I used Henry and Mudge because its a Common Core Exemplar and I want the kids to hear more about these characters. They have been a favorite of my 2nd graders through the years. The text in this series is a little more difficult, so its better for a read-aloud. You could use any book in this series, but preview it first.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Model the skill:
Work together to verify
A shift in my teaching as I work to teach to the Common Core Standards has meant that I do more 'close reading.' This means that students look carefully at how parts of a story affects the overall meaning of the text. In this case, we are looking closely at the structure of the story and how characters and events develop. (RL.2.3) As the characters interact and their traits develop of there course of a text, students can begin to intuitively make predictions and inferences based on the characters and the events in the story. This is a critical leap from simple factual reading - who is it and what is he doing? I am asking students not only to identify the characters and the action, but take a step further and analyze why the character acts as he/she does. 'Is it due to the events?' 'How and why did the character change?'
Explain the task
Monitor as students work
Turn and share
Share the ideas
Scaffolding and Special Education
There are some real opportunities to scaffold this lesson for students of varying abilities. The lesson can be completely individualized by choosing different leveled books for different students. Perhaps your higher readers could choose from a specific set of harder books. The readers who struggle could have an easier set of books.
I sat with some of my lower readers and read some parts of the story to them and referenced the pictures. Sometimes, I would list some key vocabulary (characters' names, event vocabulary) on the board for them to copy. The Poppleton books were easier to read, so pay attention to reading level as you choose books.