I chose this book because it's a favorite of mine and it has a great ending that is predictable, but still a little surprising. The characters, setting and problem are clearly laid out and it is a great one for looking at story elements.
This is the second lesson in my predicting unit. My goals for these lessons is the kids learn to predict based on text evidence, rhythm, rhyme, foreshadowing, story structure, voice, and other text features. This is part two of a 2 part lesson where I use this 'peek and predict' strategy, encouraging kids to look at words and illustrations to make a good prediction. In my first lesson, Peek Inside and Predict (Part 1 of 2) students are introduced to this strategy.
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)
Gain student interest
One goal I have for this lesson is to make a more focused prediction. My students tend to retell several events instead of really predicting. In yesterday's lesson Peek Inside and Predict! (Lesson 1 of 2), many students really struggled with writing a clear concise prediction. I'm planning to focus on questioning and story elements in this lesson to help students write a better prediction statement.
Review the concepts
In this lesson, I’m referring to the SEE KNOW READ chart that we used yesterday, but not filling it out for the students. I completed it yesterday, but I want to see what the they can do today. The Common Core emphasis on close reading and using questions with text dependent answers (RL.2.1) shifts the responsibility of reading comprehension more on students. I want them to not only think of the questions to help them focus their prediction, but also use evidence from the text (illustrations and words) to verify the answers.
Focus on questioning
Based on the previous lesson, I saw that my students needed a visual to help them create a clear succinct prediction. By using a ‘math problem’ (the formula that appears below) it helped them see what they needed to include the problem and events and help them exclude the extraneous details that they wanted to list. My focus on the structure of the story (RL.2.5), describing events in the beginning, the problem in the middle and the solution at the end, helps the students analyze the structure of the text, and see how the parts relate to each other.
Write a focused prediction
Explain the task
The Common Core Standards are shifting to an emphasis on 'close reading' that encourages students use information gained from text and illustrations (RL.2.7) to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting and plot. They are integrating and evaluating content, presented visually and in words, as they comprehend text and deepen their understanding.
Read and students identify story elements and predict
Take ideas, encouraging the kids to have all of the characters (the boy, the alligator), identify the problem (the boy needs to get the alligator out of his room) and important events that make sense. Then take ideas of who can put all 3 ideas together to make a good prediction statement.
Verify and change your prediction
Scaffolding & Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up and down, depending on student ability.
For my special education students, they were able to participate because I read the book to them. However, they needed LOTS of support with identifying the problem and solution and writing that succinctly. I supported them by brainstorming an idea on their slate at their desk and they copied the ideas we created.
For students with more ability, I would expect higher level vocabulary and a sentence with juicier details. Instead of 'there's an alligator under the bed' you could encourage 'The boy can't get out of bed because the alligator is underneath.' However, they may still need support making a succinct prediction statement.