The premise of "The Horned Toad Prince" by Jackie Mims Hopkins helps us to learn the value of always keeping our promises (though I don't tell students the lesson to be learned). I began the lesson with a quote...Robert Frost once wrote, "...I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep..." I ask students, "Have you ever broken a promise before? How did it make you feel? Were there any consequences?" Since they have already read the story once for homework, I ask them about what they thought the was the author's purpose in writing the story, remembering that the author's purpose is the reason the author wrote the story.
In order that scholars have multiple opportunities to read and re-read the text "The Horned Toad Prince," I first had them to read the story for homework and write down any questions they had. We began the close read by listening to the story on CD and reviewing their questions first. As a check for understanding, I stopped the CD at key points to get scholars to summarize what has occurred so far. Afterwards, we discussed my text-based questions and Tier 2 vocabulary words (in the attached Powerpoint).
To close the lesson, I ask scholars what do they think Robert Frost meant when he wrote, "...I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep..." After we discussed this for a few minutes, I ask scholars what are some things that we did when citing evidence during our close read. Finally, I ask scholars to imagine themselves as the prince who is returning home to his family after many years. I ask them to do a quick write about what he would say to them, what they would say to him, what he would do next, what happens after the story has ended, and what lesson do you think he learned.