Reflection: Unit Planning Inferences from Illustrations to Determine Emotion - Section 1: Preview


In today's lesson, my ultimate goal was to add at least one more possible source of evidence that the students could explore for determining the emotional state of the characters in a story.  the lessons before this one built a nice foundation for finding these clues in both words and word phrases, and I wanted to add illustrations to the list of possible suspects who were holding information about how the characters in the story were feeling. I felt that by giving the students at least three tangible areas where they could search and examine a story for clues about what the author was trying to transmit to them as the reader, it would also give them a useful skill that could then be applied to any literary text.  I also felt this skill would be essential for the final two lessons in the unit where some of their focus would be redirected to examining the mood of the story as well as the characteristics of the events going on inside it.

My theory was that if they had become relatively proficient in examining single words, word phrases and illustrations, in order to determine a character's emotional state, then that same methodology should also work very effectively for examining other things as well, like the mood of the story and the characteristics of its events (i.e., cold, dark, scary night).

With the later in mind (determining the mood of a story), I decided that whatever literary text that I selected for this lesson, should also be used for the next as well.  This would help scaffold the next skill for students.  My reasoning was that, today, my students would be given the added challenge of examining illustrations (in addition to words and word phrases) for information about the emotional state of the character's in the story. Tomorrow, my students will be looking more closely at the emotional state (mood) of the story itself, and so I felt that the added continuity of keeping the same main character (Small Pig) as well as finishing his adventure in the next lesson would not only be more fun for them, but that it would also be far less distracting than introducing a new story line.  I really felt that this would give me a much better opportunity to make a natural transition in moving their focus from looking only at the emotional state of the characters to where it would also include taking a look at the mood of the story and the characteristics of certain events as well.  My ultimate goal before the unit was finished was to get my students to the point where they could get a sense of synergy from their efforts in examining these various elements in the story.  I also felt this would contribute very favorably to the conceptual thinking skills.

There are so many children's stories and texts to choose from, especially when you are looking for one with just the right combination of clear, colorful, information transmitting illustrations.  Making my choice for this lesson was a little challenging, but in the end, I felt that the Small Pig by Arnold Lobel, was an excellent choice because of the wonderful variety of single words, word phrases and of course the illustrations that I needed to first engage my students interest, and then later develop fun but challenging activities from.  Much to my delight, Small Pig was chock full of images that transmitted the characters feelings of joy, happiness, discontent, confidence, fear, and sadness.  It was also an excellent choice for continuing their developmental learning on RL.1.4: identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses and L.1.6: use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and begin read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships. 

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  Unit Planning: Lesson Planning
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Inferences from Illustrations to Determine Emotion

Unit 11: Monitor and Clarify the Word Choice
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT identify word, word phrases, and illustrations in a literary text which suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Big Idea: Move beyond single word and word phrases and examine illustrations which the author uses to transmit a character's emotional state to the reader.

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