Similarities and Differences between Two Text About Martin Luther King

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SWBAT understand the author's perspective by comparing two text.

Big Idea

Learn about American history as students analyze text.


5 minutes

Common Core Connection 

The Common Core Standard for this lesson states that students should identify the basic similarities and differences between two text on the same topic.  The Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard says students should analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches of the authors.  I want to meet the first grade standard but also keep the end goal of the CCR standard in mind, so, in this lesson, in the guided practice the students use two texts about Martin Luther King to compare the similarities and difference between those text.  They focus on who is speaking in the text and what message they are trying to create.  The narrator has a message about Martin Luther King and he uses a quote to show what Martin Luther King's message is.  I really like using a text about Martin Luther King because he did have a strong message that the students seem to be very engaged by.

I selected a text from Read Works and use a paragraph from the Read Naturally Curriculum because they are leveled and it makes it easier to pair complex text to the students reading level.  Using DIBELS oral reading fluency and the lexile conversion chart it can predict the reading level of many students.  Text should be challenging, but not frustrating.  If the students struggles with over five words in the paragraph it is too hard, but I scaffold these situations with echo reading. Students need to read highly complex text across a wide range of subject areas to develop content and cultural knowledge (RI.1.10).

Lesson Overview

This lesson begins with the students in the lounge area.  I have found that my first graders need to move or transition about every twenty minutes.  We are at their desks for guided practice and at center tables for partner work.  The student reflection and guided practice are back at the lounge.

Students work in heterogeneous ability groups at their desk and center tables.  Common Core promotes peer collaboration and students learning from each other.  This also creates a positive classroom environment. 

Introductory Activity

This is the time when I try to activate my students thinking and get them focused on the lesson.  Today I project the image of Martin Luther King on the Promethean board and ask the students to tell their partner two things they know about Martin Luther King.  As they discuss I listen and assess their prior knowledge. Then I share a few things I hear and tell the class that we will read two text about King and compare how they are similar and different.

Next I share the lesson goal because I think students really need to know what the goal.  Then I say I can determine the similarities and differences in two text.  To make sure the learners actually know the goal I ask them to tell a friend and say it with me. This engages everyone in the class.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I read the first text to the class.  After I read two sentences I ask the groups to discuss the information they learned.  I ask one volunteer to share and I write it on the board.  I am trying to model making notes as we read.  The big message I am getting at in this lesson is that Martin Luther Kind wanted equal rights. This is where we really want to go with this lesson, because it engages higher order thinking and meets the expectations of the standard. This is a nice strategy to develop comprehension.  I read the next few sentences, students discuss (Talk to Partner Strategy), one learner shares, and I model writing on the board.

I selected leveled text from the Read Works, which is free, and Read Naturally which the school system purchased.  Read Naturally is just a leveled text I found that I liked.  The lexile is a little above my students independent reading level.   I typically use a higher lexile level when I am doing a read aloud.  I think it is important to model and explore text that are a little above level when I can be with the students to help them read and understand vocabulary. This connects to the standard RI1.10 which is about expanding reading vocabulary through reading complex text.  I think it is important to model and explore text that are a little above level when I can be with the students to help them read and understand vocabulary.

After students have several notes about the text I read the second text. I stop after every few sentences to see if students can generate a connection between the text. Any similarities or differences the students notice I write on the board.

Partner Work

20 minutes

I provide students with a selection of similar text, A Great Leader, from Read Works which is a website.  I allow them to spend three minutes selecting two text.  They read for 5-10 minutes.  This get the students familiar with the source.  After reading, students work with their group members to generate notes ( t-Chart) about the text.  We have done several lessons on this skill so I allow the students to select a graphic organizer (Similarities ChartGraphic Organizer) of their choice to complete for the text.  Giving students choices gets them more engaged and gives students a feeling that I appreciate their choice.  As I walk around and monitor I stop and ask questions to check for understanding.

Student Reflection

5 minutes

One way I motivate the students to do their best is by telling them that they can present their work at the end of the lesson.  I line the students up in two lines facing each other.  Line one read their work while line two listens and then they reverse. I go over the rules of speaking and listening prior to the start to make sure they do what I want.  I find it is more engaging to allow  my students to participate at the same time.


5 minutes

I ask each student to tell their partner one thing they learned today. I listen and then ask two or three students to share.   This is another opportunity for students to work on speaking and listening.

I think it is important to restate the objective at the end of the lesson to refocus the class on the skill.  I say I can make connections between two text, students echo, tell a friend, and then say it with me.