Students are seated at their desks with their “Can the Wind Move It?” paper in front of them and I have my own on the document camera to help them follow along.
I say: Today we will be reading a story about the wind and what it moves, but before we do I want you to think about what the wind can move. Turn and talk with your partner about what you have seen the wind move. I circulate around the room to get an idea of what kids know about what the wind can move.
Next, we revisit what a prediction is. I ask: Does anyone remember what a prediction is? (students respond) I clarify and/or confirm student responses.
Students will predict with a partner Can the Wind Move It? I walk them through the prediction recording sheet so that expectations are clear. I say: I am going to read each question and we are going to decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to be our PREDICTION as the answer to it. Put your finger on #1 and help me read. We read the question and first item (scissors) together. I say: Boys and girls, look at the scissors. (teacher holds up a real pair of scissors) Do you think the wind can move these scissors?
I think aloud: I do not think the wind can move scissors because they are heavy. So I am going to mark ‘no.’ (I mark ‘no’ on my sheet with a crayon) I continue: Now you decide if you think the wind can move scissors and mark ‘yes’ if you think yes, mark ‘no’ if you think no. (give students a minute to mark their prediction) I monitor and assist as students are marking their predictions. I have students mark their prediction in crayon (any color) so that predictions are not erased.
I continue in this manner with all objects on list.
Unencumbered first read
We look at the front cover of the book. I read the title and the author. I ask: Who remembers what the title is? (the name of the book) Who remembers what the author’s job is? (write the words)
I read The Wind Says Goodnight in whole group with step asides, as needed, for vocabulary (brushed, strumming, moonlight, scooped). As I get to a word that is new for the students and crucial for understanding, I stop reading and we examine that word more closely. I am explaining the word and talking about it, using the text and pictures to help support understanding. For this particular story, I use a lot of Total Physical Response (TPR) where we act out many of the words. For example, for strumming I hold one hand up (as if to hold a cello handle) and strum across from right to left (as if strumming a cello) I say: Everyone show me ‘strumming.’ (students ‘strum’ with me)
One word that I stop at that is not unfamiliar to kids but used in a different context is ‘playing.’ Kids think of playing as playing games with their friends or playing outside. I show ‘playing’ for this story as if I am playing a violin. I say: Everyone show me ‘playing’ like you are playing a violin like in our story. (students show ‘playing’) Step asides are done quickly and then I continue reading the story.
The first unencumbered read is so that students get the gist of the story. I want the kids to become familiar with the characters, main events and conclusion of the story. I also want the kids to build some familiarity with the fact that the wind moves things, as we will be doing a science experiment where students he examine the wind and what it can and cannot move. We study this story for the next several lessons, so today is pulling them in.
We discuss how the wind helped the girl go to sleep in the story. I ask: How does the wind help the girl fall asleep? (blows cloud over moon to help him stop shining) I say: This was the solution to the girl’s problem of not being able to fall asleep. Everyone say PROBLEM and SOLUTION. (students repeat) I explain: We will talk more about problems and solutions later, but right now I want to talk about the wind!
I say: Today we are going to do a science experiment, where we will blow on objects to simulate the wind. I place one of the following objects in front of students (glue stick, pencil, scissors, eraser, book, and a piece of paper) and blow on them. This could be done on a document camera, as well. I also choose students to demonstrate wind and we record results on the Can the Wind Move It? recording sheet with a pencil (or color different from their prediction color) I model on my own recording sheet on the document camera.
We then discuss: Why did some objects move and some did not? How could you make them all move?
Initially, this should be done whole group. Later, the objects can be moved to the science station so all students will have a chance to experiment.
Refer to the predictions. Ask: “Were the predictions we made correct?”
This science activity springboards from Wind Says Goodnight. Integrating the subjects and teaching the kids that subjects are not isolated 'classes' or pieces of knowledge is important. Helping kids to see that all of their learning works together and what we learn in language arts can help us in science is integration at its best and good teaching. You will find quite a bit of integration throughout my lessons. Literature lends itself well to all areas of the curriculum!