My class reads a short story each week from our Houghton-Mifflin Reading series. The first several stories we read were part of a unit on journeys. Our second unit has been on American stories. The story we read this week was A Very Important Day by Maggie Rugg Herold. The story is about several different families in New York City going through their morning routines for a very important day that turns out to be the day they were gaining their United States citizenship. To support this story, I worked with each of my four reading groups as they read a short informational text on becoming citizens. One of the questions at the end of the text asked the students to think about possible questions that a petitioner could be asked by an examiner about United States history. I loved the quality and diversity of their questions! I wrote them down and was looking forward to sharing them this week but I accidentally left them at school. I’ll update this again tomorrow to share them. At present, I’ll let it suffice that some of the questions covered topics relating to several wars, the details of early European settlement, and the various men and women involved in our federal government!
UPDATE: Here are the questions my students came up with on their own. How would you do on their Citizenship Test of United States History?
- How many states are there?
- Who was the first United States President?
- When did the United States become independent from Great Britain?
- How did the United States become independent from Great Britain?
- Who is the current President?
- How many original colonies were there?
- How big is the United States?
- In which war did the United States fight itself?
- When did Christopher Columbus discover America?
- When was World War II?
- When was the Korean War?
- Who is the current Vice President?
- Who is the current First Lady?
- Who was the first United States citizen?
- Who was the first person to discover America?
- Who was the second President?
- When did the first European settlers come to America?
- What was the name of at least one ship that was sunk at Pearl Harbor?
- Who was the fourteenth President?
- Who made the Statue of Liberty?
- When was the White House built?
Feel free to leave a comment to tell how you did!
My school has a very active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of which I am finally a member. (The only reason I did not join last year was that no one ever suggested I should!) In addition to providing excellent supports for teachers during class parties, conferences, Teacher Appreciation Week, and other events, the PTA works with Scholastic to put on two book fairs each year.
The Scholastic Book Fair is always a huge event. The students love having the opportunity to purchase books for themselves and for their classrooms. Our first book fair will be next Thursday and Friday during Parent-Teacher Conferences. To get the students prepped, each student was invited to write a book review for any book they wanted. These reviews will be posted during the fair. The class with the highest percentage of reviews won a prize. (My class didn’t win.) In addition, one student who wrote a review from each class was randomly selected to receive a free book, and every class that participated is also receiving a book, all courtesy of our awesome PTA.
My class was able to go to the book fair preview this morning and we browsed the many books that were available. I was happy to see that there is a new School of Fear book out. My classroom has the first two, so it’d be great to get the next in the series. They also have The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, which is the third book in the insanely popular Origami Yoda series. One book I was hoping to see but didn’t was Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which is getting a lot of buzz among nerdy teachers around the Internet. It may be available during the actual book fair (not all of the titles were brought out for the preview) or through the Online Book Fair, but I’m not sure yet.
Either way, I am glad that my students are excited about the book fair! Not only will many of them be getting their own books to read and love, but many parents also let them pick out books to donate to our classroom library. I’m hoping we’ll be able to fill up my bookshelves soon!