The Second Grade spends a lot of time in the Fall doing animal research. As a way to connect the classroom to the library and to encourage the understanding that the library is a place for research in addition to pleasure reading, nonfiction text features, reading strategies and note-taking skills are explored and practiced in both environments. Before the break, Second Grade students researched a variety of winter holidays in the PS/LS Library and shared it with classmates via the iPad mini.
We gave them time to leaf through a holiday nonfiction book to look for nonfiction text features. They discussed their use both in a large group and in their partnerships. They also each took two notes from their book to share with classmates – an important fact, a new idea or something interesting they found in their book. Then, they went over their discoveries with a librarian.
After the activity, students transcribed their notes (further putting the concept in their own words and main idea) onto the iPad using an app called Drawing Pad. This app is designed to be a digital art studio, but it has practical library and classroom applications as well. Students gained new insights: the library and its purpose in gathering new knowledge to share with others, the collection’s depth, and using digital means to share information. Not only was this fun, but it was a great exercise in critical thinking, design and collaboration. See some samples below!