I Am On My Way

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SWBAT identify the feelings suggested by words or phrases in a song or story.

Big Idea

Students will engage in finding the feelings suggested in words or phrases in a song or story.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection and Introduction

This lesson is focused on words that suggest feeling in a song and a story. The guided practice is I'm On My Way and for the partner work the students use When Sophie Gets Angry by Molly Bang.  Making real world connections is something I try to do in every lesson. So, the connection in I'm On My Way is that I felt that way and want to share my story, but most of the class has seen Shrek and the song is in the movie. This song is played when Shrek is going to rescue Fiona from the dragon's castle before they fall in love. 

For the partner work I get even more real because we have all been angry and When Sophie Gets Angry has several feeling words and even illustrations that suggest feelings.  It is the story of a little girl who gets very angry at her sibling and does all kinds of things to show her anger.  Another reason I chose this text is because it is an easy read.  For their first experience analyzing a story looking for feeling words I want to keep it simple.  The text complexity will increase with each lesson.

Lesson Overview

The lesson begins on the lounge where we are all close together, then the students move to the desks for guided practice, and to the center tables for partner work. We finish the lesson with the students evaluation of each other's work and closure. Students are working with an assigned partner on the lounge, at their desks, and at the center tables.  The partner is of a different ability so they can support each other in their learning. One partner may get to engage in a higher order thinking activity as they have to explain things.  The grouping is based on their oral reading fluency on  DIBELS. 

Introductory Activity

I play the song, I'm On My Way and I ask the students to think about words that might suggest feelings as they listen. This is just a fun activating strategy to get my class thinking.  After the song is over, I allow the learners to discuss with their partner some feeling words in the song.  I share what I hear and explain that we will analyze the song for feeling words, and in the partner work section students will read a book and analyze it for feeling words.  Students need to know what will be expected of them throughout the lesson.  Then I state the lesson goal, ask the class to echo, tell a friend, and say it with me. This helps keep the class focused on the goal.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

To begin the guided practice I ask the students to try to thing about how certain words make you feel as we echo read the song, I'm On My Way.  If we are reading and you notice a word that suggests a feeling please circle it or underline it so we can go back and discuss it on our second reading.  One the second reading I stop after the second line and point out that this is repetition.  I ask the class to discuss why a writer might use repetition. I think it is to make a strong point. I learned early on in first grade that as the teacher I had to have the answers on paper before discussion, because first graders' discussions can be a little distracting. Sometimes I restate what we are going to discuss and provide and example of what a discussion might look like. Then we go over what misery means and how it is different than happiness.  We engage in this discussion where I ask student to agree or disagree and explain.  Usually I allow two or three comments and we move on.

 Next, I point out that the next several lines are a stanza like a paragraph, kind of in chunks.  Explaining that the stanza is all about one thing helps the students draw meaning.  So, I ask the class if the words took a right turn really mean turn right or does it mean something else. We are getting to figurative language here, and I know it's a third grade thing but a little exposure won't hurt.  After discussion, I allow students to share their thoughts on what the author means.  I add my thoughts as well just to provide some clarification.  Then we move on to allow students to discuss the rest of the stanza with their partner and discuss any feeling words.

Then I ask the students to read the next two lines to themselves and discuss what it means.  After they discuss for a minute, I ask a volunteer to share what the author means.  What does sitting on top of the world mean?  We have a discussion about literal meanings and figurative meanings.

After all this discussion, I make a chart on the board (Board Work).  We identify several feeling words in the text.  Several students just name a few and I write them on the board.  For each word, the class lists several meanings for that phrase. 

These are the phrases and meanings I list that I want to make sure we discuss:

  • I took a right turn- good choice
  • Misery- sad
  • happiness- elated
  • I'm sitting on top of the world- I am excited


Partner Work

20 minutes

Now we need another transition to break the lesson up, so students move the center tables.  The groups remain the same, except for a few students that meet with a co-teacher for support.  The students (Partner Work) are given the text When Sophie Gets Angry and given five minutes to read it and get familiar with the material.  I set the timer and monitor to make sure they actually read.  Then they are supposed to talk to their partner and pick four words that suggest a feeling and write what feeling they suggest on the chart. 

Now, this is really hard for first graders so I walk around and help them. Some of the questions I ask to get my students thinking are: What do you think it means? How does it make you feel?  Are there any words that appeal to your senses?

When they get stuck on the meaning of a word I say if you do not know what it means reread the sentence before the word, the sentence with the word, and the sentence after the word. Then discuss it with your partner.


screams- mad


runs until she can't run-angry behavior

cries- angry 

Student Reflection

5 minutes

Next, we transition to the lounge and I ask the students to present (Student Presentation) their work in groups in front of the class. Volunteers are selected to present their work.  The students are working on their speaking and listening skills at this point.  I try to be proactive and set the students up for success, so I go over every procedure I can think of for speaking and listening.  The most important one is to hold your paper still.  But, I also ask the students to listen to the speaker, look at them, and concentrate on what they are saying.  Then I select two or three students to read their work, but before each group I ask them to speak really loud.  

Now, it is time to think about giving each other feedback.  I want my students to tell their peers ways they can improve their work or things that they did well.  So, I tell the call they must be specific and give academic feedback.  We will not say good job, because it does not help me.  We might say, I agree that kicking and running are two things she did to show she was angry because it was in the text.  Students need to cite evidence from the text and not outside sources.


5 minutes

Last, I ask the students to tell their peers one thing they learned about determining meaning from the text.  Now, I do get that specific, because I have found that my students do not always remember the focus of the lesson.  When they are discussing this with their assigned partner I listen to assess what they know. 

Then, we close the lesson by restating the goal. I can determine meaning from words or phrases in a poem.