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Field Notes 9- 4/12 and 4/16. Interdisciplinary Lessons and Projects

mschoyer's picture


  • Today at my field placement I had first and second graders.
  • Since PSSA’s had just ended, the students were happy to be finished
  • My mentor teacher decided we would do a low key lesson.
    • I read students a fun and interesting book about Butterflies
    • The students all seemed to really enjoy the book and remained engaged
    • One section of the book talked about the biggest and smallest butterflies, and told what countries they come from.
      • I used this as a chance to make the lesson interdisciplinary.
      • The students and I looked at a globe and found the countries where these butterflies were from
      • We then found each of their home countries, or the country their family comes from, on the globe as well.
      • We compared the location of these countries to both the US and the countries where the butterflies came from.
        • I learned that it could be easy to make a lesson cover multiple disciplines.
        • I also saw how engaged the students became when I directly related a lesson to them, and they got to participate in a hands on way.
        • At school on this day, most of the teachers were wearing shirts to support Autism Awareness
        • One student asked a question- “What’s Autism?”
          • My mentor teacher and I found that it was difficult to describe, especially to a child with a language barrier
          • Between classes we talked to the Special Education Teacher, and she talked to us about a good way to tell the children about it. She also suggested a good book to read to students about Autism.
            • This was positive collaboration amongst teachers. My mentor teacher made an effort to speak to one of her colleagues, knowing that her colleague would be able to help.


  • I started the afternoon with fifth graders, who had been working on a reading comprehension activity in class, and their teacher wanted them to continue working on it in ELL
  • They had to read a kid’s news magazine and then answer questions about it
    • The students told me they do this activity every week.
      • This was surprising to me- I didn’t think the students were getting very much from it.
      • I understand the importance of reading comprehension skills and also keeping up with current events but it seems repetitive to me.
      • Today (Tuesday), I continued my Butterfly lesson from Friday with the first and second graders.
        • Each student received an outlined picture of a butterfly
        • Below the butterfly, the first graders had to write a sentence using a “movement word,” the verbs they have been learning about
          • Examples: A butterfly soars, Butterflies can fly, etc.
  • The second graders wrote a more advanced sentence.
  • The students also translated (from memory or using a dictionary) the word butterfly into their second language and wrote it under the English word butterfly.
    • Good way to incorporate their other language/culture, while still teaching English
    • The students then colored the butterflies using bright markers
    • The students were very proud of their projects
    • My mentor teacher is going to hang them around the classroom