I Know Here Mini-Unit

The Mini-Unit Designer

Julie Durmis, M.Ed.  Library Teacher 

Sandwich Public Schools, Massachusetts

Mini-Unit plan created: July 16, 2015

Introducing the Mini-Unit

This mini-unit is designed by a library specialist with a fixed weekly schedule.  The class duration is 40 minutes every week with 10 minutes for book checkout.

Student goals: Student Learning Goals are the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

  1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge
  2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge
  3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society
  4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
Learning Experience Design #1

Learning Experience 1: Introduction

Goals:   Students will know parts of a book, author and illustrator.  Students will know what is a community and a family.


  • Ask if anyone has ever moved? What does it feel like when we have to move?
  • Introduce concepts: community, place and identity, family
  • Discuss elementary school from last year and current school for new year
  • Review the book with students showing them the front and back covers, endpapers, copyright and title pages. Tell them the names of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Ask students what they think the book is about. Use chart paper and write down student ideas

Visual Thinking Strategy questions:

  • What is going on in the art that you observe?
  • What do you see in the illustrations that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

Picturewalk the book:

  • Focus on the art and observe
  • Share
  • Discuss using art to capture memories as way to cope with moving

Art craft: Each student is given a cutout to draw things from where they moved from or about a place they would like to move to (we will do favorite memory from the school they were at last year.)  Make mobiles to hang from ceiling in library and create a community visual display for them to see each week when return to library

  • Trailer- preschool    
  • Yellow dot- kindergarten   
  • Red star- first grade
  • Eye- second grade

Song:   “School is Awesome, School is Cool” to tune of Frerer Jacques

Learning Experience Design #2

Learning Experience 2: Read I Know Here

Goals: students will be able to retell the story, key ideas, and story elements.

Pre-reading: Some vocabulary words may be unfamiliar or may be used in a different way than students have seen previously. Possible words for study include:

 • bursting • deliver • disappear • leaving • prairies

 • squishy • swooped • tobogganing • wooden


  • Has anyone been to Canada? 
  • Does anyone know someone from Canada? 
  • Please share what you know about Canada.
  • Do children think this story could be based on fact?  Have children explain reasoning.

During Reading:

  • Ask what they think will happen?
  • Who is telling the story?
  • How does the girl feel about moving?
  • How does her brother feel about moving?  How do you know?
  • What does the girl do to feel better and cope with moving?
  • Examine the perspective of art and symbolism: nature colors throughout, look of city buildings, yellow dot, red star, eye of favorite memories

After Reading:

  • Ask children if they believe now that the story could be based on fact.  If they reconsidered, ask children what helped them to change their minds.
  • Retell story
  • Story elements- beginning middle end
    • Problem resolution

Activity: Students will act out their favorite part of the story and retell the story

  • Use SMARTboard to share author video, Laurel Croza, for backstory on what inspired her

Song:   Make New Friends

Learning Experience 2 Reference:

TeachingBooks.net. (2015). I know here meet-the-author book reading.   Retrieved from http://www.teachingbooks.net/book_


Learning Experience Design #3

Learning Experience 3: Research Canada

Goals:  Students will be able to share what they have learned about the country Canada, compare and contrast what is it like to be child, and use print and non-print sources to gather information.  The librarian will introduce and review reference tools such as maps, globes, atlases, online dictionary.

  • Share non-fiction, fiction & folk literature books on Canada and Kids Around the World Series
  • Use SMARTboard and learning computer lab in library
  • TimeforKids online magazine and print magazine: look at Around the World Canada and Day in the Life section
  • Compare and contrast: similarities and differences of life of children in Canada and USA

Nature Craft: Magical Maple Leaf rubbing from Enchanted Learning Canada 

Song: Canada National Anthem, O Canada

Extension Activities:

  • Skype in classroom: “Global Coalition Project-Chatting Across the USA”
  • Littlepassports.com:  global online adventure
  • Scholastic Global Trek
  • PenPals online resource
  • Kidzone geography Canada worksheet preK-2, coloring pages
  • DLTK’s Canada themed activity pages
  • Enchanted Learning Canada: research with Zoom school Canada
  • UNICEF website
Summative Learning Experience

Summative Learning Experience:

Goals:  Students will create a product using a technology tool to share their experiences of moving and community, then present their work to the class.

Students who have moved can write about their experience and those who have not can write a story about a place they would like to move to, possibly in Canada. (We will write about moving/starting at a new school.)  A Country Passport will be completed for Canada.  Students with family heritage of Canada will share their family tree.  The passport and family tree will be introduced at the beginning of the global unit study.

  • Grade 2:  Digital storytelling: Use Storybird technology tool web 2.0 to create a picturebook or poem about moving to new school
  • Grade 1:  Create ABC book about Canada
  • Grade K:  Create ABC book about school


  • ABCya-  make word clouds with words about moving/community 
  • ABCya-  write letter about things they liked the most
  • Create brown bag book with text and illustrations of their story

Summative Experience References:

Storybird. (2015). Visual storytelling for everyone. Retrieved from https://storybird.com/about/

ABCya. (2015). Educational games for kids. Retrieved from http://www.abcya.com/


Kindergarten   ELA and Library

CC.K.L.1.d Conventions of Standard English: Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).

1.1.3 Develop and refine a range of questions to frame search for new understanding.

CC.K.L.4 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.

1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.


CC.K.R.I.1 Key Ideas and Details: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.



First Grade  ELA and Library

CC.1.R.I.3 Key Ideas and Details: Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

1.1.7 Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias.

CC.1.R.L.5 Craft and Structure: Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.

4.3.2 Recognize that resources are created for a variety of purposes.



Second Grade ELA and Library

CC.2.L.2.e Conventions of Standard English: Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings

1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.

CC.2.R.I.7 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

2.2.3 Employ a critical stance in drawing conclusions by demonstrating that the pattern of evidence leads to a decision or conclusion.