Read to Learn
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
- Unit Plan:
- Read books about community workers
- Listen to community workers talk about their jobs on- and offline
- Read and listen to online stories featuring community workers
- Use photographs to support comprehension
- Self-assess by completing a quiz
- Community Club Activities
- computer(s) with Internet access
- Books about community workers
- Idea Web Graphic Organizer (PDF)
- optional: KWL Graphic Organizer (PDF)
- optional: LCD or overhead projector to display Web pages and Idea Web
Set Up and Prepare
- Make arrangements for community workers to visit your classroom to talk about their jobs. Ideas include: veterinarian, firefighter, police officer, and restaurant owner
- Display selected books
- Bookmark Community Club home page on one or more computers in your classroom
- NOTE: If students have limited access to computers, print selected Community Club pages for students to read offline and make transparency copies to post on an overhead projector.
Step 1: Begin the lesson by reading aloud a book about people who work in the community, such as the ones listed on the Community Club unit plan Books and Resources List. The book All About Things People Do by Melanie and Chris Rice, for example, provides an introduction to the world of jobs, filled with full-color illustrations and easy-to-understand information. If you've invited a community worker to the classroom to speak, then you may want to read a book or two about that person's specific job.
Step 2: Prompt a class discussion about the different jobs in a community. Have students brainstorm community workers in their neighborhood. Record their responses on an Idea Web (PDF). Then ask them to share what they know about the different workers. Record their responses on circles on the Idea Web that branch from the specific jobs.
Step 3 (optional): Prepare the class for a visit from a community worker by having them brainstorm what they know about the visitor's job. Jot their responses on a KWL chart (PDF). Next, have them think of questions they have for the visitor and write those in the "What I Want to Know" column. Finally, after the visit, have children share what they learned. Write their ideas in the third column, "What I Learned."
NOTE: If you've invited community workers visit the classroom, they should come on Day 2 of the lesson. If no workers, move on to Step 1 below.
Step 1: Go to the Veterinarian activity. Read the worker's title and name. Then click the big, red arrow to begin the first page. Read the first two sentences to model fluency and then demonstrate how to click the speaker icon next to each sentence to hear it read aloud. Next, show how to learn more about the vet's job by clicking the speaker icon inside the photograph. Point out that the red arrows at the bottom allow them to go back and forth in the story.
Step 2: On the last page of the vet story, show students where to type in their name. Then, read aloud the quiz questions and have volunteers answer them by selecting the correct response. Encourage them to review their answers before clicking the GO button.
Step 1: Working individually, have students choose one of the other seven community workers from the Community Club, not including the vet since you used that one as a model.
Step 2: Have students quietly read aloud the story, using the audio support as needed, or to confirm that they've read a sentence correctly. Instruct them to click the speakers in the photos to learn more about the job.
Step 3: Upon finishing the story, have students review what they have learned by choosing the correct word to complete each sentence. Immediate feedback is given for both correct and incorrect responses. Students are urged to try again when they've answered incorrectly. Upon successfully completing the activity, students receive a customized badge with the community worker's signature to print out, color in, and wear.
Supporting All Learners
Community Club helps students meet the following standards for English and Language Arts as set forth by the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council for Teachers of English(NCTE):
- read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information
- adjust spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, and vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes
- use a variety of technological and informational resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge
- develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles
- use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information)
- participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities
Community Club also helps students meet the following content strands for Social Studies, as set forth by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS):
- Culture: learn how to understand multiple perspectives that derive from different cultural vantage points
- People, Places, and Environments: utilize technological advances to connect to the world beyond their personal locations. The study of people, places, and human-environment interactions assists learners as they create their spatial views and geographic perspectives of the world.
- Individual Development and Identity: learn to ask questions such as Why do people behave as they do? What influences how people learn, perceive, and grow?
- Civic Ideas and Practices: study the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic
- From the starting page of each community worker activity, visit the Web Links page related to the community worker they just read about. Help students explore one or more of the sites related to their worker.
- Have students read a book from the Community Club unit plan Books and Resources list about the job they just found out about online. Then have them share what they've learned about the job - both online and from books - with the rest of the class.
- If you've invited community workers to visit the classroom, have students write a newspaper article about the visit. Encourage them to answer the questions: Who, What, Where, When, and Why just like a real newspaper reporter.
- Have students write thank you notes to all classroom visitors using the correct letter and envelope formats.
Use this rubric to assess students' proficiency with this activity. Evaluate whether students' skills are improving or where they may need additional support or instruction.