Key Words: Instructional Strategies/General Information/K-12
1. Theme Teaching: This is a component of whole language. My teacher uses monthly themes to teach all subject areas. The theme is established at the beginning of the month and then continued throughout the entire month. For example, if the theme was dinosaurs then in reading they would read stories about dinosaurs. In math, they may learn and work with units of measure ( feet, mile, inches) to understand how big dinosaurs were. In science, they may study about the time periods in which the dinosaurs lived and what kinds of things they ate. This also saves time because you do not have to establish the topic before each lesson that is taught. The students already know the topic and therefore, they can follow the lesson better and learn more. It is vital that each student understands what the topic is before they can follow or participate on topic.
2. Why it works: This allows each student to know what the topic is about in each lesson and in each subject area. They will be doing various things on that topic in various subject areas, but at least they are familiar with it. After a few lessons on the topic of the month, each student knows something about the topic and therefore, they may be more inclined to participate and be involved with the lesson being taught. The time you save is also a factor for the teacher, because it allows more time for teaching, discussion or clarification on the lesson.
Goodman, K. ( 1986). What's whole in whole language? Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann
Pickering, C.T. ( 1989). Whole language: A new signal for expanding literacy. Reading I improvement. 26, 144-149.
Schirmer, Barbara. Language and Literacy Development in Children who are Deaf. 1 08- I 12. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.,1994.