This is a lesson in the middle of a unit about questioning. In this lesson, the students ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text (RL.2.1), which supports the shift in Common Core Standards toward using text evidence to improve comprehension. As the students use literal and inferential questions to better understand this story, they are 'close reading', examining text evidence to answer these questions.
My students are fairly comfortable with the three types of questions from previous lessons and understand how to find the answers to each type. We have created charts to help with starting the questions (see links above).
I chose this book Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia, because the text is an 2nd grade level, the students LOVE this character, and I consider this to be classic literature and general information. I want the students to have a good grasp of characters (Amelia Bedelia) and topics (baseball) that most people know. I do recommend this book to students who seem to enjoy this fanciful character. This is a great book to discuss and acknowledge point of view for the characters (RL.2.6). The students are able to 'see' how Amelia and the kids view things differently. This perspective is very important for young readers and will help them more fully appreciate what they read if they can view ideas from multiple viewpoints. This book is also full of multiple meaning words and figurative language. It's a great opportunity for students to see the nuances in word meanings. (L.2.5)
If you have not taught lessons about questioning text, I encourage you to look at some of the earlier lessons so your students get some practice with writing and answering questions. These lessons include The Whys and Whens of Questioning about Literature, Big Questions About Informational Text, So What Do You Think, Using Evaluative Questions with Literature, Evaluative Questions-Pick Your Side and Argue, and What Are You Asking About Informational Text?, Questions Help Us See How Characters Develop.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Get students engaged
Common starting point (see 'focus of the lesson' section)
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce and model the strategy
Discuss and assess
We did spend a considerable amount of time talking about character development. (RL.2.3) Amelia is constantly facing 'challenges' and responding to events. As students analyze how and why the individuals, events and ideas develop and interact over the course of the text, they are practicing 'close reading', not only enjoying the story, but examining character development.
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Since we did most of the questions together, the students with academic challenges should be able to copy as we write on the whiteboard and hopefully take part in the discussion.
Students with greater ability should be encouraged to use higher level vocabulary. Instead of just asking, "Why does she make a plate of cookies?" they could ask "How can a plate of cookies be used instead of home plate?"