Because my students are second language learners, I introduce vocabulary that might impede meaning before we read the story. For each word I show the word and an illustration of that word. (share, paint, play)
I ask: What does this illustration show us about the word's meaning?
We pantomime the words and they ‘show’ me the word. This ‘total physical response’ (TPR) is a common strategy used with second language learners. I use pantomime to help kids 'see' what the word means.
I prompt: Show me 'share.' We turn to a friend and stretch out our hands as if sharing something.
I prompt: Show me ''paint.' We move our hand up and down as if painting.
I prompt: Show me 'play.' We pretend to bounce a ball or jump rope (or anything they can do from a seated position).
Preview Boomer Goes to School by Constance McGeorge
This is the sixth lesson is a series of twenty.
Author and Illustrator
I say: Today we are going to read a book about a dog. His name is Boomer. Point to the title on the cover and tell the students that Boomer Goes to School the title of the book. I ask: What is the title of the book? Everybody say "Boomer Goes to School." Students repeat.
I point to the author’s name and tell the students that this is the name of the person who wrote the words in the book. I say: The author writes the words in the book that tell us the story. The author’s name is usually on the front cover and the author of this book is Constance Mc George. I check for understanding: What does the author do? What is her job?
I point to the illustrator's name and I tell students that this is the name of the person who drew the pictures. I say: The illustrator draws the pictures in the book. The pictures help us to understand the words. The illustrator of this book is Mary Whyte. I check for understanding: What does the illustrator do? What is her job?
Browse the Book
I begin by taking the kids on a picture walk through the book. This is done with no talking, just examining the pictures. I say: We are going to 'walk' through the book and look at the pictures before we read. As we do, I want you to NOTICE what is happening in the picture. I want you to THINK about what the picture is telling us.
As I turn the pages slowly, I exaggerate facial expressions so kids SEE how we notice specifics about pictures and that we think about them. Use facial expressions that show the ‘wonder’ and ‘acknowledgement of information’ that the pictures bring that draw us into the story by pointing at certain details within the picture and raising my eyebrows.
Unencumbered 1st Read
I read the story all the way through with as little stopping points as possible.
An unencumbered first read is for students to ‘get the gist’ of the story. It is the first step of the "Close Read" process that Common Core talks about. This is where students look closely at a text and examine the book for meaning at both literal and inferential levels. Applied learning comes when kids make the text to self and text to world connections through the events in the read.
With my second language learners, I often have to stop and explain some words so that they can follow, so a 100% unencumbered read can be difficult, depending on the story, especially at this time of year.
With the students, I create a circle map with "I can ___ at school." in the center. I brainstorm with students some things they CAN do at school. "Can" is our focus sight word for this week.
I say: Boys and girls, what are some things you can do when you are at school? I know when I am at school I can write, so I am going to write the word 'WRITE' on our circle map. I like to sound out 'write' and see if kids can tell me any letters to match the sounds. It is an informal assessment for me and it models for kids early on how they will use sounds to write.
I say: How do I write /r/? (r) And boys and girls, we are going to put a silent 'w' in front of our 'r' because that is the first letter in our word. e will talk more about that sound spelling later. How do I write /i/? (i) W How do I write /t/? (t) The last letter in our word is silent e and we will talk more about that sound spelling later on too. What does this word say? (write) I sweep my finger under the letters as students say 'write.'
I continue in the same format for as many student responses as time allows for. We will build on this map throughout the week, so I don't worry about filling it on this first day.
As I record ideas on the map, I illustrate each idea. The illustrations will help the kids find the words they want to write later in the lesson. I let the students guide the length of this part of the lesson and how many ideas we add to our map. If it seems cumbersome or overwhelming for the students to generate language, then I stick to just a few ideas
I close: Tomorrow we will think of more ideas for our map and we might even get some ideas from our story when we reread it tomorrow! Now I have a special song for you that we are going to learn this week about our new friend Boomer!
We watch the video and listen to the song: