Activating our prior knowledge can help us be successful for our reading today. We want students to be able to draw on what they already know to aide them in today's understandings. I start by asking someone to begin explaining something interesting from the previous days readings. A student begins by explaining how Columbus arrived in Portugal and that he married there. I am trying to encourage students to take over the discussion, so I try to only facilitate and let them add to each other's ideas.
The next student adds to the married comment by throwing in what we had learned and discussed about marriages from our previous reading. It was exciting to see how much students were adding to each other's ideas. Some talked about how marriage was different based on only certain classes married each other, and one other student commented on how Columbus might have only married his wife because her father was already an accomplished explorer. Today I was thrilled to hear them add so much about what they were reading and learning.
Today as we read we are going to try something new with our sticky notes. We are going to start using them to track our reading. We are also going to use some annotating marks from our CLOSE reading to help. I ask them, "what strategy have we learned that begins with a V?" I call on one of my students with special needs, who scan our strategy board looking for the right fit. I give him time and he is successful at locating visualization. Anytime I can help them be successful in front of their peers while taking a risk is rewarding for both the student and myself.
I explain that we are going to mark our sticky notes with a V for Visualization. This will help us remember that what we have written on the sticky note is helping us remember something that we visualized from the book. I ask them to find our place in the book and I begin reading aloud the next two paragraphs. When I finish reading I stop and check for understanding. In this part of the book Columbus is seeking help for his voyage. I have just read about his wife passing. This is where I model how to use the sticky to help me Visualize. I use the text and mark the page number, and then write a sentence picturing a sad Columbus and his son. I add another sentence that suggests that I visualize Columbus and Diego looking harder for help to sail west.
To make sure that they are all ready for their turn, I ask them what they noticed while I visualized. What did I write? How can it help me understand? How can the sticky note help me later?
Now we will read together and I will give them time to practice visualizing. The focus of the lesson is helping them learn the strategy and deepening their understanding of the text. I am going to read aloud so that they can focus on the text, they all have a copy of the book so I still want them following along as I read.
Once I have read a few paragraphs, I ask them to use a sticky note and visualize what is happening. I continue to read and stop so they have the chance to fill out a sticky note. The last section we read I chose to end on because it has to do with Columbus leaving his son at a monastery. We have a discussion on why he might leave Diego behind. One of student explains that back then "dads did not know how to take care of kids." The students add to that by saying that Diego could learn their and Columbus could try to become a sailor.
I stop the discussion and ask them to visualize now on their last sticky note. On this note I want them to try to connect to Diego and what he might be feeling and saying as he is dropped off. I explain that this connecting to a character helps us understand a character better. I give them time to write. Some of my students asked if they could write whey they thought Diego might say. I said, "that would be wonderful, but could they remember the marks we use to show someone is talking?" It took another student to say quotation marks. I let them write and then had them share their sticky notes with a partner to conclude the lesson. I walked around and checked sticky notes and listened to discussion to assess the success of the lesson.
Tomorrow we will use these sticky notes to help us with reviewing and activating our prior knowledge. They need to use their sticky notes as their bookmark so they have them to share in the student led discussion tomorrow.