Common Core Connection
The Common Core Standard is RL.1.3 and the students should be able to describe characters, setting, and major events in a story. This lesson focuses on the students locating the major events in the beginning, middle, and ending of a story. Students must read a variety of complex texts to build their knowledge around a variety of subjects. This lesson offers fictional choices that are complex and rigorous.
I show my class a picture of a child brushing their teeth. I ask the learners to think about where they are, what order, and who is around when they brush their teeth. I like to use something I know every student is familiar with to connect new information. I find that retention of the new skill is easier when students connect it to something they understand.
To increase participation every child tells their partner the information. One or two volunteers share the ideas. I selected brushing teeth as the activity because it is something that all of the children are familiar with. So, I am trying to connect and evaluate a familiar activity to knew knowledge. I also feel like that there are certain steps involved in brushing teeth. It does not work well in reverse order just like story. The kittens had to lose their mittens before they went looking for them. Just like I wouldn't rinse my mouth before I brushed.
I make a model with them of the graphic organizer (Model) that they will create with their partner. I find it helpful to model the tasks I want them to complete. I also like to do activities with the students prior to letting them have independent practice. My graphic organizer is in the resources.
I ask one volunteer where they are and explain that we call this the setting. Then I ask who is present and tell them that we call this the characters. Last we discuss the order we brush teeth in and why there has to be an order. I explain what first, next, and last mean. I allow the students to tell me the steps that they go through to brush their teeth. Then I write them on the graphic organizer (Model) based on what volunteers tell me. I ask them to write as well so that we are doing this together.
In heterogeneous groups of two or three they work to create a graphic organizer for a book of their choice. The choices are selected based on the student's lexile. I put the book in a bag for students to choose from. The Partner Readingshows learners reading prior to creating the graphic organizer. Students fill in the graphic organizer that they create. It is in the resources.
The students create their own graphic organizer (Student Work) because I find that the experience is more meaningful if they create the whole product. Allowing students to create a graphic organizer empowers them to create one later when they need to organize their thinking outside of the context of this particular lesson. Basically, I want graphic organizers to be tools that they can use later, not things they need to fill out that will just help them this one time.
Creating a product also activates higher order thinking skills. They have to apply information they have learned and develop something. They have to evaluate and analyze as they develop their work.
They had a fantastic time reading their graphic organizer to the class. We did this on the carpet. After two or three students read their work I ask them if they can summarize what the beginning, middle, and ending are in a story. They tell their partner to engage every learner. Then I share what I heard. Last I ask them to tell their partner why we need to learn about the beginning, middle, and ending in a story.
I ask them to list three steps to do something in order on the Tweet Board. I have to make notes of who needs help so I can reteach.
I end almost every lesson with my class restating the lesson objective. I think students need to focus on what they were supposed to learn. I ask the class to say I can retell the events in a story. Students echo, tell a friend, and repeat it with me. I think repetition increases memory and telling a friend makes it personal.