We had been working on Understanding Characters in my class and we were coming up on a short school week, just 3 days. We decided to continue working on this skill, but use non-fiction text. Since I am still learning more and more about Australian history with my students I decided to purchase a book called Meet Banjo Patterson, written by Kristin Weidenbach.
It definitely is very appealing initially and my students are loving story time when I show it on the SmartBoard. (Thank you iBooks for keeping part of my classroom library always in shape, at least digitally!) I really enjoyed this book because I knew of Banjo Paterson and had seen him regularly without realising it since moving to Australia in June 2014. He’s on the $10 note and wrote “The Waltzing Matilda.” I’m so used to knowing who is on any dollar bill in the U.S. and was shocked when NONE of my friends who could tell me was on the different notes, except the $5 note.
It was definitely a challenging read for my class, or at least that’s what they thought at first. Once we read the story the students were able to share what they knew about Banjo Paterson. We decided to list what we discuss on the board. Once we got what we knew from the story, the students were able to work in groups and use our classroom iPads to research more about Banjo Paterson. At the end of the first day we added to our class facts sheet.
The next day the students were able to create a biography sheet (with the help from Let’s Explore -Biography Posters post). We didn’t have watercolours, but we made awesome posters with the materials we had! All of my students enjoyed this activity!