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SWBAT retell a story using the words first, next, and last.

Big Idea

The students and I analyze the individuals, events, and ideas that develop in the lunchroom at school.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection and Lesson Overview

This standard asks the students to retell a story, and I am providing this opportunity in the guided practice and the partner work.  Students even get to engage in a very high order thinking activity as they evaluate each others work in the student reflection section.  In addition, the students reflect upon their new knowledge using a Tweet Board that I made.  It is like exit tickets but more fun because it is different.

This lesson offers collaboration between heterogeneous groups of two or three.  The students read high quality literature and then create a graphic organizer based on the text.  Common Core supports peer work and higher order thinking.  This lesson involves collaboration, application, creating, and analyzing literature.

Introductory Activity

I ask the kids to talk about what happens in the lunchroom.  This is an activating strategy that gets the students thinking about what happens first, next, and last. Then I share what I heard them say. All of the students are familiar with the experience and it has a clear first, next, and last. In my class when I ask this question they are not too chatty because lunchroom discussions are usually about them acting better. So then I have to let them know we are going to discuss the events involved in eating lunch at school.   It makes learners more engaged when I connect learning to their real life experiences.  So, relating the terms first, next, and last to the lunchroom makes learning new terms easier.  Last I share the lesson goal and ask the class to chant it three times as they move to their desks.  This creates a smooth transition and reiterates what they will be learning. I can retell a story using the words first, next, and last.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Since first graders need to move around about every twenty minutes I ask the class to go to their seats for the discussion of lunchroom activities.  They discuss what happens first as they get their lunches. One person shares out, and I write the response on my graphic organizer that is on the board.  Then the students discuss what happens in the middle of the lesson and I ask a volunteer to share.  Last the students discuss what happens last in the lesson.  I share what I heard and ask the class to use thumbs up or down to agree or disagree.  If we all agree then I write it on the board. This discussion is a way to for students to collaborate as a group. It engages all learners and allows everyone to participate. The other plus is that if one student does not know the answer, his or her peer can tell them in a very comfortable situation.

We go back to the first section and discuss what happens and why.  They pick up their trays and go sit down.  I ask them why they have to be in a line and what kind of interactions they have as they are getting their tray.  I ask, "who talks to you?" Then I ask them why they are talking to them.  They are discussing what they selected for lunch or helping them make a purchase.  Then we discuss what happens at the table.  I ask them who they talk to and why.  Last we discuss the dumping the tray and lining up.  This is where they get wild.  So, I ask them what they do.  I ask what the assistant does.  We talk about why she works to keep them in a line and why they should stay straight on the wall.

 Then I ask them what is the purpose of the interactions you have in the lunchroom.  The lunch ladies have a purpose.  You have a purpose as you talk to your friends.  What is the assistant's purpose? This is just one way  I try to increase the complexity of the lesson and allow students to analyze the people involved. There is a Model in the resources of our work.


Partner Work

20 minutes

They select a book of their choice out of a pre-made bag of books on their lexile level. Giving students choices is a really nice way to show that your value their feelings and want to make learning relevant and fun.  

They read the book and fill in their own graphic organizer. As I support the students I walk around and listen to their conversations so I can help guide them in the right direction. There is a video (Student Reading Work) of a student reading their work in the resources.

Student Reflection

10 minutes

They trade work with another group.  The other group reads their work and gives them feedback. Evaluating others' work is a higher order thinking skill.  I have to model what they might say.  I like the way you illustrated a picture with your work.  I like the way you used punctuation marks.  Your handwriting is neat.  I agree that your events are in the correct order.  I might change the order of the events. Then one group shares their work with the class.  This gives us a chance to work on their speaking and listening skills. 


5 minutes

Each child comes to the lounge and write one thing they learned on a post it and places it on the Tweet Board.  Then I share a few.  Next, I explain that we will continue analyzing characters and their actions all year.