Understanding similarities and differences helps us to connect ideas together. We can learn about something new by using compare and contrast with something we know more about. Being able compare and contrast helps us to make a better decision when choosing between two things.
Each day, I meet with my students at the beginning of our literacy block to read a story. Today, I will introduce the story of The Gingerbread Bear to my students and tell them that this story will be similar to some of the other gingerbread stories that we have heard before. The important thing today about listening to this story is to notice the differences between this story and the traditional gingerbread man tales.
Boys and girls come join me at the rug for today's story, The Gingerbread Bear. This story goes along with our other gingerbread stories, but there are also some definite differences. As you listen to the story, store your ideas in your brains until after we are finished.
What were some of the differences you noticed between this story and the other gingerbread stories? I will write your ideas on the board. Which story do you think The Gingerbread Bear is most like? We are going to retell this story by using a new type of story map. It is called a "Somebody, wanted, but, so". Each circle is labeled with one of those words and our job will be to figure out what goes into that space.
On the board, I wrote as the students dictated the differences that they noticed in this story. Off to the side, I have a piece of butcher paper that has four circles drawn on it with a "path" drawn between each circle. The circles are labeled: 1. Somebody 2.Wanted 3. But 4. So
Class, you help me to retell the story by filling in the circles with comments based on the headings. 1. Who is the Somebody from the story?--The Park Ranger 2. What was it that he wanted?--The Gingerbread Bear 3. But what happened?--The Gingerbread Bear ran away from the girl, mom, campers, chipmunk and wolf 4. So what did the ranger do?--The Clever Ranger tricked the bear, caught him, and ate him.
Later on, I will let some children illustrate the graphic organizer to look like a The Gingerbread Bear Map of the campground from the story.
I have taken the idea of a cloze sentence and created a writing page for the students to give their own personal responses to the story. Cloze sentences consist of sentences or paragraphs that have key words missing. Students fill in the blanks either from memory or from provided options. Cloze assessments are especially useful for determining whether student understood what they read.
Each of you will be given a page to illustrate what you would do if you caught your own gingerbread bear. There are several blanks which need to be filled in with sight words. The sentence should read: If I caught a Gingerbread Bear, I would ______________. By this time of year, you should be able to copy the words from the board and begin to write your own responses. Make sure you read and reread the sentence to see if you have put the right words in the correct spaces. Please add lots of details to your picture so that we can add the page to our class book to share.
The pages that the children complete can be compiled to create another class book or take-home book. The children love to share what they have been working on with their families.