Jul 8, 2013

Integrated Literacy Trunks ~ Free Planning Template {Monday Made It}

Hi Friends ~ I just completed the National Writing Project's Summer Institute.  One of our projects was to create an integrated literacy unit.  The reader in me loved researching different types of texts to use in my unit, and was in awe of all the resources that are available!   I now have a large trunk of books, a Google Drive full of videos, a Symbaloo of websites, along with lots of other resources, ready to wow my students into loving the study of the Cold War.  (Well, at least I plan to try to get them to LOVE it!)

As the school year is fast approaching, I can't help but think how wonderful it would be if I had a "trunk" for each of the 9 integrated units I will be teaching next year.  I could display the books to lure them in, and be fully prepared to infuse social studies content into parts of my workshop, instead of discovering a book that I want to use at the last minute, and then realizing it is on back order until the week after I complete the unit.  We've all been there, right?

This leads me to my MONDAY MADE IT with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!

In the creation of our first trunk, a template was provided for us.  All in all, I was pleased with the template, and have reused some aspects of it.  However, through my planning, I noticed a few things that I thought would be helpful for me.  For example, a trunk of books is ALWAYS great, but will I remember how I used each book if I decide to use it again in the coming years?  Why not add a document that not only lists the books for the unit, but leaves room for brief notes for instruction?  What if I can't access my Google Drive or my Symbaloo for some reason?  Wouldn't a list of videos and sites be helpful?  Here's a biggie, what if I needed to explain or justify when and how I taught certain standards?  Wouldn't it be great if the entire unit was in one collaborative document that explained, listed, and let's face it, completely spelled out everything that I did for the duration of each unit?  Planning, sharing, updating, and REMEMBERING from year to year would be a breeze!

Thus the TEMPLATE was born!  (Please forgive the blurry pic.  I wanted to give you a visual, and I was working with screenshots.  I hope you can get the idea.)  You may download via pdf or word file.  I uploaded both because I love cute fonts and I know you do too, but they don't always translate well in word, from computer to computer.  Also, I wanted you to have the option to type directly into the template for yourself, so the pdf alone, wouldn't work.  You may need to adjust the fonts on your computer if you choose to use the word file instead of the pdf.  In fact, feel free to adjust this file to meet your own personal teaching style so that it is most useful to you.  :)  My ultimate goal is for these files to be constant works in progress.  So that I make adjustments as I go, learn about new books, sites, etc.

I hope you can use this template.  I have lots of book shopping, planning, and researching to do to get my last 8 units done.  
Wish me luck! :)

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If you are looking for some inspiration for a project to keep you busy this week, hope over and see Tara at 4th Grade Frolics, and see the other Monday Made-Its that have been linked up today!
Have a super week!


  1. Great template! I know that trunk was a lot of work, but I also know that it will pay off in the end. Happy planning :)

    Fun in Room 4B

  2. Replies
    1. Your trunks are beautifully organized. Thanks for sharing your planning templates. They will come in handy!

      Elementary School Garden

  3. Wow looks like you will be completely organized once school begins!

    Literacy Spark

  4. Once again amazing ideas to support learning in your class. I only wish we did the Cold War in my fifth grade classroom but I will be sharing with my other intermediate friends. Thanks.

  5. Wow, what a great way to stay organized! That will certainly pay off! I love the template, thanks!

  6. This is awesome! Thank you for the freebie! I will definitely be printing it off!

  7. That is a lot of work! Thanks for making it easier for the rest of us:).

  8. It is a lot of work up front, but it pays off throughout the year!

    Foreman Teaches

  9. You've done a lot of work! I keep thinking I need to get a little more organized for next year but I'm still in that summer limbo mode. I want to read some new books but I'm not in that planning mode yet... Your form is a great way to keep everything organized! I'll have to remember that for my Civil Rights integrated unit!

    - Amanda
    My Shoe String Life

  10. What a wonderful resource! It would be awesome to have all my books arranged in trunks as you describe... all set and ready to go. Organized!!!! I smiled and even chuckled a bit with your description of finding that last minute book. I have soooo many of these!

    The Teacher's Desk 6

  11. Great idea Brandee! I have been trying to get my units organized too, and the template is really great. I also hadn't heard of Symbaloo. I'll have to check it out.
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  12. I love the idea of literacy trunks for the different units I teach! I need to check out this Symbaloo...I have never heard of it! Thanks for the template!

  13. As always, Brandee, you inspire me with your lessons and organization. I also need to check out Symbaloo. Sounds perfect!


  14. Love the template and will definitely be checking out Symbaloo!

    Mrs. B's Nook

  15. Brandee - you are amazing! It's almost weird how similar our posts are today and how well they go together :) I would love to do some collaborating with you in regards to our same subject teaching line up for next year. Thanks so much for sharing your template!

    Also -- did you know I just finished Upstate Writing Project's Summer Institute!? CRAZY! Loved those weeks. What a blessing it was!

  16. Amazing! This definitely inspires me to get going on Symbaloo. I always love (and need) new ideas to help me stay organized.

    Thanks for sharing your great idea!

    Mrs. Z & Company

  17. Awesome, thank you! I just recently moved over 250+ of my Science links over to Symbaloo and dumped them into categories. Time consuming, but it is so very worth it!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  18. Thanks for the template Brandee-I'm not the best at keeping track of this stuff because I always think, "Oh, I'll remember that next time or I would never forget this for next year." Hopefully you can keep me on track! :O)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  19. This template is awesome, Brandee!! I need to really sit down and start planning. We are "adapting" the modules for NYS and I am still at a loss for what that will exactly look like. I have to admit that I am jealous that you can focus on just ELA. Teaching all four subjects is very stressful right now with the all the new CCSS and modules. I can barely focus!! Thank you for reminding me to get organized:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  20. This is wonderful! Thanks for a peek into your trunk...

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  21. I love your ideas! I also love the Mercedes & The Chocolate Pilot Book! I have used that in my 6th grade classroom and the kids love it! :)

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