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Mrs. Pociecha-Sparkman from Waukegan IL is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Improving Reading Comprehension With Background Knowledge

My students need resource boxes about the Amercian Revolution and Westward Movement that will correlate to their reading unit to help build background knowledge and interest in social studies.

  • $209 goal

This project expired on August 5, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

I always hated history, until I had to teach it. Now I love learning about our past and what has made us who we are today. I want to bring that passion for learning to my students by supplementing the curriculum to build their background knowledge with interesting materials that go beyond text.

My students are smart, creative, and lovable.

I teach fifth grade, and I am now teaching all the fifth graders in our school reading. They are all very unique and different in their own way, but get along great as a whole group. My students enjoy talking about anything and prefer to work cooperatively. Anything that involves collaboration grabs their attention, but at the same time they do enjoy working on their own, especially reading their leveled silent reading books. This year they are especially artistic and creative. I have a group of students who adore writing creative stories and another group who like to draw pictures for those stories. My students attend a Title I school in a high poverty area. We may lack some resources, but they are great at using their imaginations to make the best out of what we have.

My Project

I am requesting two social studies resource boxes to compliment the reading units I teach. One box is about the Revolutionary War, and the other box is about pioneers moving west. I spend nearly half the year teaching these units. The resource boxes contain reading comprehension folders that build background knowledge on the subject. They also include writing prompt cards so the students can use their higher level thinking skills to write and respond to prompts that are not just essays. The boxes have realistic props to help the students visualize the past and bring the topic to life. There are games, 3-D models, and replicas of historical documents. I have my students keep a background knowledge binder when we complete these two units. We are constantly adding vocabulary, reading passages, plays, essays, notes, etc. to these binders and the students adore using them. These boxes would give me colorful, hands-on materials that connect to the text we are reading.

Many of my students hear about our new unit and groan because they are disenchanted with learning about the past, just as I was.

I have seen how adding additional materials about the subject helps them to have a better understanding of what they are reading and also helps to raise their interest in the subject. These resource boxes will go beyond the black and white copies I give my students to really grab their attention and pull the big picture of the entire unit together.

Mrs. Pociecha-Sparkman
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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7 donors7 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 46 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
HH173 - Westward Movement Resource Box Gr. 4-6 • Lakeshore Learning $69.95 1 $69.95
HH174 - American Revolution Resource Box Gr. 4-6 • Lakeshore Learning $69.95 1 $69.95

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


7 Donors


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Project Activity

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