Our Circle (map) of Friends

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SWBAT answer text dependent questions. SWBAT write a sentence about their friend.

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


We revisit our 'are'  circle map  and our 'can' circle map.   


I ask: Let's read what we said about our friends from yesterday.  Can anyone think of any other words we could add to our circle map that describe our friends?  I take student suggestions and add the adjectives they generate.


If students have trouble generating adjectives, I prompt by thinking aloud: I have several friends who help me a lot.  Do you have friends who help you?  We call those friends "helpful."  Can you say "helpful?"  (students echo)  Help me write that word on our map.  How do we write /h/?  (h)  How do we write /e/?   (e)  I continue stretching the word and students help me write the letters that go with the sounds in the word 'helpful' as I add it to the 'are'


If students have trouble generating verbs, I prompt by thinking aloud in the same way for the 'can' circle map.


If the students are particularly full of ideas, I will create a second map and they always feel so accomplished when they’ve filled two maps!  This also gives them more choices for words they can use in their writing.


I say: Today you are going to pick which sentence you want to write and which map you want to use.  After we read about friendship in our story, we will be writing about our friends!


Why build on one thinking map?

I like to build on our thinking maps throughout the week.  My students are basic English speakers and are still building the basic sentence patterns and basic fluency.  I like to build throughout the week so that they get vocabulary in manageable chunks.  I have also found that multiple meaningful experiences with linguistic patterns promotes automaticity!




Interact with Text

45 minutes


Vocabulary building

First, I preview vocabulary with students: burst, amazed.  To discuss ‘burst’  I askL What happens when a balloon has too much air in it.   I model ‘burst’ in terms of laughing and crying so they see that it is used when we can’t contain emotions.  I show ‘amazed’ by having a surprised face.  I prompt:  Show me ‘burst’ and ‘amazed.’  


After we read and the students have seen and heard the words in context, I have students put words and illustrations in their dictionaries.  I wait until after we read so that kids have some context for their illustration.  My more capable speakers can generate their own illustration for the words, but my beginning speakers rely on the context they have from the classroom or, in this case




Check for understanding

Read pp.17-30, stopping on the following pages to check for understanding:


Page 18  We talk about Prince William and what we know about him thus far.  I ask: Have his parents spoiled him? (Yes) What details from the text can they give to support responses. (They buy him whatever he wants)


Page 22  I encourage the students to pay close attention to the details we get from the picture and the ones we get from the text.  I ask: Why does Prince William want the gardener’s boy’s rabbit? (He sees that the rabbit makes the boy happy so he thinks a rabbit will make him happy too) 


Page 26  As I ask these questions, I keep referring back to the  text and pictures so that the kids use information from the story.  I stress that sometimes the author doesn’t always say the answer in the story.

Ask: What words would you use to tell about the gardener’s boy?   (kind, friendly, knows how to share)  Did playing with the rabbit make William feel better?  Why or why not?  (No, playing with the gardener’s boy really made him feel better because he had  a friend)


Page 28  Ask: Prince William tells his parents he has a friend.  Who is his friend? (gardener’s boy)  With this question we discuss how the author doesn’t really tell us that specifically.  However, we talk about being able to draw that conclusion based on what we know has happened.  I ask: How do you think the King and Queen are feeling now that William has a friend?


Levels of questioning

As the year progresses, I begin challenging the kids with higher levels of questioning to dig deeper into the text.  There are some questions that are inferential, which is when the kids think about:

1.  What the picture shows.

2.  What they already know

Putting these two together, I challenge the kids to tell me their thoughts about the text.


Here is a graphic that I sometimes use with the students, but I did not use it for this lesson.  However, it works great in direct teaching of inference!

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Release of Responsibility-You do independently


I display both/all circle maps that we’ve made from the week.  Students can choose what they want to write for today.  They can write ‘My friends are __.” Or “My friends can __.” 


Students get their journals and write their sentence.  We follow the same routine as stated in the first two lessons in this unit.  However, unlike the first two, I do not do a modeled write.  I simple review my first two modeled writings from the previous two days.  I say:  Let's read my 'are' sentence.  I turn to the page in my journal that has my "My friends are__" sentence and illustration and prompt:  I touch, you read. I do the same with my "My friends can __" journal page.


Here is a video of me and my students using the "I touch, you read' prompt.   This is with a big book, but the strategy can be done with any writing and reading!


I am assisting and monitoring where necessary.  I do this to offer the 1:1 assistance that students so often need in writing!


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.