Today I will engage my students in a discussion about caps. After listening to the story we will draw a picture of our favorite part. I am teaching my students the basic concept of writing an opinion paper. My students will draw their favorite part and orally explain it to the class. My students need to know how to write different types of papers in order to express themselves. The skill of writing an opinion paper will be used often in upper grades referring to difficult texts for standardized texting and assignments.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"It was so cold outside today. I think I need to buy a cap to keep my ears warm. How many of you wore a cap to school this morning?" A lot of you did wear a cap. I want to go buy one. Do you know where I could go to buy a cap?"
I get answers like: Walgreens, Walmart, JCPenny's, the mall.
"Yes, those are all good places to get a cap. Those are all stores that you can go to, to buy a cap. We get in our cars or on the bus and go to the store. We buy the cap and then go home. In the olden days there were no stores, people would walk from town to town and knock on your door to sell you things. These people were called peddlers. What a funny word, say it with me, peddler. A peddler is someone who knocks on your door to . . .Yes, sell something. That would be a hard job, walking around and knocking on doors to sell things."
"I have a story about a peddler. He sells caps. He doesn't have a car or a truck or a wagon. He walks everywhere. Let me show you how he carries his caps to sell."
"This is the cover. The title of the book is; Caps for Sale. This poor peddler, he walks up and down the street yelling; "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" He says that a lot in this book. Can you put your hand by your mouth and yell that with me? "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" When I get to that part I want you to say it with me. I will point to you when it is time for you to yell with me. The peddler had to yell it loud so people could hear him as he walked."
I begin the story and as I read how the peddler carried his caps, I have them pretend to put caps on their head. First, he had his own checked cap, then a bunch of gray caps, then a bunch of brown caps, then a bunch of blue caps, and on the very top was a bunch of red caps. Now straighten up your caps so they don't fall off.
"The peddler is hungry, he has walked a long way today. He can't buy food, he doesn't have money because he hasn't sold any caps. Poor man."
"Look, the peddler is walking down the streets."
I motion for them to say the chant with me. Then we act out sitting down carefully by the tree to rest.
"Let's act out the part where the peddler wakes up and feels for his caps. Oh no, what happened to the caps?"
When he looked to the right - we looked to the right. He looked to the left, We looked to the left. When he looked behind him - we looked behind us. When he looked up what do you think he saw? I will get some crazy responses and then I will get the right answer because someone has already read the story. Monkeys? You are kidding me? How did that happen?
When the man shakes his finger and says "you monkeys, you", "you give me back my caps". We say:"you monkeys, you", "you give me back my caps". Then the monkeys shake their fingers at him.
When the peddler shakes both his hands and yell, "you monkeys, you! You give me back my caps." We shake our hands and yell, "you monkeys, you! You give me back my caps." The monkeys shake both their hands at the peddler.
When the peddler stamps his feet and yells; "you monkeys, you! You better give me back my caps!" We stamp our feet and yell; "you monkeys, you! You better give me back my caps!" The monkeys stamp their feet.
We continue reenacting the story until we have all our caps on our heads just like the peddler. We chant, "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!"
My students love to act out part of the story. Putting themselves into the story helps with comprehension and vocabulary. This simple activity also makes reading fun.
"Who were the characters in this story? Yes, the peddler and the monkeys. What is the setting? The setting is the where the story takes place. He walked through the town and then he slept by the tree. What was the event? The event is what happened in the story. The man wanted to sell caps and the monkeys took them away. Did he get them back? Yes, he did get them back in a very funny way. What a fun story."
"Today's writing activity will be fun. I want you to draw a picture of your favorite part of the story. Think about the story events. You can choose the peddler walking in the town or the monkeys in the tree. Or you could draw the man sleeping by the tree. Let me quickly draw the three story events for you on the board. Remember we want to draw the character, draw the setting and make sure there are details that show the event, what is happening."
I draw the three story events on the board. I ask them who the character is for each event. I ask about the details that could be added to make the picture tell us more of the story.
"You can look at these pictures for ideas or you can draw your own picture. I will come around and help you. Would my class paper passers hand out the papers. Purple row, carefully walk to your cubbies and get your pencil boxes."
I dismiss my students from the carpet to the table one row at a time so there is as little chaos during this transition as possible.
I sit at each table to see the progress in their work and to off any help. We discuss their drawings at each table.
This activity could have been differentiated for my higher students by having sentences for each story event to be copied under their drawing.
When they have finished their drawing my students sit on the carpet to read library books quietly.
When all my students are finished drawing their picture we gather back on the carpet for the oral presentations. I call up students to the front of the class to tell us about their drawing. It is important for my students to understand their drawings well enough to orally explain it to others. Each student is given the opportunity to orally present their drawing to the class. We cheer and applaud after each presentation.
I love to show videos of the story I read during my lesson. A video is a fun was to review the story. Content comprehension is increased and vocabulary is learned. My students love to watch the video because they know what is coming next. I show the video at the end of the day when their backpacks are loaded and they are waiting to be dismissed.