Native American Cinderella: We Don't All Wear a Glass Slipper! Day 2 of 5

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SWBAT have small and large group topic-specific conversations following agreed upon rules for listening and discussion. SWBAT recount a folktale including the genre, characters, setting, plot, problem/solution, and the central lesson. SWBAT cite evidence from the text to support the author's central lesson.

Big Idea

Today the students experience their first Native American folktale, The Rough-Face Girl. They complete activities related to retelling and citing evidence of the author's lesson, and make the connection that Cinderella stories are generational literature.

Welcome to My Lesson

This is a series of lessons using Native American literature that I run concurrently with a Native American Research Unit.  It is part of a bigger unit on generational stories that my district is implementing.  The students learn a lot from studying informational text while pairing it with literature.  It also helps meet the 50/50 ratio of informational text to fiction recommended for third grade Common Core standards.  My team and I chose The Rough-Face Girl as our shared reading text for this particular week, because it is a grade appropriate text falling in our Lexile band at 540.  This series of lessons happened to take place our first week of school!  I was just getting to know my students as learners, and we completed most of the work together.  It was such an exciting time, and the students really enjoyed kicking off the year with great Native American literature and retelling ropes.  I hope I've got them hooked!  Please watch this short video to get an idea about the how and why behind this lesson and how it can work for you! 

Review of Day One: Gather Around the Fire With the Great Storyteller!

15 minutes

For today's review, I'll gather my tribe around the pretend fire for a recap of yesterday's new learning.

The Great Storyteller (teacher) Shares Another Native American Story:

Similar to yesterday, I recite a short Native American story.  Today, I chose "How the Buffalo Were Released on Earth" (See resource file:  How the Buffalo Were Released on Earth).  We use our recounting/retelling ropes and/or anchor chart to retell the story with a partner that is sitting next to us around the fire. This encourages students to practice their speaking and listening skills. (See resource files:  Retelling Rope and Recounting a Story Anchor Poster)  After I've given partners enough time to practice retelling, I ask my tribe to tell me more about the author's lesson.  I then ask them to give me some evidence of the lesson that they learned in the story.  I explain that evidence would be events, or character words or actions.  One of the lessons of "How the Buffalo Were Released on Earth" is not to be greedy.  I explain that I need events, or characters actions and words to prove to me that the author wanted us to learn not to be greedy.  

Review Academic Vocabulary (Anchor Chart Academic Vocabulary Sample):

We review our academic vocabulary for this week's unit using our poster, including:

  • generational literature:  stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next
  • traditional literature genre:  stories that were once passed along by word of mouth; like the telephone game
  • culture: the customs and beliefs of a group of people, including their language, food, clothing, religion, and their way of life
  • folktale:  a story from the "folk" (people), usually passed down through oral tradition
  • Native American:  first American (before it was America!)


Review The Rough-Face Girl Vocabulary:

I display the SMART Board file to review our story vocabulary. (See resource file:  The Rough-Face Girl Vocabulary 2nd Day Review). We review The Rough-Face Girl vocabulary with Koosh balls, or bean bags to "pop" the SMART Board balloons revealing words and definitions.


I move my tribe back to their seats for the reading of the story.


Reading of Native American Folktale

20 minutes

Establish a purpose for reading:  I always set a purpose for reading with my students.  "Today when we're reading The Rough-Face Girl, we are going to be focusing on recounting the story when we're finished (point to anchor chart, and recounting/retelling ropes).  We are going to pay close attention to the author's lesson, or what Rafe Martin wants us to learn from reading The Rough-Face Girl.  We will be proving this by citing evidence, or examples, from the text that support the author's message in what the characters say and do."

I display the following purpose on your chalkboard, whiteboard, or SMART Board for student reference. (See resource file:  Purpose for Reading Rough-Face Girl Poster)

Our Purpose for Reading The Rough-Face Girl:

  • Recount the folktale using my retelling rope
  • Identify the author's lesson:  What does Rafe Martin want you to learn?
  • Cite evidence:  What are events in the story helped you realize the author's lesson?


Read The Rough-Face Girl.  You may want to read the story together, as a whole class, if you feel your students need that support.  Sometimes, I start my students out, reading the first couple of pages, we check our comprehension, and then I have them finish the story on their own.  The Common Core State Standards for ELA encourage as much reading to be done by the students as possible.



After Reading, Show What You Know!

15 minutes

Retelling/Recounting Ropes:  As students finish the story, or when I finish it with the whole class, I have students practice their retelling rope with a partner or two.  We practice our speaking and listening skills, complimenting one another and offering suggestions for improvement.

Assignment Option One:  My students complete a Retelling Planning Sheet and Author's Message Response Page. (See resource files:  Retelling Planning Page and Author's Lesson Response Page)  I copy these two papers back to back for today's lesson.  In the future, to reinforce these skills, I'll also use these papers together or separately to practice retelling and author's message. 

Assignment Option Two:  I will also use a Google Forms as a way for recounting/retelling.  This is the first story of the year for me, so my students' keyboarding skills aren't ready for this yet, but when they are, they'll be typing in their responses on a Google form.  Please see the picture I've provided for you. (See Resource file:  Recounting/Retelling with Google Forms)

Celebrate Today's Learning!

10 minutes

I gather my tribe around the fire, and we take turns discussing The Rough-Face Girl.  Here are some prompts and questions that lead our group discussion:

  • Let's practice retelling/recounting using our ropes. (I choose students to lead.)
  • Revisit the questions in the anticipation guide.  How did you do with your predictions?
  • What did you enjoy about this Native American folktale?
  • How could you tell that this story comes from the Algonquin Native American culture?
  • What fairy tale is similar to The Rough-Face Girl?
  • Does every Cinderella wear a glass slipper?
  • Why are there different versions of Cinderella?
  • How do you think this story came to be?
  • Why is this is a story worth telling again and again? (I feel this is one of the most important things I can do as a teacher.  I revisit the essential question of our unit so students can make connections to all of our shared works within this unit.) Why do we hand stories like this down to the next generation?


We celebrate our hard work today by learning how the Algonquin Native Americans say hello, "Kwe, kwe".

At Home Activity

We encourage reading at home in many ways at my school.  One of the ways we like to bridge school and home is by using Oral Reading Slips.  Almost weekly, our shared reading selection goes home with students for them to read with an adult at home.  There is vocabulary on the Oral Reading Slip for families to preview with their child before reading, as well as a during reading fluency check, and after reading discussion questions.  This is a great way for families to experience the themes, topics, and texts we are studying in ELA.  Tonight, my students will be taking home their copy of The Rough-Face Girl and an Oral Reading Slip.  I like to send these home after we have read and studied them at school, for review and reinforcement.  (See Resource File:  The Rough-Face Girl Oral Reading Slip)

*Please note:  There are two Oral Reading Slips on one page.  Cut down the middle, and send one home per child.

Extension Activities & Lesson Extras

At Home:  Provide research links for your students to do some online research at home.  Invite them to share any new facts each day that you gather at the fire.

Native American Folktale Center or Follow-up Practice Activity:  Offer your students a wide variety of Native American folktales to read.  Ask them to retell the stories using their recounting ropes, or by writing our their recountings.  (See Resource File:  Recounting a Folktale Practice Page)

Cultural Research Center:  Provide students with informational research materials about the tribes where the folktales originated from.  Ask them to take notes on a particular tribe and report their findings in a class book page.  See my Native American Research lessons on cc.betterlesson.

Native American Listening Center:  Provide one or more Native American folktales for students to enjoy at a listening center.  Use this as another opportunity to practice recounting folktales.  I record my own listening centers to match our weekly stories.  This is a great way to have conversations about the thematic topic of the week, and a way to model good prosody.  I offer a couple of different choices for differentiation of the level of the text, as well as the text itself.  Some Native American selections I offer my students are The Legend of Bluebonnet (740 Lexile Level) by Tomie dePaola, The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (840 Lexile Level) by Tomie dePaola, The Flute Player by Michael Lacapa, and The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain by Denise Ortakales.