Captivating Captions

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SWBAT identify and create captions in informational text.

Big Idea

Text features are text structures that facilitate retrieval of information for the purposes of reference and research.

Catching Up with Captions

20 minutes

     This lesson will focus on one text feature:  Captions and Pictures.  Aligned with Common Core teaching with the craft and structure of text features in informational text, I begin my discussion of captions by showing examples from informational texts such as:  Time for Kids, National Geographic for Kids, Weekly Reader, etc.  I show my examples by projecting the images from the website on the board.  We discuss and analyze each image by discussing the purpose and significance of including these images within the text.  

     Then, we have fun with a few captions that are not necessarily for informational text, but it hooks students into the creating caption activity.  A great website to use is:  Students enjoy this silly caption activity and the purpose is to get them acclimated to writing captions.

     Now, we go to the serious part of learning.  I go back to the websites and ask students to come up with an alternate caption that is different from what is shown.  After we practice with a few, I  read students an article, without showing them the photos or captions in the article. Then, I show them a photo related to the article and ask students to generate their own caption (see resource).

Cooperative Captions

30 minutes

     After our caption lesson, I ask students to create a short article using a picture prompt that I give them.  They may use their laptop to research the picture topic I give them to create their stories.  They will also create a caption for their assigned picture that is related to their short story. 

     Students will work collaboratively.  I review rules, norms, and individual roles for collaborative group work (see resources).  Students also use their color coded cups (see resource) in the middle of their tables to indicate the following:

  1. green cup=We're working fine!
  2. yellow cup=We need you here, but we can continue working.
  3. red cup=SOS we need you here, we're stuck!

These techniques allow me to walk around to monitor student progress at their collaborative groups.  At the end of this activity, students share their articles.  Each group selects a representative or representatives to present their final product.  


Share Out

20 minutes

     At the end of the cooperative group activity, students gather together to share out their projects.  Each group gets a chance to present their team projects to the class.  Feedback is given from classmates about the effectiveness of the captions presented.  Then, we elaborate on our initial discussion about the purpose of captions.  Students recall the information learned at the beginning of the lesson and explain the conceptual knowledge gained at the end of the activity.  Students summarized that a caption gives a brief explanation of a picture.