Highlighting Our History: American Revolution Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core
The Power and Rationale of the Daily Read-Aloud and the Picture Book
Thoughtful intentionality when choosing daily read-alouds is essential with the demands of the Common Core. You will want to be reading a balanced mix of literature and informational text while building knowledge of particular topics. You want your students to think about what is in the text, and whenever possible you want them to learn something about the craft of writing because of your reading. Picture books offer a number of advantages. They can generally be read in one sitting, and the visuals help to enhance the story or clarify information. Using quality picture books allows you to work on Common Core standards related to comprehension gained through written as well as visual cues. Because they are shorter in length it is also easy to revisit them when necessary and perhaps look at them through a different lens. And… students love them!
You may or may not have access to the particular texts featured in this installment, but if the Revolutionary War period is or was part of your district or state curriculum you are likely to have other similar books. Approach the texts you do have with the standards in mind. By reading widely yourself and by reading with the Common Core as a backdrop you will soon recognize texts that work well for speaking and writing extensions.
Remember, too, that just as we do with reading, we are working toward helping students become fluent in writing. Writing fluency comes with frequent practice. Students need to write often, over short and extended time frames, for a variety of audiences and purposes. Students also need to write across the curriculum, and use writing as a medium for analyzing the ideas of others and expressing their own. Certainly there is flexibility within the three major types of writing in the Common Core, with subgenres such as letters, news articles, interviews, editorials, poetry, plays, etc. This useful guide is available for designing writing prompts using the RAFTS strategy.