Their Native Tongue Day 1 of 3

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand an article.

Big Idea

The language of the Mohawk Indians lives on at the Akwesasne Freedom School in New York. Come learn how the school keeps it alive.


10 minutes


Today, we read the article, "My Native Tongue." Before reading it, I review the text features that I taught in the previous lesson. These text features will help us answer key details about the article. To answer the key details I will ask my students text dependent questions. These questions ask explicitly what the article states. I continue with helping my students understand the role of evidence in their learning. 

Lesson Opening

With students seated on the carpet, I share the objective of the lesson. Then, I review the text features I introduced yesterday: maps, different types of print, captions, and photographs and illustrations.

I let them I will be asking them questions about the article to help them understand what it is about. I dismiss them by asking them to find the text features, table of contents in their book, so that they can go and look for where the article starts. This is good practice for my students.

There are numbers text feature posters available for free on the internet. You may find the following useful:


I invite you to use the posters that most meets the needs of your classroom.

Using Text Features for Comprehension

20 minutes

The article, My Native Tongue, is only four pages long, but it is dense. Therefore, I will only read and discuss two pages at at time with these Text Dependent Questions. In asking these types of questions, I am helping the students analyze the article, we are taking it apart, so that they can understand why this article was written.

This is the beginning of the year. I want to make sure my students are feeling and being successful with their task  

Debriefing how text features help us

10 minutes

It's discussion time. To prompt the discussion, I ask:

•How did the text features help you to understand the article, My Native Tongue?

I ask them to pair share first, then, I have a few share out loud.

I am looking for them to make a couple of connections:

1. The photos showed us who the article was about.

2. The captions gave us more information about the photographs.

3. The captions were found in different places. Sometime by the side of the photo, sometimes by the top of the photo.

With these type of responses, I am looking for them to go back into the text and provide specific details.

Afterwards, I review our objective and bring closure to the lesson.