At the start of the lesson, I say to the students, “Listen, do you hear that?” and then I press play on the ocean sounds file I have found to share with the students. I ask the students, “What is that?” and a student says “The ocean! It sounds like waves!” “Exactly! Nicely done! It is indeed the sound of the sea that we’re hearing! Isn’t it a nice sound? I love to be near the ocean and just listen!” Then, I continue to tell the students that we can learn so much from the ocean by using all of our senses, not just hearing! We can learn about the ocean by seeing information and pictures, by feeling objects that came from the sea or the temperature of the water, and even by listening sounds from the ocean or to what others say about their thinking about the ocean! Today, we’re going to use our senses to learn about the ocean! We’re going to use our eyes to find words in our KD Magazine: Oceans 2, we’re going to use our mouths to talk to each other about our ideas about these words, and we’re going to use our ears to listen to what others at our groups are thinking about the words!
To begin the lesson, I start by pulling up a Smart Notebook file that I’ve prepared (see the Resources section here). The first slide has a Wordle that I’ve made of the 10 words I’m going to introduce to the students today. I ask them to take a look at the words, as I read each of them for the students. I ask the students to think about how these words might be related for a moment on their own, then I tell them I want them to turn and talk to their partners about what they think these words mean and how they fit together. But, before I let them begin talking, I tell them that I want them to use their senses carefully: be sure if one student is talking, you use your sense of listening and think about their ideas, when it’s your turn, be sure to share your ideas about the words, and lastly, use your sense of hearing to listen for the sound of the waves! When you hear the ocean, stop and face me so that I know you’re ready to go on! Then I ask the kids to begin sharing their ideas. I give students a few moments to share their ideas together, and then, with the use of the ocean sounds, I regain the students’ attention. I ask the students to share with our class how they think these words go together.
After listening to a few different summaries, I tell the students that they just did something awesome: they used what they already knew, plus the information given (all of the words in the Wordle) to figure out what the words might mean. That means they’re figure out the meaning to words on the topic of oceans! That’s awesome!
Now I tell the students that it’s time to get to know these words better! I switch to the next slide of my notebook file and I share the first word with the kids. We share the word, I uncover what page it’s on, and then the kids hunt for the word. Once the students find the word, I have them read the sentence it’s on, notice the text features (such as headings, diagrams, maps, etc.). Once students have looked around and read the sentence, I have them turn and talk with their table groups to determine what the word means. When students hear the sound of ocean waves, the students stop their conversations and I ask what they feel the word means. The students share their ideas, and then, using the notebook file, I have a student uncover the definition. We discuss it as a class, and then move on to the next word. We go through all 10 words, skimming pages, reading the word in context, and having purposeful talk with our partners, then sharing the actual definition and discussing. As students talk, my assessment is two-fold: 1) how they are collaborating with each other as related to the speaking and listening standards, and 2) how well are students making sense of unknown words using context clues to support their thinking.
To wrap up today’s lesson, I pull back up the Worlde and ask students if they think they have a better idea now how these words are related. I ask the students to grab their pencils and, while they hear the ocean sounds, write a note about what they think all these words mean together. I turn up the ocean sounds and let students write for a moment. Then, after about a minute or so, I turn down our music, ask students to stick their post-its to the front of their KD Magazines, and tell them that tomorrow, when we begin reading this magazine, we’ll connect our ideas about the words to the reading from the text.