Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Semantic Feature Analysis Chart and learning about chicks (farm unit)

So yesterday, (previous blog), we completed an open sort or classification of different pictures that could be found in the city and/or country. The students really gave great rationale for why certain pictures went with each other. They came up with 5-6 different ways to sort this.

I am blogging about this activity today, even though it does not use the ipad and technology, because the discussion with kindergartners was so rich and deep. It really allowed the students

Day 1-Introduction to farm
Open sort/classification country/city pictures
Read Country Kid, City Kid by Julie Cummins

Chart-Similarities between city and country
Writing integration-Where would you rather live, city or country? Justify your answer with supporting sentences.

Day 2-Chick egg introduction (I would not always do this activity on the second day of this unit, but the live chick eggs arrived today and so it is important to introduce them, explain and show the incubator that will be in the classroom for the next 21 days.)

In our morning meeting and letter to the students, I wrote the sentences "How does the hen nurture the growth of the chick? How can we nurture the growth of the chick?" These questions were the guiding questions for the students as I read the story. I read a book about chicks. (I have about 15 different ones and most tell the life cycle so all can work).

I introduced the semantic feature analysis chart. (see picture).

I had prewritten the focus question "What does a fertilized egg need to hatch into a chick?", the left column (hen and incubator), and the lines for the chart. During the reading, the students had opportunities to discuss the chicks and how they growth. We then completed the chart. They came up with the features on the top of the chart.

When we came to food, that is when the discussion really began. One child talked about giving the chick corn (as stated in the book). However, the chick does not eat corn when in the egg. They were trying to figure out how the chick gets food. I facilitated the discussion. I then drew the eggs at the bottom explaining that one day 1, the chick is in the egg. What do they eat? On day 2, the chick is in the egg. What do they eat? On day 3, the chick is in the egg. What do they eat? All the way to day 21 when they break out of the shell and then can eat the corn. The students came to the conclusion that what is in the egg is what the chick eats. Eventually the students stated that the yolk was the food (which is correct). It was such an exciting discussion as the students are working to figure out how chicks eat because you need food to survive. We had to add egg underneath the incubator to the chart. We continued our discussion and the students came up the feature shelter. Again, the students realized that the egg shell protects the chick.

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