Is the Grinch Good or Bad?
Lesson 5 of 8
Objective: The SWBAT write an opinion about the Grinch after listening to the story.
My students are seated on the carpet ready to begin our whole group reading block.
"I was listening to the radio on my way to work today and heard a song about the Grinch. I think they made a movie about the story. How many of you have heard of the Grinch? Many hands are raised and many are saying that they have the movie. Let's do partner talk about who the Grinch is. Turn to your partner and say, "Hi partner". Using the sentence frame, "The Grinch is a _____." please tell your partner who he is. Ready, tell your partner."
I walk around and listen for answers and to make sure all students have a partner to talk to and that they are all using the sentence frame. Partner sharing gives all my students the opportunity to speak out loud using the sentence frame. Sentence frames are a good way for my students to learn to speak and write using proper sentence grammar.
"I know you are done talking to your partner when your hand is on your head. Perfect, give your partner a high five and turn to look at me."
Using name sticks, I choose several students to tell the class about the Grinch and who he is. The whole class gets very animated when talking about the Grinch.
"Hmmmmm, I don't know if he is good or bad. You have told me that he is mean and took away all the presents. Then you told me he got nice and gave all the presents away. Let's read the book and find out."
Reading the Story
I love to read Dr. Seuss stories. I love the cadence and rhythm of the sentences. I love the nonsense words and the pictures. I read the story and we pause after the Grinch is on top of the mountain with all the Who's Christmas. What do you think now? Is he mean or is he nice? They all agree that he is mean. Many of my students worry about the mice being left without any food. LOL
We discuss why the Whos are happy and still have Christmas even though everything is gone. They tell me that presents are not the reason for Christmas. Someone even tells me that it is Baby Jesus's birthday. Wow! I have many Muslims and Jewish students so I was surprised at that answer.
I continue to read the story and at the end I ask. So, is the Grinch mean or nice? Now they all tell me he is nice. We begin our discussion about the Grinch being mean or nice. I made a circle map Grinch is . . . for the good things they could write about the Grinch. They added the word nice. We made a circle map Grinch is . . . . for the bad things they could write about the Grinch . They added grumpy, mean and mad. We made a circle map of what the Grinch Stole for the thing that the Grinch took and a circle map for the things the Grinch brought back. They are the same map, I just changed the center topic.
I chose this assignment and activity to fulfill the CCSS of the students being able to voice an opinion and defend it. It is the holiday season and I find that I just HAVE to read this story. I thought it would be fun to make it the subject of an opinion piece. I wrote up the sentence frame so all they have to do is fill in the blanks. It is important in upper grades to be able to have an opinion about what they have read and go back into the text and find proof to defend their opinion. It can't be "because". In kindergarten I am introducing the concept of opinion and why. They all have opinions, about everything. I have the opportunity to teach them how to defend their opinion.
"Your job now is to think about what your opinion is about the Grinch. Think! Is he mean or is he nice and why. You will be using this fun paper to write your sentences. Remember there are two sentences to your opinion. The first sentence tells what you think. The second sentence tells why you think that.
I model using a preprinted writing template where I used a sentence frame for them to just add their words. I model the writing so all my students know what the expectation is.
"Use the circle maps as your reference as to what you want to write about. Will my class paper passers pass out the Grinch writing papers. Red row please carefully go to your cubbies and get your pencil boxes. Orange row, green row, blue row and then purple row, walk carefully to your cubbies and get your pencil boxes."
I walk around and help those students that do not know what they want to write about.
When they are finished, I collect the papers and have them begin to color and cut out the large Grinch figure. When they have made their Grinch, we glue their writing on the Grinch like he is holding it and put them on the hall bulletin board.
The students read their sentences to me before we hang them up. They loved having their Grinches up for everyone to see.
We come in and clean up our tables and watch a Grinch video before leaving for the day.