Illustrations about Kids

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SWBAT analyze the illustrations to add meaning to their understanding of the characters, setting, and events in the text.

Big Idea

Make learning relevant and read about kids with distant friendships.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The standard RL1.7 is designed to teach students to analyze the illustrations in a story to help students add to their understanding of the characters, setting, and events. By learning to analyze, students are increasing their ability to understand a story, and they are improving their higher order thinking skills. RL1.7 really helps students learn how to develop a deeper understanding when reading.

In this lesson, I am trying to get my first graders to really think between the lines and use the illustrations to add layers of meaning to their understanding of the characters, setting, and events.  I have exhausted most of the exemplar texts I am familiar with, so I looked in our reading series and  hit the jackpot.  I selected the ones that I knew my students would be interested in and the ones that have illustrations that really add to the description of the characters, setting, and events. E-Pals and Cross Country Cousins are amazing stories that have awesome illustrations for analyzing.  Both texts really allow the reader to make deep inferences about the character, setting, and events based on the illustrations.

Lesson Overview 

Most of my lessons (including this one!) begin in the lounge where we are close together and I can hear almost all of my students' discussions when I tell them to talk to a partner. So the lounge is where we do some kind of activating strategy to get the students thinking. Then we do Transition to the desks that are still in small group for guided practice, because everyone can see the board.  Next the students move to the center tables for Partner work and we end the lesson back on the lounge.  I find this flow allows the class to get up and move about every twenty minutes which is the maximum time my students can stay still.

Introductory Activity

The activating strategy for this lesson is a question; I ask the class to talk about a friend or relative who lives far away. Then I project the lesson image on the Promethean board.  I am assessing my students prior knowledge of communication and trying to make the lesson seem relevant.  This is kind of a way I am leading them to identify with the children in the books.

Then I explain what we will do in the lesson so students can know what is expected and what will come next. I will read the text aloud and we will stop at interesting points in the text to describe the characters, setting, and events.  We will make sure we notice how the illustrations add to our understanding of the text.  Then you will read Cross Country Connection and do the same.  Last we will share and analyze each other's work. Students restate the lesson objective so they know what they are supposed to be getting out of the lesson.  I can analyze the illustrations to add meaning to my understanding of the characters, setting, and events in the text.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Student Reflection

5 minutes

Now the students work on their speaking, listening, and evaluation skills. Being proactive is how I prefer to manage behavior.  I go over the specific rules for speaking, listening, and evaluating, and I give specific examples to model what I expect.  This makes sure students are successful when they present their work.  

I now select about three students to present their work (Basic Presentation), and after each child I ask the other students to share their evaluation (Peer Evaluation).


5 minutes

This is the end of the lesson, and I need to assess my students knowledge of the skills we have worked on.  To do this I ask the students to tell their partner one thing they learned about illustrations from the lesson.  Be sure to add the part about illustrations or they could say just about anything.  I find being very specific helps my students complete tasks the way I want them to.  As they talk, I listen to assess their comprehension and get ideas for my future lessons.

To reiterate the purpose of the lesson I ask the students to state the lesson goal: I can analyze the illustrations to add meaning to my understanding of the characters, setting, and events in the text.