Activate Prior Knowledge
This is the sixth lesson in a series of fifteen.
We discuss what we have learned about shadows so far. I ask: What is a shadow? What to we need to make a shadow? (surface, light, something to block the light) Have you ever tried to get away from your shadow? Have you ever tried to lose your shadow? Turn and talk to a partner about your shadow.
As students are having collaborative conversations about shadows, I monitor and prompt where necessary. I might say: I have never tried to get away from my shadow because I like my shadow. Then I turn and ask a student: Have you ever tried to get away from your shadow?
Collaborative conversations is a common thread we see across the grade levels in Common Core. Students are challenged to discuss what they know to verbalize understanding. It is a great way to encourage kids to use language and it serves as a great assessment tool for the teacher!
To revisit what we know about shadows, we watch this short video and listen to this fun, repetitive song about shadows!
Unencumbered 1st Read
The purpose of this read is for students to get the gist of the text. For this first read I try not to stop unless I see that kids are struggling with basic understanding. Because my students are second language learners, I sometimes do have to stop during this read to step aside and explain vocabulary or key story elements that the pictures might not show. Ideally, however, I want this read to be without interruption.
I show students the cover of the book Bear Shadow I point to the title and say: "Bear Shadow" is the name of this book. Does anyone remember what we call the name of the book? (title) I then point to the name of the author and illustrator and I ask: What is the author's job? (write the words) What is the illustrator's job?(draw pictures)
We watch a video of the story. This is an unencumbered "read" of the story.
Why use a video?
We see multi media addressed throughout Common Core. As our students get older and we prepare them for college and career, it will be important for them to be comfortable with different forms of media. We also want them to be able to listen for information and be actively engaged through media. Presenting the story through video meets all of those needs!
You could write each of the following words on the board, but I like to have them prepared on word cards with pictures to illustrate them: huffing, puffing, exclaimed, slammed.
I ask students to stand with a partner and to pantomime actions as I say each word.
I say: Huffing and puffing are synonyms. I ask: Does anyone know what synonyms are? Allow for students to answer. If they do not know, I give them hints. (happy/glad big/large) I prompt: Are these words more alike or more different? (alike) Show me "huffing and puffing." (students breathe heavily)
I ask: Why was Bear huffing and puffing in the story? What was he trying to do that made him huff and puff? (He tried to run from his shadow)
I prompt: Show me 'exclaimed.' (we cup our hands around our mouths, as if yelling) I continue: What does Bear keep exclaiming to his shadow throughout the story? (Go away, Shadow!)
I prompt: Show me 'slammed.' (we pretend to throw a door shut) Does slamming the door get rid of Bear’s shadow? (no)
Finally, I have students put words and illustrations in their dictionary.
While some may see this as teaching vocabulary in isolation, it really is not. We discuss the words through context and the dictionary illustrations also challenge the kids to provide context. This allows me to check for understanding. We further examine these words in the context of the story through the reading.