Common Core Connection and Lesson Overview
The lesson begins in the lounge where students activate their thinking and get focused. Then students move to the desks for the guided practice. After this they move to the center tables for additional group work. Last, the lesson reflection and closure happen on the lounge, which is what most people call the carpet ... Quick strategy share: my lounge did actually have chairs and a bench, but I could not seem to manage the seating. My students now just sit on their name which is on a piece of tape on the floor. This helps me organize who is talking on the lounge when I ask students to pair share, because they have an assigned partner called their peanut butter jelly partner.
This standard is about how words or phrases suggest feelings or appeal to the senses. But, first I feel like my class needs to read some poems and understand the meaning of the words or phrases in a poem. So, I selected The Pasture by Robert Frost and it includes vocabulary that describes a scene. We don't actually get to the feelings or senses, but we do determine what some words or phrases mean. The later lessons in this unit are about feelings and senses. I created a powerpoint scene with a narration of the poem in the resources to help my students understand the vocabulary. I find using pictures is a great strategy to teach meaning.
The second poem that the students analyze is Kitten's First Full Moon in the partner work section where they can support each other in learning. Students are grouped in heterogeneous ability groups of two or three in this section, and the grouping is based on their oral reading fluency scores. This allows some students to engage in higher order thinking as they explain and help their peers.
The students are seated in the lounge. It seems to be very helpful to keep routines in first grade so I begin almost every lesson in the lounge. Then I explain what we will be learning about and that the students will be analyzing two poems to determine the words or phrases mean. First we will work together then you will work at the center tables to analyze the poem. The lesson goal is to be able to determine what words or phrases suggest feeling or appeal to the senses in a poem. Then students repeat it after me, tell a friend and then say it with me. This helps students remember what we are focusing on in the lesson, and telling a friend makes it personal.
I play the short narration (The Pasture) of the poem and ask ask the students to discuss what they think the poem is about. This is a nice activating strategy that gets the students thinking.
We are now ready for a transition from the lounge, and I like for my students to state the lesson goal as they move. They say I can determine the meaning in a poem three times as they walk to the desks, which are in a grouped arrangement. The partners (Guided Practice Seating) are the same as they were on the lounge. The chanting is a nice way to engage the students and move them with order and direction.
I give each child a copy of the text and keep it projected on the board. This allows us to reference the poem as we analyze it, something that is very important to encourage as we shift towards rigorous text analysis with the CCSS. I read the first two lines and ask the students to echo (Echo Reading). This gives students a little fluency practice, but it also gives them more experience with the text. I find that multiple reading really help students comprehend the information better. Then I ask the students to discuss what the text means. After about one minute I share what I heard. This starts a conversation, and I usually ask a volunteer to share their thoughts on what I said. Do you agree or disagree? Then we discuss what feelings or senses are suggested by these words or phrases.
This poem is great for illustrating too, so I give the students one minute to draw what they learned in the first two lines, and I do it as well to model illustrating. At this point we have a person, in a pasture moving leaves. This brings me to the question of: What season might this be? Discuss it with your partner and share what words help you know. This makes the students draw inferences and base their interpretation on prior knowledge, but they also have to reference the leaves in the text. Then we discuss what feelings or senses does that season or those words make a person feel.
I read the next two lines, and then I ask the class to echo read which creates 100% engagement. Then students discuss with their partner what happened next. After the discussion hopefully one volunteer will talk about how the person who wrote the text is saying that they won't be gone long and they would like the person they are directing their text at to join them. Then I ask the students to discuss what kind of person the author might have been. This again allows students to draw inferences, but I have to be sure to say: Was he friendly? Was he mean? How do you know? My thoughts here are a friendly person would have wanted company opposed to a mean person. Students take one minute to add to their illustration. Then we discuss how the author is making the person feel and how it makes the reader feel.
Check out our Board Work in the resource section.
Next, I echo read the next two lines and point to the picture in the powerpoint. Students discuss what is happening here. After about a minute, one volunteer shares, because calling on somebody might embarrass them since we are starting new material. Then we add to the illustration for about another minute.
Last, we echo read the last two lines of the poem which give a great visual of how how the calf appears and what kind of person the author is. Students discuss what the calf must have looked like and one person shares. To try to encourage a discussion I ask other students to add to what the previous speaker said. Then students discuss what feelings or senses we can draw from the last line. I say, "How does the author want the reader to feel?" The students discuss and I ask a volunteer to share.
Now the students need a transition, so I ask them to chant the lesson goal three times and walk to the center tables. This is the only time the grouping may change since I have to differentiate for some learners in a small group setting with a co-teacher, but most groups remain the same.
The students are given a chart (Kitten's First Full Moon Chart) (Kitten's First Full Moon Chart Answers in the resource section) and allowed to read the text (Kitten's First Full Moon) on their own, because it is very easy. But, since poems are new I try to keep it simple at first especially when we are determining the feelings or senses that the poem appeals to. To help the students organize their thoughts I made a graphic organizer for each group to have one. The group will come to an agreement on what the text means and write it in the box. We did this in the previous lesson with the songs, so I won't have to add a lot of instruction.
Although, I do walk around and ask my students questions to make sure they are on the right track.
It's that time again for my students to move around so we transition to the lounge where they get to share their work. This is their favorite time of the day because they are the center of attention and the get to practice their speaking and listening skills.
Now, just because they like it does not mean they are good at it! I have to do a lot of reviewing the procedures for listening and speaking before we start. I have to tell them things like, "hold your paper still," or they all seem to shake their papers so loud they can't hear the speaker. Then I remind the students that they need to look at the speaker and listen so they can provide their peers with some academic feedback. Then we get to what academic feedback is and I first explain what it is not. We will say you did awesome or that was good because we learn nothing from that kind of feedback. We will say things like I agree because the text uses the words poor kitten to describe how the author wants us to feel about the kitten. It's to show students an example of feedback and how to use text evidence. Now, this doesn't prevent all students from telling their peers their work is awesome, but if they do that I simply ask the students to think deeper. Last, I also try to remind the students to speak up.
I am trying to become a facilitator instead of the one with all the answers because I think the students learn more when they discover things themselves.
After two or three groups present (Student Presentation), and the class has given them feedback we move into the closure part of the lesson. This time there is no chanting the goal, because we are already in the lounge. The student reflection only takes about ten minutes.
Now, I know I only have about ten more minutes before my students need to move. So, I ask them to tell their partner one thing they learned and one thing they would like to learn. This is one method of formative assessment that helps me plan my next lesson. I try to plan things around their interests, but I also reteach concepts that they did not get. Making notes on sticky pads is my method of record keeping. I write who needs remediation on a sticky note and place it on my table. Once they get the skill, I trash the note. I know this is not too professional, but it really works.
Last, we restate the lesson goal. I can determine meaning from feelings or senses suggested by words or phrases in a poem. When students know what they are supposed to learn about they seem to do better at comprehending the skill.