Who Is The Most Afraid?

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SWBAT retell the story by using the Beginning/Middle/End template.

Big Idea

Let's sequence the story using the three main story events.

Warm Up

5 minutes

I will begin my lesson by discussing experiences my students have had about being scared.  This discussion will let me know the extent of their prior knowledge on this subject.  Knowing my student's prior knowledge helps me to connect today's lesson content to what they already know.  We will end our lesson by sequencing the story and orally retelling it to the class.

"Have you ever been scared?  Let's make a circle map to brain storm things that we think are scary.  Are  scary things big or little?"

  This discussion opens up conversation about what they are scared of to make a connection to the characters in the story who are scared of the Terrible Tragadabas.  

"I want to read a story to you today about The terrible Tragadabas.  Everyone is afraid of the Tragadabas because they eat people.  That is a very scary thing.  You will be surprised as to who is most afraid at the end of the story.  Let's use the Thinking Map to help us  identify and brainstorm what we are discussing."

 I find my students need prompting with the brainstorming process to keep it focused.  We are only going to put on the circle map  the things we are discussing, which transfers over to the rest of the lesson.  Keeping them focused and on track and not talking about the movie they saw or who is not their best friend is difficult.  



15 minutes

This story is in my Harcourt Read-Aloud Anthology.  It is an old Mexican Folk Tale.  The book does not have pictures good enough to show the students.  Just a few random sketches. So I draw the story as I read.  I have become acquainted with the story well enough that I don't have to read it word for word.  The students love to watch me draw.  

This story is about a grandmother and three granddaughters.  The girls go to the store one at a time where they meet the Tragadabas. When the grandmother goes looking for the girls and hears the Tragadabas, she thinks the girls have been swallowed alive.  But, it's not true.

In the end, a little bee chases away the Tragadabas.  I change my voice to be low and gravely when I speak for the Tragadabas.  When the girls open the store door I jump out and act like the Tragadabas.  I like to read this story and use it for teaching retell because it keeps my kindergarteners' attention and the story parts are easy to put together on the template.


I introduce the characters, Grandma, little Bitty, Middle size and Great big who are sisters. 

 This book is fun to read because there is a part where the students can chant with me that the

tragadaba says.

Little Bitty, Little Bitty 

 Don’t you come inside.

 I’m the Tragadabas, 

 And I’ll swallow you alive!


Middle size, Middle size,

 Don’t you come inside.

 I’m the Tragadabas, 

 And I’ll swallow you alive!


Great Big, Great Big,

 Don’t you come inside.

 I’m the Tragadabas, 

 And I’ll swallow you alive!

The other part of the story that I like besides the predictableness it that the hero of the

 story is a small bee not the huge Tragadaba that is so mean and terrible.  This story lends 

itself to a easy Beginning:Middle End story retell. 

It is important to teach the students story retell, not only for kindergarten but for the 

grades to follow.  Students in first grade are exposed to a variety of genres and texts that they

have to be able to retell the story and be able to answer difficulty questions.  They may have to

go back to the text themselves to find the answer.  In kindergarten, I am laying the academic

foundation for first grade to build on. I use fun genres and fun texts accomplish this goal.



Writing Activity

10 minutes

I explain that when we retell a story like this one, we can break it down into three parts.  What happened in the beginning of the story, what happened in the middle of the story and what happened at the end of the story.  I planned for the students to partner share the answers, but they seemed confused, so we did it whole group first.  I point to the template and say "In the beginning of the story there were . . . . They say 3 girls."  Yes!  In the middle of the story the Tragadabas ..... scared the girls.  At the end of the story  . . . . . .  the bee chases away the Tragadabas.  I then had them turn to their partner and tell them what happened in the beginning of the story.  They gave a thumbs up when both partners have the answer.  Then I ask them what I can draw that shows the 3 sisters.  They all said I should draw the 3 girls.  Then another student said to draw the store.  Then someone else said to write the letters on the store, which I realized was the word store.  I thought that was a great detail.  I point to the middle section of the template.   Tell your partner what happened in the middle of the story.  When all the thumbs are up , I ask them what happened.  They told me the Tragadabas scared the girls.   I asked "What can I draw here to show that?"  They said I needed to draw the store, the tree and the sisters.  I  point to the end part of the template and ask them to tell their partners what happened at the end of the story.  Most of them said that the bee scared the Tragadabas out of town.  I asked how I could draw this.  They said I should draw the Tragadabas being chased by the bee.  Chorally we say:  In the beginning of the story the three girls went to the store.  In the middle of the story the Tragadabas scares the girls and they run away and climb the tree.  At the end of the story the bee scares the Tragadabas away.  One student said "And now everybody is happy!".  I show them the paper template that they will be drawing pictures to retell the story.  I hand out the templates and have the students go back to their tables to sequence the story.  I walk around prompting and helping where needed.

Our District uses the Thinking Maps through all grade levels.  I use many of the Maps and templates in Kindergarten.  I adapted this flow map to be just three sections with no arrows and no lines for sentences.  I also made a template where the space is smaller for the picture and there are a few lines to write on.  When we are more proficient in our story retell, we will move to the next template I made.  Then they can add one or two sentences to describe their writing.  Using the templates makes it easy and very "Visible" for the students to accomplish this task. Using the templates helps me teach to the ELA CCs.  

writing in progress

writing template

Wrap up

5 minutes

As they finish drawing their first Beginning/Middle/End template, I have several students stand in front of the class and retell the story by using their template.