Friends Make Us Laugh!

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SWBAT answer text dependent questions with teacher guidance. SWBAT write and illustrate a sentence that gives information.

Big Idea

It's time to study our friends! What are your friends? My friends are kind.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Friends Thinking Map


I create a circle map with 'My friends can ___" in the middle.  Another suggestion is to print the word ‘Friend’ in the middle of a bubble map. 


I brainstorm with students describing words for a friend. I say: ˆWhen I think of my friends, I think of how they can make me laugh.  I am going to write  ‘make me laugh’ in my first bubble. (or inside of a circle map) What words come to mind when you think of your friends?  Think for a moment and when you have an idea for our thinking map, raise your hand.  


I continue with the same pattern of guided inquiry until we have several ideas recorded on our thinking map that describe friends.  


Students can use the linguistic pattern My friends can ___ if they are having trouble coming up with verbs for friends or thinking of a way to verbalize their thinking.


I say: We are going to be writing about FRIENDS today, so I want you to keep thinking about what makes a friend a friend.





Interact with Text

45 minutes

The Lonely Prince


First I  preview vocabulary with students: laugh, cryThese are words my kids generally know in English.   I prompt:  Show me laugh.   Show me cry.  Those who might not know them gather their information from their peers.  


Text Dependent Questions

I like to have students on the carpet with me, sitting in front of the Big Book.  I read the story with stopping points for comprehension checks on the following pages.  I like to stop every few pages because that is a manageable chunk of reading for my students.  It tells me if they are following the story or if we need to reread and/or discuss events thus far.

 I ask: Does anyone remember what our title is?  Can someone come up and point to the title of our story?   Remember the title is the name of the book or story.  What does the word ‘lonely’ mean? (alone, nobody to play with)


Page 1  I ask:  Who can show me where I begin reading? (first word on page)  Which direction do I read? (right to left)


Page 2  I prompt;  Boys and girls, look at the prince here.   Do you think Prince William has any friends?  Why or why not?  (no, there isn’t anybody playing with him)  I point out that the story doesn’t tell us that Prince William has no friends, but by looking at the pictures and thinking about the title, we can figure that out.


Page 8  I ask: Why might the King and Queen might be worried about Prince William?  (He has everything he wants and isn’t happy)


Page 12  I ask: Do you think the King and Queen have a lot of money or a little bit of money?  I have students point out details in the text that support their thoughts.  I reinforce to students that good readers draw conclusions based on what clues we’ve found in the story.


Page 16  I ask: Do you think the gardener’s boy takes good care of the rabbit?  Why?  (yes, because he is treating it kindly and feeding it)  I guide students to understand that the story doesn’t TELL us these things, but we can draw that conclusion based on story clues.  Why do you think William thinks that the rabbit will make him happy?  (because the gardener’s boy is happily playing with it)  



When we finish, student go back to their seats and add the words laugh and cry into their dictionaries.  These dictionaries are easy to make and versatile!

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

My friends can __


Why multiple and/or similar opportunities?

Because my students are second language learners, I do a lot of my English Language Development through my writing.  We start with basic linguistic patterns and build on them through the year.  This practice of writing, reading and illustrating complete thoughts and sentences builds their fluency in both speaking and reading.  


My friends can __

Students will write a descriptive sentence or two(if able) about friends using the circle map as a resource.  The linguistic pattern is  My friends can ____.


In my journal I will model my sentence and picture for my sentence.  I say: Boys and girls, what is the first word of our sentence? (My)  How do we write ‘my?’  Can somebody find it for me on the word wall? (a student uses the pointer to touch ‘my’) 

I continue: Now let’s write ‘friends.’  Tell me the letters you see in that word.  You can look at the circle map to help you.  (I write it as students spell it) 

I encourage: Let's sound out the word 'can.'  I think we can do it!  How do we write /c/ /c/ /c/?  (c)  How do we write /a/ /a/ /a/? (a)  How do we write /n/ /n/ /n/?  (n)  

I think aloud:  Now I need my final word.  My verb to tell what my friends can do.  I am going to write 'make me laugh.'  What letter does ‘make’ start with?  The first sound is /m/ /m/ /m/.   Which word on our bubble (circle) map starts with ‘m’?  Who can come find it for me? (I write it as students spell it for me) 

What goes last in my sentence? (period) 

I finish: Now let's read the sentence together.  i touch (the words), you read.  Ready?  I touch the words and we all read my sentence together.



I think aloud: What could I draw to show that my friends can make me laugh?  Let me think.  What do friends do?  I KNOW!  They play with me at recess and we laugh because we are having fun.  I am going to draw me playing with my friends at recess.

I illustrate my sentence in front of the kids talking though my drawing.  I point out that the people are grounded.  The people look like people and not spiders with no body.  I add details around us to show where we are.

These are all things that many of my students do not do intuitively.  I have to directly teach illustrations, but the kids really respond well and pick it up quickly!

I use meaningful examples even for my own teacher sample.  Even though I know I don't play at recess, the kids often connect with the topic and don't make the connection that I really don't play at recess.  My goal is to keep them focused on the strategy of solid illustrations. 


 Up the rigor...but don't frustrate!

At this point in the year I begin to challenge the students to find the sight words they need on the word wall. 


On the board I will write ___ friends ____ ____.   They need to find "My" and "are" on the word wall.  I write friends for them because that is a frustration level word at this point in the year.  They then sound out their last word or they can refer to the circle map to help them write it.  I have that hanging up where they can all see it.


Students get their journals out of their desks and write their sentence.  As they finish they raise their hands and I come for them to read me their sentence.  Most kids are beginning to read independently, but if they do not know a word they wrote, they echo read it to me.