Their Native Tongue Day 2 of 3

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SWBAT answer questions the key details in an article.

Big Idea

Besides learning Kanien'keha:ka, which is the language of the Mohawk Indians, students at the Akwesasne also learn to weave and get maple syrup from a tree. What else do they learn? Come find out.


7 minutes

Summary and Context

I will review the text features that were taught in the previous lesson. I believe strongly in reviewing because it helps my students move their short-term knowledge to their long-term knowledge. Today, we read the second part of the article, "My Native Tongue." I remind my students that will be asking and answering questions to understand the key details about it.

Lesson Opening:

I start with students seated on the carpet. I share the objective of the lesson. I review the text features. I start with maps. Then move on to types of print, captions, photos and illustrations. I explain each one of them as I show them a poster of it and place it on the easel.

I ask them if they have any questions before moving on.

I send them off to their table to find the article once again in their anthology.

Note: To keep the students on task, I make it a point to praise those students who are taking their anthologies out, opening it to the right page, taking out their pencils, sitting properly, and waiting patiently. My praise is immediate and direct to the task at hand.

Here is another example of text features that are offered for free on the internet:


I invite you to choose the ones that most fit your style.

Reading with Text Dependent Questions

20 minutes

Now I read with my students the last two pages of the article, "My Native Tongue." As we read, I mostly use a cloze reading technique, which means, I read and intentionally leave out a word for them to read chorally. This will keep the reading fresh and moving. The text dependent questions ask them to look at the text features as well as the text to answer them. 

I offer support in directing providing linguistic stems for them to answer the questions. For example, question one asks:

•What text features does this page have?

I model by saying:

•This page has the text features ____________ and ___________.

This is a challenging task because of the content of the article and because of the academic vocabulary the students are learning with the text features. Therefore, the modeling of this language is extremely helpful and vital.

I invite you to think about how to best support your students with the academic language.

Brain Dance

2 minutes

It is time for my students to get up and move. For this I resort to my brain dance movements. I use a combination of them. I only do it for 2-3 minutes, depending on how much they need it. We always start by taking 3 deep breaths. Here is the movement sheet so that you can design the movements for your class. Music is welcomed during this time.

Brain Dance Movements


10 minutes

Back on the rug, I review the text features with them that we have learning about this week. I ask them,

•How do the text features help you to understand the article better?

I expect them to talk about the map that was shown and how that helped us to know where in the United States the school can be found.

I expect them to talk about the students featured in the article and how much they are like us. I expect them to mention how long their names are. This is very different from us.

I review our objective and bring closure to the lesson.