Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Writings and So Much More

After being "off" for 8 days, the students had so much to share. They experienced a lot during this past week due to Hurricane Isaac. My partner teacher, Ms. Gros, provided them with an opportunity to share. The idea came from another fantastic teacher at our school, Mrs. Shepherd

First, Ms. Gros had the students divide their paper in three and illustrate their feelings before, during, and after the storm.

Then, they discussed descriptive words using the five senses. We ventured into the cafeteria and sat the students on the stage with their backs to the cafeteria. They wrote words using their sense of smell and hearing to describe the cafeteria.

The students turned around to look at the cafeteria after jotting down some words and then used their sense of sight to describe.

Ms. Gros and I were extremely please at how well the students did on this assignment! They were engaged and wrote two columns of words for each sense! At lunch, the students used their sense of touch and taste to write descriptive words and shared when we returned.

Our next step was to create a Flee Map to prepare for our Hurricane Isaac writings. A Flee Map is a graphic organizer that can be used to outline a writing.

Two choices were given as a topic sentence: "Do you want to know why I have been out of school for eight days?" or "Do you want to know what happened in south Louisiana?" Students chose a topic sentence and wrote it in the top rectangle along with the sentence "Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana." They then thought back to their illustrations of their feelings before, during, and after the hurricane. In the first square, the students wrote "Before Hurricane Isaac, I felt ___." They inserted their feeling and wrote three reasons why they felt that way on the lines under the first main idea. The remaining squares were filled with "During Hurricane Isaac, I felt _____" and "After Hurricane Isaac, I felt_____" and filled in supporting details. Finally, a conclusion sentence was written in the bottom rectangle. The students wrote either "Now you know why I have been out of school for eight days" or "Now you know what happened in south Louisiana," depending on which topic sentence they chose.
Tomorrow, they will use the Flee Map to write their story.

A quick lesson as given on looking up words in a glossary. The skill learned in this lesson was used to define vocabulary words. The students wrote the vocabulary word, wrote the page number it was found on, and wrote the definition.

We ended our day with centers. Ms. Gros' group created a necklace with beads and stars (in preparation for tomorrow's expository writing.) My group reviewed previous math tests and learned test taking strategies. The remaining students either practiced math skills from games on this blog, watched math videos on an iPod, or read a story with the Leap Pad.

We accomplished A LOT today and I am looking forward to tomorrow!


  1. Wow! What a awesome idea to bring the kids into the cafeteria to have them use their senses and write about it. Looks like it was a very engaging day. I am interested in your expository writing lesson tomorrow, what's that about?

    1. The necklaces were an "about me" theme. On the necklace they added letters representing their initials, certain colors to represent characteristics of themselves, and stars to show the number of siblings. Tomorrow they will write a "how to" on making the necklace. Ms. Gros also had them make a flow map immediately after the activity.

  2. What a great idea! I am mentally storing this in case my little state ever has a similar event.

    Third Grade in the First State

    1. Meg,

      I am so glad you enjoyed the lesson! Thanks for reading!



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