Children are experts at pretending and the new first grade writing unit revolves around realistic fiction which allows for a lot of creativity! This unit continues with the underlying theme of the fall unit, Small Moments, which states that writiers write best about what they know. The difference between writing a personal narrative and our current unit is that realistic fiction gives children the opportunity to develop a character, setting, details, and problem/solution. Our writers are encouraged to pretend, to plan, and to call on their own experiences to imagine details that might make their stories more interesting and exciting for the reader. Throughout the unit, the students will be honing their understanding of the mechanics of print, including capitalization of names, end punctuation, and conventional spelling of common spelling patterns. One of the main goals of this unit is for each child to write a series of books that include the same character. In the classroom, the teachers are pointing out similarities between books in a series. Each child is asked to bring in an empty cereal box that will hold the "Boxed Set" of their finished series.
The first graders had an amazing day this past Monday at the Essex County Environmental Center. They spent the day learning about the Lenape Indians who were the first people to live in New Jersey. The children were transported back in time when they learned all about Lenape daily life. The children had an awesome opportunity to participate in an archeological dig, looking for clues about the past. Another highlight was when each first grader was given clay to make a coil pot. A huge thanks to chaperones, Melissa Montemuino, Nidhi Tomar, Ruchi Misra, Rene Watkins, Piper Madera and Michelle Raper.