Summary and Context
Today, the students will read the story, Abuelo and the Three Bears, a Mexican version of the Three Bears. They will compare and contrast key details of this story with another version. My students need more practice with the skill of comparing and contrasting. In choosing the details to compare and/or contrast, they will deepen their knowledge of this story and of folktales in general. Most of the students will read it independently, but I will work with a group of students to lend them support with focus and comprehension of the story and task.
Building vocabulary knowledge is essential in teaching second language learners. That is why, as they read, I want them to notice unknown words. As they notice these unknown words, they will write them on a chart paper that I will have available for them on the white board. They will get to use the smelly markers making it more fun for them. I am asking them to write it on the chart paper because it allows me to see what they have questions about. This is a powerful visual way to monitor their knowledge and to make modifications if needed. Also, I will take time to discuss the meaning of some of the words they have questions about. We will use the vocabulary strategies to define the words.
Afterwards, we will meet on the rug to take part in Socratic Seminar. Socratic Seminar is about discussing ideas, sharing different points of views, and defending these different points of view. We will discuss what is the same and different from the version of the story we read yesterday of The Three Bears.
Then each student will take a key detail of the story - setting, character, plot, problem, or solution - to compare and contrast it. Because they are still in the process of mastering this skill, they will use a Venn diagram to record their comparisons and contrasts.
I start with the students on the rug with the objective written on the easel: I can read to compare and contrast key details in a folktale. I will read it chorally with them. Then, I will ask them: What does it mean to compare and contrast?
I give them direction as to who is reading with me and who is reading independently, and then I send them off.
One group of students will sit at the tables and read independently, and another group will stay with me on the rug. I am looking for the group on the table to read and chart unknown words. I am looking for them to do this quietly. I ask them to do this so that I know whether to modify the lesson or continue as is.
For my group, I am looking for them to follow along and to ask questions as we read about unknown words and about key details of the story.
I modified the lesson after witnessing the amount of words my students had questions about (see reflection in previous section for more). I proceeded with text dependent questions as I read the story with them using various techniques: cloze reading (in which I leave out a word and let students fill it in) and choral reading. In this way, it kept the reading flowing. I also asked them to read silently. And, I read a few pages aloud as they tracked the reading. I also used contex clues to figure out the meaning of a couple of words.
In all these different ways of reading, I asked text dependent questions. Text dependent questions are questions that ask the students to go back into the text and answer the questions with evidence from the text. Because of the changes, and because of the length of the story, it was only possible to read half of the story with text dependent questions.
Please note (in case this comes up for your class): my students had a question about the glossary. I took the time to discuss it with them.
Also, another student had a really good question, and one student gave us a good way of answering it: Rereading is powerful.
I met with the students on the rug for Socratic Seminar. The questions for discussion were:
Sitting on the edges of the rug, we reviewed the rules for participating and the handing-off technique. If needed they can reference the Handing-Off Chart for discussion starter to enter the conversation. The reason to review is to make sure students are internalizing the procedures so that they become comfortable with them so that they are readily more available for discussion instead of worrying about what comes next.
I have attached a document that gives more in depth details about how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom in case you'd like to read further!
Students now compare and contrast the beginnings of both stories. I am looking to see whether they can notice the differences and understand that, in Abuelo and the Three Bears, the grandfather (Abuelo) is narrating the story. It will be interesting to see what they notice.
Here are some examples of their work:
As they work, I walk around and offer support. Some will need me to guide them where to find the information they are seeking. I all direct them to certain pages but not read it to them. Others will need to be reminded of the task and be motivated to stay on task.