 4: Theories, research, and practices for reading instruction in the academic disciplines
Competency 5: Selection and use of appropriate programs, materials, and technology for Reading
Within my science classroom and within the Rocks and Minerals Unit created in ED 914, students explore what types of rocks there are by reading various texts and looking at rock samples and identifying the various characteristics that each one possesses. In order for this unit to be successful, teachers must provide students with reading materials that are of quality and are leveled, allowing students of different reading and learning abilities to access the necessary information in a way suitable to them. Exposing them to different types of print- books, online resources, news articles, etc.- allows students to explore in a safe learning environment.
Competency 6: Knowledge of, and selection criteria for, literature and informational books for children and adolescents
The Reading A to Z Gems books (from www.raz-kids.com) connects to the Rocks and Minerals unit. There are three levels to this book- S, V, Y- allowing students to access all information included within the text, at a level that they feel comfortable with. If students are not able to read the texts independently, there is a feature that allows students to hear the book be read to them aloud, highlighting the words as it reads along. This website is a great resource for educators as well as students.
Competency 12: Approaches and practices for writing instruction, including assessment of writing skills and their relationship to reading
During the unit, students will complete a writing prompt entitled "Living the Halite." This writing asks students to write from the point of view of salt, known also as Halite. They have to come up with what salt has been used for and write a letter to a human and voice how they have been used and abused for years, without any thanks. This writing has students incorporate their creativity as well as what they have learned about rocks and minerals, while engaging in the writing process. They will need to have included key terms that they have learned in order to create a cohesive piece of writing.