This 4th grade literacy project took place over a period of two weeks. To open the unit, the students were given a lesson in Language Extensions that discussed sequencing and the use of transitional words and phrases. Students were then read a mentor text in the form of a Read Aloud book, How To Read a Book, by Kwame Alexander.
In Creative Writing, they were given the prompt: “Using transitional words, give directions on how to do a basic, everyday activity.” We collaborated with the Art teacher, Lisa Stolzer, in the art room to give the students an opportunity to illustrate their own “How To” pieces, using mixed-media images similar to the ones done in How To Read a Book. This cross-curricular project allowed the 4th graders to flow through literacy and art using methods that explored both content and craft.
Cross-curricular work offers a creative way to develop student’s knowledge, skills and understanding while motivating them to learn through stimulating, interconnected topics. A study which crosses subject boundaries allows for investigations that engage student’s imagination.