Lesson: Turn and Talk (responses)

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Lesson Objective

Students will respond in conversation to a partner about a book.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we learned how to start a conversation by using sentence starters.  Today, we will use the same book to respond to our partners and begin to have conversations about books.  We are already familiar with, Library Mouse, so this lesson will be a great way for you to think deeper about the book.


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers, we spent a lot of time starting conversations during our lesson yesterday.  Today we will use what we learned yesterday to begin to respond to those prompts.  I think it is helpful to have sentence starters as we begin to respond to each other.  Teacher reveals teaching chart for the day with the following prompts.


I agree…

I disagree…

Why do you think that…


I can use any of these three prompts to respond my partner (teacher may add more or less prompts depending on the level of students in the class).  I agree means that I am thinking the same thing and to disagree means that you have a different idea than your partner.  Sometimes it is helpful to ask your partner why they have an idea because you may not be thinking the same idea or you may not understand their thinking.  This is helpful for you and for your partner because it forces your partner to use evidence from the text.  Let’s start reading to see how we respond.


Teacher reads aloud the first page of the book.


Sam was a library mouse.  His home was in a little hole in the wall behind the children’s reference books, and he thought that life was very good indeed.


Yesterday, I started a conversation about this page by stating, “I wonder why the mouse lives in the library because I normally only think about books in a library, not a mouse.”    If I was working with a partner I might respond to this comment many different ways.  I could say, “I agree with you because I have never seen a mouse at the library, that seems weird to me”.  In this response I was thinking the same idea as my partner and wanted to explain why I was feeling that way.  In this dialogue a conversation starter and response was used, that is our goal for today.  Let me show you one more example.  Teacher reads aloud the next page.


Every day, when the library was full of people walking up and down the aisles, studying, checking out books, and working on the computers, Sam was curled up in his little hole, sound asleep.  Every night, when the people went home and the room was dark and quiet, the library belonged to Sam. 


And every night Sam read, and he read, and he read.  Sam read picture books and chapter books.  He read biographies and poetry, cookbooks and sports books, fairy tales and ghost stories, and mysteries by the dozen. 


Yesterday I noticed on these pages that Sam loves to read which makes sense because he is a library mouse.  In that conversation starter I said an idea that I noticed from the book and explained why I thought that made sense.  Now I need to think about a response to this prompt.  I think it is a good idea to ask my partner to explain their thinking.  So I will say, “Why do you think that Sam loves to read?” to my partner.  This question requires that my partner can look back in the text to explain why they thought about this idea. I think you are ready to try. Teacher reads aloud next section.


Sam’s mind was filled with facts and information and images of far-away places, and his imagination brimmed over with wonder and fantasy.  One night Sam decided that it was time he wrote a book of his own!


For this first example, I will begin the conversation.  After I say my conversation starter, partner 1 will respond and then partner 2 will respond.  Teacher says, “I wonder what Sam will write about?” to the class.  Think for a moment what you want to say to your partner.  Then turn and tell your partner your idea. Remember we are responding to my conversation prompt not to each other.  Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Teacher calls on a few students to share their ideas.  Great work readers!  I love how some of you had the same question and I did and other wanted to know more evidence from the story.  Let’s try another example but this time you will begin the conversation and respond to each other.  Teacher reads aloud next section.


Sam folded over some little squares of paper he took from the librarian’s desk, to make the pages.  Then he found a pencil that had rolled underneath a shelf, and he began to write.  “Write what you know,” Same had read in a book about writing, so Sam wrote about being a mouse.  He drew the pictures for his book by posing in his little mirror and then sketching what he saw.


Sam worked very, very hard, and finally his first book was done.  He called it Squeak! A Mouse’s Life, and he wrote on the cover, words and pictures by Sam.”  He went to the biography/autobiography section of the library, and he tucked his first book onto the shelf.  Then he went back to his little hole in the wall and waited. 


Think for a minute about what you want to share with your partner.  Partner 1 you will use a conversation starter to begin the conversation.  Remember that means you noticed or think or wonder something about the story.  Partner your job is to listen very carefully to your partners idea and respond.  When you respond remember to use one of our three response prompts.  Turn and talk. Teacher listens in to conversations and calls on students to model their conversation with the entire group.  I heard some wonderful conversation during that share and I think you are ready to try on your own.  When you return to your seats, you will be given a copy of Library Mouse to read.  We read this same story yesterday and I selected a few of your conversation starters to add to the story.  As you read stop and respond to the prompts.  At the end of workshop time you will share your thinking with members of your group.  Remember to use sentence prompts each time you stop and write.  Off you go readers.




Active Engagement (15-20 mins):  Students return to their seats.  They will complete a worksheet similar to the day before.  The worksheet has parts of the book Library Mouse typed out for students to read.  I included a conversation starter pulled from the previous days lesson.  Students are expected to write a response to this conversation prompt.  They will be asked to share out their responses during the share portion of this lesson.  Teacher should circulate and conference with students. 


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Students should be given time to share their writing with students at their table (or assign groups if students do not sit in groups).  Students may take turns sharing their responses at each place they stopped and jotted down their thinking.  Teacher should collect worksheets at the end of the lesson to monitor student progress.


Reflection: I chose to use the same story in this lesson to make sure students were familiar with the book.  It was easier for them to respond to prompts when they had already read some of the story.  This lesson can be altered to allow students more chances to practice turning and talking with each other.  I actually teach this lesson two days in a row with the remainder of the story.  This allows students multiple times to practice responding to each other.

Lesson Resources

Library Mouse Stop and Jot Responses.doc  


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