The Monster Exchange Project

Every year, my classroom participates in the Monster Exchange Writing Project!  It is a FREE program that you can find here:  

Students first draw and color a monster.


Once the monster is drawn and colored, students must create a set of directions for someone else to use in order to draw their monster.  They are surprised to realize that this is a lot harder said than done!

Your classroom is paired up with another classroom and your kids have to draw their monsters while they draw your monsters.

1630Why not try this amazing program with your kids today???  I promise, they will love it! , even your reluctant writers If you need a cheap packet to help you through the process, you can click here!



Close Reading with National Geographic Magazines


We tried our hands at close reading by using a non-fiction article from the National Geographic Explorer magazine we get every month.  I am sure this could just as easily be done with Scholastic News or Time for Kids articles.  Here is a picture of a completed poster.


We followed five steps in order to make the posters.  Students needed the article and access to a sheet of paper or post-it notes.

Step #1     We quickly flipped through the article focusing on pictures, headings, titles, etc.  Students wrote 4-5 questions about what  they saw as they scanned the article.

Step #2     We read the article and students wrote any interesting facts they heard down on post-it notes.

Step #3     We looked through the article in order to find 3-5 vocabulary words relating to the article.

Step #4     We focused on one specific section of the article and wrote a summary of it.

Step #5     We used all of these parts to construct a detailed informational poster about the article.

They turned out great!



How do you use close reading in your classroom?  You can answer and share your ideas in the comments!