What's happening in the story? Day 2 of 2

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about the key details in a literary text.

Big Idea

Will Tomas be brave to go into the library? Who is the Library Lady? How does this story end? Come and find out.


7 minutes

Summary and Context:

Today looks very much like yesterday because I will continue to engage my students in a close reading of the narrative, Tomas and the Library Lady. The narrative has a complex storyline. I will be asking text-dependent questions to help the students go back to the text for the answers. Text-dependent are questions that can only be answered with evidence from the text. So I will review with them the word “evidence,” again. This is the first reading of the second part of the story, so the questions will be based on what the text explicitly says. Later lessons will go deeper into the author's craft and structure and evaluation and analysis of ideas in the text. The story is 24 pages long, so reading the whole story would be too much for them in one lesson. That is why I am dividing the reading in two days/lessons. Today we are reading the second half.

I will remind my students to use the the comprehension strategy of clarification when we come across an unknown word or a confusing part. The chart of vocabulary words we started yesterday will be be available for us to add to. 

To figure out unknown words, I will also refer to the vocabulary strategies: context clues, word structure (word parts: prefix, suffix, related words), and apposition (where the definition is given after the word) to guide them in coming up with an understanding of the word.

After reading I will gather my students on the rug and continue with the Socratic Seminar we started yesterday.  Then, my students will have a chance to synthesize the ideas about the text that they developed over the course of the lesson in writing.

Lesson Opening:

I start the students on the rug and share the student friendly objective: I can ask and answer questions to understand key details about a text.

The students will read it chorally with me. I ask a couple of students to explain what is that we are doing. 

After, I review the comprehension strategy of clarifying. Good readers know when they don’t understand something, and my students need to be aware of how to use go back and reread to clarify. 

Next, I ask the students, what happened in the part of the story we read yesterday? I find it quite valuable to review. 

I ask them to do a think-pair-share before a few share aloud.

Close Reading of the Selection (Second half)

25 minutes

With students back at their seats, I review the vocabulary strategies and the comprehension strategy of clarifying. We can use these strategies when solving unknown words and when there is a confusing part in the story. In working with English Language Learners, I make sure I provide linguistic patterns to help support their language skills.

Therefore, I teach them to say:

  • I have a question about __________?
  • I am confused about this part in the story.

I will let them read the majority of the text today because at this point of the year they are ready to do so. As in yesterday's lesson, I involve the students with these reading techniques: cloze reading technique (the teacher leaves out a word and the students read it chorally), a whisper read (students read in a whisper voice), and reading silently.

The text dependent questions ask explicitly what the text states and today's focus is about the Library Lady. To answer the questions, students will need to Find the evidence in the text. I may modify the questions as needed depending on the answers the students give me. I may need to ask other questions. I may delete some. It is always better to have more than one thinks one will need!

Socratic Seminar

12 minutes

I will meet with students on the rug to begin our Socratic Seminar. We will sit on the edges of the rug ready to discuss. All the students will bring their books with them. I review the rules and the Handing-Off process. Today, we will practice having a Handing-off Discussion with three questions:

  1. What important things happen in this story?
  2. Who is the Library Lady?
  3. What has the author told us about her?

I will follow up with questions to encourage students to cite evidence:

  1. How do you know?
  2. Where in the text does it say that/show that?
  3. Read the sentence(s) that proves what you are saying.

I am looking for students to follow the rules and to participate by sharing and/or listening. In answering the questions, I am looking for them to answer with complete sentences. I am looking for them to Hand-off successfully.

I set the timer in my phone to help us keep on track.

I have attached a document that provided more in depth information about how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom in case you are curious to read more.

Journal Response

15 minutes

One of the important events in the story is Tomas meeting the Library Lady. She changes his life. So now they will write about the Library Lady by answering the following questions:

  • What have we learned about the Library Lady?
  • What type of person is she?

I am looking for them to work independently, answer with complete sentences, and provide evidence from the text. I will provide feedback about their evidence and give them suggestions as to how to include the evidence if it is lacking.

Here are some samples of their work:


7 minutes

I bring my students to the rug for them to share about the Library Lady. The students I select to share are those students who have met the task and have used evidence from the text to describe the Library Lady in their journals. During their writing time, I made note of these students, and I asked them to volunteer. 

After the speakers share, they receive feedback. This is the system I use to make the process safe and fun:

  • Two Stars: Two different students share what they specifically like about the content of the writing.
  • A Wish: Another student shares specifically how they think the writing can be improved.

This time on the rug allows me to ask the students whether we met our objective and to close the lesson.