This resource from Scholastic is fantastic! Some years, I have done more of a research/inquiry with my class. This year we are doing it a bit more guided. We are reading each of the books and creating a chart – this is a GREAT set if you study animals with your kids.
I made a pretty version of the branch map organizer and a book for students to write facts about each animal group. They’re not too fancy since I have not invested in getting the rights to any graphics yet. Click to pick up a copy for yourself.
I have also bee teaching the concepts of theme. The students caught on pretty quickly when I gave them some examples of themes.
We have been rereading Kevin Henkes books to brainstorm themes. Hop on over to my other blog: Picture Books to Inspire Readers to find out more! If you are interested in finding books to teach specific concepts, you can locate the categories on the side bar an see a list of books and ideas for mini-lessons.