Pictures and Text Work Together Too!

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SWBAT 'read' pictures and make decisions about what they will be reading about.

Big Idea

Working together helps us to achieve more than we can alone!

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Activate Prior Knowledge

This is the sixth lesson in a series of fourteen. 

I draw a circle map and in the center I write: “Wampanoag and Pilgrims.”  I ask: What do you remember from last week about these 2 groups of people?"

I say: "Turn and talk with a partner about what you remember." I remind the students to look at the print around the room (Then/Now sort,  Hunted/Planted/Gathered sort, giant map, etc.) to help them remember something.  I write and draw quickly the ideas generated by the students.

Save the circle map!


I ask: What happened because of the 2 groups working together?  What goals did they achieve?


This is a fun Thanksgiving song to sing with the students:  5 Little Turkeys


Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

Together They Were Better


I explain that this is an informational book, so the story is true.

There are no photographs because there were no cameras long ago. The illustrations are made from looking at the drawings of Pilgrims.



Close Read 

We look at each picture on Together They Were Better powerpoint (or you can print it out as a book) pp. 1-18 closely.  I encourage conversation, then read the page.  As I read the book aloud, I use the illustrations from each page to give students clues as to the text on the page, helping them to see the relationship between the pictures and the words.  There are some pages where I do not discuss the picture because the text and picture are straight forward.


To introduce new vocabulary, I use step asides.  Step asides are short teachable moments where we break from the text to discuss a word.  I invite students to share knowledge about a word and/or I explain the word to them, modeling how we use context and illustrations to help us with understanding.  Because the majority of my students speak virtually no English,  this is a necessary strategy.  I might pantomime, and use illustrations to explain vocabulary such as “dangerous”, “ill”, “languages”, “worried”, “meeting”.  

Page 4:  I think aloud: I can tell they lived by the ocean because the blue area with waves, fish adn jellyfish tell me that that is the ocean.  I ask:  Does anyone remember what these houses were called?

Page 5:  I ask: What are these Wampanog doing? (picking/harvesting food)  Do you know what we call people who harvest food? (farmers)

Page 6:  I think aloud: I can see that the Wampanoag are fishing here because of the fishing line and spear in the water.  How did they get fish: hunted, gathered or planted? (hunted)

Page 7:  I observe and think aloud: I can see that the Pilgrims lived in England because they are by a map of England.  The man is saying, "We want to be free."  Do you think that means they like or dislike living in England?

Page 8:  I say: We know that the Pilgrims traveled a long distance by boat to get to a new land.  They did something even though they might have been scared or in danger  Show me 'brave.'  (we put our hands on our hips, puff out our chest and hold our chins up)

Page 9:  I ask:  "Dangerous" means something that might hurt you.  Does anyone remember what was dangerous about their trip?  (long trip at sea, sickness, lack of food)

Page 11:  I wonder:  If I look at the picture I can see they look a little bit scared of each other.  We call that "worried."  I wonder why they were worried about meeting each other. 

Page 12:  I ask:  Have you ever been worried about meeting someone because they were different?

Page 13: I observe and think aloud: I can see from the dark clouds, snow and bare trees that it is winter in this picture.  What is the weather like in the winter? (cold)  Why would not having enough houses, food or warm clothes cause the Pilgrims problems?

Page 14:  I clarify: "Ill" is another word for 'sick.'  I am sure the lack of food made the Pilgrims sick.  What else might have made them ill?  Look at the picture for ideas  (cold weather, lack of clothes/warm place to live)




Review of Story: Returning to the Pictorial


We only read pp. 1-18 today and we finish the text tomorrow.  Because informational text is so vocabulary and concept heavy,  it is more manageable for my students if I break the read up into manageable chunks.  

When the section of the story is completed,  we go back to the pictorial from last week and I ask students what they learned or remember about each part of the map.  I use some of last week’s questions again: Who lived in England? Where did they travel? Who did they meet in America?


I point out that we are using evidence from the text to support our thinking and answers.



I let students know that tomorrow they will return to the story to complete it and learn more about how the two groups of people began to help each other.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Double Bubble


Together, we create a double bubble of the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims.  This is the old Venn Diagram where we compare two things.  The isolated qualities/characteristics are put on either side of the double-bubble map and the similarities are stacked down the middle.

I prompt and ask: Looking back at the text just read, what are some things that are the same and different about the Pilgrims and Wampanoags?


I use text and quick drawings to scaffold the learning.  We  will be adding more as we continue to read the story tomorrow.