Animals: Africa and Homes

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SWBAT ask and answer relevant questions based on key details from the text.

Big Idea

Students will closely read an informational text, ask questions, and use text evidence to support their ideas.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

Students learn how to read closely, make inferences, and evidence text to support their ideas. These are skills that learners need to be ready for college and a career.  In the first grade I am laying the foundation and teaching students how to learn from details in the text.

Lesson Overview

Today, the students work in collaborative groups throughout the lesson, and I refer to them as Peanut Butter Jelly Partners. We also do Transitionsabout every twenty minutes.  There is a video in the resources on transitions and partners. 

I use two texts from Read Works for this lesson. I chose African Animals and Awesome Animal Homes, because they are both about animals.  Their also on the second grade level and this raises the skill complexity for my class.

Introductory Activity

First, I show the class the images of the animals on the Promethean board because colorful pictures and technology always get my class excited.  Then I ask the students to predict what we are going to learn about today.  As they become engaged I listen to check for their understanding. 

Next, I share my plan for the lesson.  We will read a text about African Animals and Animal homes.  First we will analyze the text by asking questions.  Then you will work with a partner to answer your own questions.  I then tell the class the lesson goal.  I can ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

The first thing I do is read the text aloud two times to familiarize my students with the text.  Then I ask them to talk to their partner about any questions they have.  As I listen I am checking for understanding.

Now many times first graders do not know what questions are, so I make a list of words on the board. (Board Graphic Organizer  and Finished Graphic Organizer) that questions start with.  (Who, What, When, Where, Why, Is, How)  Then I tell the students to try to ask questions that start with one of these words. 

Then I ask a student to share their questions with the class.  As a class we have a Discussion about how we can answer that question.  The strategies I hope to list with them are: reread, look at the illustrations, and break words down to determine meaning. 

Volunteers share their questions until we have a several questions and answers on the board.  Then we create an answer about some of our questions based on information we have found in the text. I let students highlight (Student Work Highlighting) the evidence that they use to back up their thinking to emphasize the key details in the text.

Partner Work

20 minutes

Now the class in at the center tables and they will ask and answer their own questions.  We use a Partner Work Graphic Organizer.  I remind them that they need to come up with about four questions.  Each question needs to begin with one of our question words.  Then they need to find the answer in the text.  I like to use highlighters to show where we found an answer.

I really like to scaffold my instruction, so I made a video of ELL Scaffolding. I also made another video on a different Scaffolding strategy. In addition to scaffolding I have to add some Enrichment and there is also a video on that in the resource section.

Student Reflection

5 minutes

Depending on time I allow two or three students to read their work to the class. This gives me a change to engage the students in a speaking and listening activity. But, after each presentation (Student Reflection). I ask the students to evaluate their peers work.  They are engaging in a higher order thinking activity as the students provide a Peer Evaluation to their peers on ways they can improve their work.


5 minutes

The lesson is about over and I need to assess my students' understanding. So, I ask them to tell their partner one thing they learned about asking and answering questions in a text.  While they are talking I am listening to see if my students were able to make any connections about how to look close at the words or reread.

Last, I share that we will continue to study questioning in informational text.  Then the students repeat the lesson goal. I can make logical conclusions and inferences based on reading.