Common Core Connection
RL.1.7 is about adding to the information presented in the text by analyzing the illustrations and other parts of the book. The illustrations add a great deal of information about the content presented in an informational text. The learners need to be able to not only understand and learn from reading, but they need to be able to comprehend what the see visually.
The lesson addresses this standard, and it also allows for students to gain a lot of experience speaking and listening. Listening is what I thought would be the hardest thing to teach, but speaking can also be challenging for young children. Some strategies I like to use to help students learn to speak well are modeling formal and informal language, modeling speaking too loud or too soft, and giving the students plenty of time to discuss the topic in their first language. Most of my class discusses things in Spanish before they talk about it in English. I can only assess their understanding when they speak in English, but they are more comfortable speaking in their native language.
This is when I try to motivate my class and engage them in the lesson using technology. I put the lesson image on the Promethean board and ask the class to use the image to gain knowledge about the plant. I tell the class to talk to their partner about what they can learn by looking at the image. Then I listen to assess their prior knowledge. The intensity of my instruction depends on how much they already know. If they cannot make any inferences I know I need to explain gaining knowledge from illustrations in great detail. This is one of the last few lessons in the unit, so I anticipate that my class can gather a lot of information just by looking at the picture.
Then I share the plan for the lesson, so they can understand what we will be doing in the lesson, because this really helps the class feel at ease with the lesson. Then I share the lesson goal, and ask the students to repeat it to aid in comprehension. They repeat, "I can gain knowledge by analyzing illustrations."
In this section of the lesson I ask the student to look at the image (How Seeds Grow) I have projected on the board. They talk to their partner about what happens first in life cycle of the sunflower. After one student shares their ideas others agree or disagree and then we decide on a statement to write on the board. We are developing an informational paragraph.
The students discuss each image with their partner, then on volunteer share, and we have a discussion. The I add their details on the board (Board Work). We do this for the sprout, bud, and flower.
Last, I remind the class that we have gained a lot of information by analyzing the illustrations. Then I ask one student to read our informational paragraph aloud. I am not focusing on writing an informational paragraph, because that is too much for me to add to this lesson.
The informational paragraph we create is just a way to expose the students to writing in paragraph form. I find some students want to list each sentence and number them. I thought this might be a good lesson to begin breaking that habit. I do not explicitly teach writing in this lesson, and I give little instruction to writing.
Now I am going to assess what my students know and see if they really understand that knowledge can be gained by analyzing the illustrations. Students write down on a sticky note two things they learned about analyzing illustrations and place it on the Tweet Board. Being specific here keeps the class on task, or they might write about a detail they learned. I am hoping they learn to gain information that add to their content knowledge by analyzing the illustrations.
Last, I restate the lesson goal. The students echo, tell a friend, and then say it with me. This really allows my English Language Learners to practice speaking and telling a friend makes it personal.