Hey, friends! I am so excited to be joining the second annual Booking Across the USA project, representing the state of Kentucky. A huge shout-out to Jodie from Growing Book By Book for organizing this project.
Inspired by the books, Traveling with Charlie, (donated by Blue Apple Books) I am joining with 49 other teacher-bloggers to share with you about our amazing states and some state-themed activities to use with your elementary friends!
I am not a Kentucky native, rather, I was born in Rhode Island. Though when I was *teeny tiny* (i.e. three) we moved to my Dad’s hometown in Kentucky. This means “Kentucky” is my real home, and I love it here! We visit my Mom’s family in the north every few years, and I am always glad to return to the Commonwealth. So, what’s my favorite part of Kentucky?? Please don’t laugh, but it’s the barns and the grass! After spending a semester in London, I could not take enough pictures of our old, beautiful barns and the bluegrass. 🙂 Both are stunning and both scream Kentucky to me!
As we were reading “Down South” in our guided reading groups, I was reminded how many ‘faucets’ there are to our wonderful state. We have ridiculous cave systems that result in HUGE sinkholes. We are home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats (Go CATS!) and another team that shall remain nameless. Each year, the Commonwealth hosts “the greatest two minutes in sports” and if you catch the wind just-right, we have blue grass!
Reading this book inspired us to spend more time learning about Kentucky in our small groups, while reviewing skills before our big state test. So, today, I want to share with you some awesome informational resources that highlight Kentucky!
As you’ve read before, we love using NewsELA. It’s a fantastic resource for finding dozens of informational articles AND providing the articles at multiple reading levels. Using this article, we talked and wrote about point of view. The article itself is written from a 3rd person point of view, but we imagined what would the article sound like if written in first-person point of view, by Sherman McAlpin. Mr. McAlpin is a Kentucky lawyer who was the first black reporter to cover a Presidential News Conference! Then, we compared what his perspective would have sounded like compared to a white reporter at the same conference. It was a really tough exercise for my friends but a really meaningful one. Plus, it was the perfect way to talk about race, Kentucky, Civil Rights, and point of view in one swoop!
Next, we took the time to learn about one of Kentucky’s most famous athletes and advocates – Muhammad Ali – using a free article by ReadWorks. With a Lexile Level of 600, I used this with a middle group of readers in my co-teaching class. The article paired with the multiple choice questions created by ReadWorks were perfect for practicing our favorite testing strategies (underlining answers in the text, circling key words, eliminating wrong answers, and adding squiggles to possible answers!). 🙂
Finally, we spent time learning about Kentucky’s horse history! Reading “Down South” was PERFECT timing because Kentucky just hosted the “great two minutes in sports” last Saturday. We were able to make the connection between Blue Apple’s book and the amazing Kentucky Derby! When I pulled out Fifth in the Middle’s Derby passages, the kids were instantly hooked – “I LOVE horses, Mrs. W.” “We watch the Derby Saturday.” “Did you know California Chrome won?” 😉 It was so much fun to see their schema activated!
Well, friends, thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you learned about a resource you can use to share about Kentucky, as well as, practice those tough informational reading skills (main idea, close reading, and point of view)! To join me in more teaching and learning check out my pictures and ramblings on Facebook, Instagram, and Teachers Pay Teachers. 🙂
Now, you can check out all of the blogs participating in our hop around the United States by going to the landing page on Jodie’s blog HERE. While you’re there, you can also enter to win a set of all the books used by the bloggers for this project! 🙂 Oh, happy day!
Join me for weekly classroom updates and free resources that are just-right for your guided math classroom!