Sunflower Story Book features:
• Each book is a story all its own. The content is linked to one of the characters in the Sunflower Science units.
• Each story is divided into five or more chapters of several pages each.
• Illustrations are used to help create a context for the story and to provide some visual clues.
• Sentence structure is sometimes predictable and sometimes more complex. There is some repetition of phrases and expressions.
• There is some use of literary language and challenging vocabulary.
In terms of level, we recommend the story books for the second half of second grade and the third grade. (Some elements correspond to levels 13-20 of the Reading Recovery program.)
Leader's Guide features:
• For each chapter of the story book, the leader's guide offers suggestions for structured reading, open class discussions, small group work, and independent activities.
• Activities require students to interact with the text in a variety of ways. Students are asked to find clues from context, to read for content, to make predictions, to look for patterns in punctuation, capialization and spelling, to model the author's style, to write, edit and act out a favorite scene, to make a map of the places a character goes in a story, or paint a portrait of one character from another character's perspective.
• There are suggestions for the teacher to model many of the activities so students can both understand clearly what is asked of them and to see the teacher directly involved in their learning process.
• Many of the activities are connected to several subject areas, offering the necessary interdisciplinary links with social studies, science, art, music, and drama.
• Parent participation either through providing oral information to the students or attending classroom events (art exhibits, plays, project demonstrations, etc) is a core component in some of the activities presented.
• Many activities offer the development of higher order thinking skills, imagination and creatitivity through questioning, visualization, cognitive simulation, synthesis and inference.
• The valuing of cultural heritage is promoted through many activities which validate the experiences of students and their families as well as widening students' knowledge of the culture, environment, and language in other countries.