The Settings of Babu's Song

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SWBAT compare and contrast two settings in literary text.

Big Idea

Good readers understand the details of the setting(s) in a story. They use these details to glean important information about the plot.


10 minutes

Summary and Context:

The narrative, Babu's Song,  we are reading has three different major settings. I seek to draw my students’ attention to this fact and teach the skills of compare and contrast. In comparing and contrasting, the students will need to use the illustrations as well as the text to accomplish the task. The Common Core State Standards asks students to use evidence from the book/story to support their work. This lesson addresses this skill.

I will introduce the words: compare, contrast, alike, and different. Students need to be taught the academic language that will help them to think about the topic, to talk about the topic, to read about the topic, and to write about the topic. In this way, we help students be successful with the language of school.

I also want to show students the importance of looking at the text closely. I will model with two books today. I will use a magnifying glass to get across the idea of looking closely at the text to gather the information we need to compare and contrast.

I also will remind that good readers set a clear purpose for reading. Today, our purpose is to find out all we can about the settings in the story.

To compare and contrast the settings, I ask my students to reread the story. They will compare in their response journals using a t-chart. After they are done, I ask them to pair share their learning with a partner.

Lesson Opening:

I start with students on the rug and share the objective. I introduce the words of compare and contrast. I explain the terms: alike, different, and both. I model this process with two books. I don't read the books, but I do show them how the settings are alike and different by showing them the illustrations of both. I chose these two books because the contrasting settings. In modeling, I use a magnifying glass to make the point of paying close attention to the details of their settings.

I explain that they will be using a t-chart, similar to the one they used in a previous lesson. I remind students that can use both the illustrations and text to compare and contrast. 

Independent Reading

12 minutes

One of the goals of the CCSS is for students to read on grade level texts independently. Having students reread the text is provides a support to those students who are not yet reading at grade level. We have read the selection with the audio and we have read it as a class. They are familiar with the story. Thus, I am confident they are going to be successful in this reread. Rereading and repetition are strategies that work very well with my students.

As students read their selection Babu’s Song, I walk around to monitor their reading to get them started. The group I am reading with is waiting for me on the rug. But I walk around for a few moments to make sure those working at their tables get started.

The students on the rug need support with reading fluency. These are my lowest in this area. It would take me much more time than the allotted time to get done with this story because of its length. That is why I am reading it out loud with them in a quiet voice. They track the reading with their bookmarks or their pointer finger.

Comparing & Contrasting Settings

20 minutes

Now, my students will choose two settings to compare and contrast. I draw a t-chart on the white board for them to use as a reference. I remind them that they are writing 5 details for each setting. They will be working in their response journals.

After they finish their t-chart, they need to write one sentence that tells how the settings are alike and one sentence that tells how the settings are different. As a scaffold, I provide an example of the linguistic patterns for them to use in their writing: Scaffolding their writing.

I walk around to monitor and provide help with drawing the t-chart. Others need support with where to write the names of the settings. Others need support with making a decision about which two to choose. As teachers it is important to pay attention to the type of help students need to get started and be successful with their tasks.

Here are examples of their work:

Here is an example of a student who wrote sentences to compare and contrast: Sentencesforcomparingandconstrating.


7 minutes

I bring my students back to the rug. I pair them up with their carpet partners to have them pair share their work. I have them share because it helps them to debrief what they are learning. It helps them remember the objective of the lesson and build their confidence about the skills they are learning. And I am constantly working on connecting the four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It is important to give students lots of chances to speak, listen, read, and write.

Here are examples of their pair-sharing:


2 minutes

I gather the students on the rug. I review what we learned today. I review the objective and ask them whether we met it or not. Then, I bring closure to the lesson.