Real or Fantasy?

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SWBAT use reading comprehension strategies to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Students will also write two sentences in their journals using the focus sight words ‘this’ and ‘it.’

Big Idea

Shadows are all around us.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Making Shadows

This is the twelfth lesson in a series of fifteen.


We watch this video on how to make hand shadows:


I then give students time to explore making shadows both with their hands and other objects.  Here's how I do it!



Multi-Media in Common Core

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!


Interact with text/concept

45 minutes


You could write jig on the board,  but I like to have it prepared on a word card with a picture to illustrate it I ask students to stand with a partner and to pantomime actions.  I ask:  Does anyone know what a 'jig' is?  I take student responses.  I usually have to tell them that this is a dance we do with our feet.  I model and students copy.  I say: Everybody say 'jig.'


2nd Read-First half of the story

Because this story is so long, we will only read half of the story today and the other half tomorrow. 

After I read pages 5-6 I stop and ask : What is something that is made up about shadows on this page?  (Shadows want to play with you or shadows like the sunshine)   I say: What do we call stories that tell about things that could not ever really happen?  (fantasy)  What are some things in this story that could be real? (rabbits, woodchucks)

I create a T chart with two headings REAL on the left and FANTASY on the right.  On the left under "REAL" I record 'rabbits' and 'woodchucks.'

I stop after each character is introduced and we record what happened with that character in the appropriate column, real or fantasy, in the same format as we did on pages 5-6.

pp 12-15  Real- beaveranimal,

Fantasy- beaver walking with a broom and a rabbit sweeping are both fantasy.

pp. 16-19  Real-fox, skunk 

Fantasy-pulling away a shadow, fox using scissors, fox going to a meeting

I stop at p. 19 on this day.  We discuss why Rabbit was unable to get rid of his shadow by sweeping it away, running or hiding.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes


Our sight words for this week are ‘this’ and ‘it.’   Show the students both words on word cards and practice reading them.  Students will be making shadow pictures again in their journals.   We create a circle map  with “This is a ___.  It is (color).”  in the middle. I ask: Does anyone have any ideas that we can add to the map?  

I draw a picture for each word so students can identify which one they want to write.  




 Write off the Map

I model in my journal: I think I want to write "This is a rabbit.  It is white."  I want to draw our character from the story!  Boys and girls, watch me as I write from the center circle out.  I refer to the circle map as I write "This is a."

I continue: What does /r/ /r/ 'rabbit' start with?  (r)  That's right.  Can anyone find the word 'rabbit' on our map for me?  I choose one student to come touch the word 'rabbit.'

I always emphasize the initial sound in a word by making the sound in isolation two times before I say the word.  It helps the kids to focus on that first sound and letter.

I say: I am going to copy that word 'rabbit' exactly on my line after my words "This is a."  You tell me the letters as I write them.  Students call out the letters in 'rabbit' as I write them.

I continue: Now I am going to put a period to finish my sentence.  Now I need to write my second sentence.  Watch me as I write from the center circle out.  I refer to the circle map as I write "It is a"

I prompt: Now I need to find the color word for 'white' which is the color of my rabbit.  Who can touch our color word 'white' on our color wall.  I choose a student to touch the word 'white' on our color word wall.  

I say:  I am going to copy that word 'white' exaclty on my line after my words "It is" to tell the color of the rabbit.  You tell me the letters as I write them.  Students call out the letters in 'white' as I write them.

I finish: Now let's read the sentences that I wrote in my journal.  I touch, you read.  As I track the words, students read them




Release of Responsibility(You do)


Students are released to their seats and write at their desks.  I  post the circle map on the board so students can copy the words they do not know how to write.  I also refer students to the word wall for sight words. 

Students must write the word of their picture and then write a color word for what color the item is.  They can also write ‘black’ as the color of the shadow. 

As students are writing, I monitor and assist where necessary.


Struggling writers

I will write words in highlighter for students to trace if they are extremely low, but in general, I try to plan for extra time these first few weeks so that students get practice in writing the entire sentence themselves



Reading Our Writing

I always have students read their writing back to me.  We do this every day, so students are familiar with the procedure.  I have them read back to me so that I can see how they are applying sight word knowledge, letter/sound and blending knowledge and tracking.  This particular writing piece also allows me to see if they understand the return sweep.  


If students are struggling, I have them echo me and I help them to track by using hand over hand and moving their finger along as we read.