This week, I introduced my students to different versions of Cinderella. Our reading program offers two anthologies with no Cinderella narrative so that is why I gathered a variety of tales to give them a choice. On Monday and Tuesday, they read a different version. On Wednesday and Thursday they compared and contrasted the two versions. Today, my students will choose which of the two versions of Cinderella they liked the best and why. Why am I engaging them in this process? First, there is great power in rereading. This technique helps my second language learners review the vocabulary of the key details of a narrative: author, illustrator, character, setting, plot, problem and solution. It also helps to expand the vocabulary/phrases of the genre: fairytale, version, a long time ago, villains, magic, etc.
Second, students need a topic to write about. A shift with the Common Core State Standards is to have students write about what they are reading. Today, I am given my students the opportunity to explain in writing why they liked a particular version of Cinderella better. Also, the CCSS calls for students to provide evidence from the text to support their reasoning in oral and/or written contributions. I will help them understand what the word evidence means. To help the flow of their writing, they will use linking words such as also, because, and another. They will introduce their topic and include a concluding statement. I will offer students a template to guide them.
I will review with them the difference between facts and opinions before they get started on their writing. I will model the process briefly of providing reasons with the versions of Adelita by Tomie de Paola and The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Thomas.
Also, I will give my students an opportunity to share with each other.
In rereading the texts my students will be able to sit around the room, either on the carpets or at their tables.
As students read and write, I will walk around, monitor their work, provide assistance where needed, and give encouragement as well.
I will start with students on the rug and share the objective. I will have them repeat the objective with the sentence: I can write an opinion with evidence. I will review what an opinion is and explain the term: evidence. I will pass out their story maps of Monday and Tuesday and give them some think time to choose the version they liked the best. After they choose their version, I will have them pair share with their rug partners. Having them pair share with each other about which story they liked the best helps to keep them accountable to the task. It helps them stick to their decision. I have placed the Cinderella books on their tables. I will give them a few minutes to find their selection. I will mention to the students that if they happen to choose the same book as another and there is only one copy of it, then they must share the reading. I am only allowing two of them to choose the same story. If three happen to choose the same title, then they must come see me so I can help them.
I dismiss the students by row to get their books.
While students read, I walk around and monitor their work. I will redirect those students who need it. I will ask students to read with the purpose of finding the things they liked in their story.
My students will write in their response journals about which Cinderella version they like the best. To help them with their thinking, writing, and reasoning, I am providing a template. The template is at follows:
What version of Cinderella did you like the best?
The version of Cinderella that I liked the best is _______________________ by_______________. One reason I like this story is ______________________ because___________________. Another reason is ___________________ because__________. Also, I like this story because ___________________. Finally, ____________________. I feel this version is ______________ because______________________.
I will bring the class back to rug with their response journals. I will review with them what we are doing. I will reference the sentence with the statement: I can write an opinion with evidence. I have them partner up and share their response.
I have a couple of students share what they learned.
I close the lesson by reviewing what we have done and whether we met our objective(s) or not.