I gather my students on the carpet to discuss the the different sounds animals make to communicate with each other. I will compare that to the terms of human communication of I talk, I speak and I say. The writing expectation is for my students to write an informational sentence explaining how one animal and they communicate. We write for different reasons, to give our opinion, to give information or to give a narrative. Today we will write to give our readers information.
"Did you know that most animals make sounds and talk to each other just like we do? Animals make different sounds. Let's practice making the sounds of the animals in the story. I am going to show you a picture and I want you to tell your partner what the animal says. Bridge with your partner so I know every one has a partner. Ok. Look at me to see the picture and turn to your partner and say the sound the animal makes."
I use the puzzle pieces and place them in a pocket chart. As they say the sound I place the sound word next to the picture of the animal. It is funny to hear the sounds that they think a cricket or a fly makes. As I place the sound word in the pocket chart, I make the sound so they can make the sound correctly.
"Great sounds, turn to your partner and make the sound of this animal."
"Now you know all the sounds and words from the story."
I show them all the pictures from the story for them to make noises. I use this activity as my warm up to the story. I teach them the phrases; I say, I talk, I speak.
The puzzle pieces can be placed at a reading center with a copy of the book to be used as a reference. I borrow books from the school library and other teachers so the center has enough books.
"The story we are going to read today is; Mice Squeak, We Speak Because we have learned all the sounds of the animals you can make the sounds but, remember to use your indoor voices so we don't scare anyone."
I read the story with the help of the students making the sounds. When we get to the part where the children speak, talk, say, I tell them about the "speech bubbles".
"Speech bubbles are the way an author let's us know what the characters are saying. We discuss the words speak, talk and say. They are words that describe the sounds people make. To communicate with each other we don't roar or bark, we use words, we talk to each other, we speak to each other or we say things to each other."
My students have fun making animal noises to the story. The story is short so we will read through it twice.
"I like the speech bubbles. I will show you how to draw them so you can put them into your drawing if you want to."
I model the writing activity under the document camera. It is important for my ELL students to have the writing modeled, sometimes even several times. If they don't understand what is expected they don't do anything. So I model for comprehension of the expectations. I model writing the sentence using a sentence frame. I demonstrate how they can refer to the sentence chart to find the animal they want to write about. They have to spell the words phonetically.
"My sentence frame is ______ ______ but I _____ . The first blank needs to be an animal. I will choose the cow. What do they say? Mooooo, that's right. So I will write, Cows moo but I ____ . Now I have to choose from the three phrases, I say, I talk, I speak. I will choose, I talk. So then my sentence is; Cows moo but I talk. Remember that when you are writing your words, you need to write the sounds you hear. No one is going to come up and copy today. I will help you sound out your words. When you are done with your sentence, you can draw a picture of you and your animal. If you want you can draw the speech bubbles. It is fun to use a speech bubble. The only secret is to make the bubble big. See I need to make it big to hold the words I want to write."
I model how to draw my pictures with speech bubbles. This is an added fun component to their writing. I always use sentence frames. Sentence frames simplifies the writing, my students don't have to think of a sentence on their own. Sentence frames keeps all my students on track with their writing and teaches proper sentence structure.
I make sure they all understand and then I turn off the camera.
I ask my class paper passers to pass out the papers to every seat. I dismiss my students from the carpet today by calling the girls first. I stagger my dismissal so I don't have total craziness in my classroom. Then I call the boys to walk to their tables.
I walk around helping them choose an animal or sounding out their words. My high students get right to work and do an amazing job with their papers. When they are finished they go to the carpet to read library books quietly until all my friends are finished writing.
When most of the students are finished, I have the students put away the books and gather back on the carpet for oral presentations. The students begin to read individually to the class. I love phonetic spelling. It is the magic in the writing process when the students can write something and then turn around and sound it out. YAY! The students feel so successful with this assignment.