This lesson is a follow up to another lesson, Points of Informational Text, that I taught about story structure in informational text. I used the same organizer for a timeline and I wanted students to see that information can be organized similarly across many books. I also wanted to give them more practice with determining main idea and supporting details, which is very clear in this book because of the limited text and concrete subject matter.
**I chose this book because it's a mix of literature and informational text ideas. The topic of geography should be common knowledge for students. We are getting ready to talk about Westward Expansion in Social Studies and I want the students to see and hear some of the names of states. Reading cross-curricular materials (geography) helps my students bridge their learning across the school day and gain an exposure to Geography material in the genre of Literature.
**I will warn you that there is a picture and text of the character running naked through the desert. I used the book and read the page and moved on. The kids giggled, but since I didn't make a big deal out of it, they didn't either.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Bring students to a common starting point
Explain the task
Discuss the organization of the story
Model how to find main idea and details
As students look at the story structure of this piece of literature, they are evaluating the story as a whole and way the parts relate to each other. (RL.2.5) The shift in Common Core ELA standards is toward presenting students with strategies to see how text is organized and recognize structure and patterns within the text. Ultimately, students who can determine the structure of a story, will be better able to predict, connect, and summarize.
Explain the task
Reflect and share
Explain the task
Share your work
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
For students with academic challenges, this lesson should be easier because I am reading to the group. A large class map will be more helpful and perhaps, post-its, to make a bigger visual would be helpful. They may need a ‘buddy’ to help with the worksheet. For the state page that they make, perhaps some ideas on a desk whiteboard would help them. This is an explanation from one of my students with hearing challenges.
This is a great lesson for students with more academic ability. The geography lesson embedded in this lesson is applicable for any level of students. Challenge them to use higher level vocabulary from them (Iowa is agricultural vs Iowa has corn) as well as deeper supports to the main idea (Nebraska)