Wizard of Oz Unit

The past 2 weeks we have been reading The Wizard of Oz during our whole group read aloud time.  No, we didn’t read the original version.  We read this chapter book…which is *fantastic*

It’s a great first grade length and still has great vocabulary and detail!  The kids absolutely LOVED reading this together.  They begged to read more every day–I never would’ve dreamed it would catch on like it did in my room!

So many literacy skills to teach with this engaging book.  And the kids did SO well with some of these difficult skills.  We worked on them whole group and then reinforced them during Guided Reading groups.  Here’s a look at our Wizard of Oz unit!

1. Adjectives that appeal to the senses…

We reviewed our adjectives chart and talked about how adjectives that appeal to our 5 senses help readers visualize {so important when reading aloud a chapter book!}

Then, we listened for words that appealed to our senses as we read aloud Oz.  I kept them engaged during the read aloud time by having them touch the sense what I was reading appealed to for certain, extra descriptive passages!  They loved it…and so SO good for the brain, too!

2. Character traits…

We used adjectives and character trait words to describe the Scarecrow whole group.

Then they worked in groups to describe Dorothy, Tin Man, and Lion and filled in their own character trait web.

Each group presented their webs to the class and we added their traits to our whole group anchor charts.

{EDIT: The following year, I used these to make character trait wordles.  Read more about those here.}

3.  That’s what she said…

Sooooo….this may not be the EXACT name of this literacy skill, BUT!  I just couldn’t teach character quotes without hearing Michael Scott constantly in my head. 🙂  And, no…I didn’t say this outloud to my sweet firsties….

After we discussed character traits, we played Find Your Partner with half of the kids getting a quote and half getting a character.

Kids mix and mingle and use the sentence frame, “Do you have ____?” to find their matching partner.  Once they match, they bring the matches to the teacher to check.

We used the partners they found to discuss traits of their character for review.  Then, students worked to independently match quotes and character names!

4.  Favorite character

At the end of our story, we wrote our opinion about our favorite Oz character.  They used our character trait anchor charts to write reasons to support their opinions.  Then, they had to expand on their opinions. “She is sad because she wants to go home to Kansas.”

This writing was one of my favorites….”She is smart because she knows what 1 plus 1 equals.”  Hello??? Dorothy’s gotta know those math facts, right??

And, of course, we had to have a little craftivity to make and post for parent-teacher conference week!

I’m not gonna lie…Dorothy’s hair was a chore.  We initially thought do construction paper braids and just cut the strips in half and let the kids twist.  But we decided to go to yarn.  It was adorable.  And totally worth it…but it was a very time consuming chore.  Next year, I’ll be trying the paper braids to see if I can make that work.

Here’s how we made the yarn braids if you have lots of help and wanna try!
1. We had a volunteer mom cut 12 pieces of brown yarn about 15″ long.  She tied them gently over themselves to bundle them.
2.  I tied off each bundle in the middle for her hair part.

 ….and part of my problem was 13 of my kiddos chose Dorothy.  That’s alotta yarn people…a LOT!

 Then I went down about 4-5 inches and tied it off again at each side {for the top of her braid}.

 Then I braided each side and tied off the bottom.  I also added the blue gingham or red ribbon to each one before finishing.

So all the kids had to do was glue it on!

All of these activities are included in my Wizard of Oz packet

It’s been so much fun and so engaging, that we’ve even decided to turn our Valentine’s party on Thursday into a Wizard of Oz Valentine’s party!  The kids are about to burst with excitement and I just can’t wait!  Stay tuned for pics of our party this week!

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