Sing Martin Luther King song
I bring students to the carpet. We look at the words to the song. First I read the song to the students, then I sing it.
I then echo sing the song with the kids using My Turn, Your Turn.
I follow this same procedure for the rest of the song. It breaks the song up into manageable chunks and I have found that the students have an easier time both singing the song and remembering the words with this approach.
When we finish echo singing the song, we revist our learning thus far about Dr. King.
This emergent reader gives the kids some basic facts about MLK and both supports and builds on what information the students gleaned from the video.
I like to let the kids look at the pictures first. We have done many picture walks together, so the kids know to look at the pictures with a focused eye, both noticing detail and developing wonderings.
I say: Let’s take a picture walk. I want you to turn your pages with me (my book is on the document camera) and think about what the pictures are telling you. We then slowly look at each picture. The students are quiet and thinking. I sometimes gently prompt the group: What does this picture tell us? What do we see here? What is happening in this picture? What characters/events do we see here? This part of the process is important, as it establishes for the students what they know and what they need to focus on for learning. In essence, it sets their purpose for reading.
We begin by reading the title. We read each page together and on each page we stop and discuss the bold vocabulary words. Through this process I am modeling how we ask and answer questions about words they don’t know. I say: Everybody say ‘Nobel Peace Prize.” Students echo.. I ask: What do you think that is? Why did he get that prize? Let’s read the text again and see if it tells us.
I will pause at the sight words that the kids should know and those words that they can try to sound out.
I like to directly teach and model how good readers use the pictures and the text to uncover meaning. On page 6 I might say: That picture shows us ‘peaceful.’ Take a look at that picture and tell me what you think peaceful means. (being kind, not causing trouble) How are these two people being peaceful? (shaking hands, not hitting each other) Prompts like this help kids to see the relationship between the text and the pictures. We must begin this now because the relationship between text and picture is direct and the beginning levels. However, as their texts get more complex it will not be as direct of a correlation, so mastery is crucial.
Stepping beginning readers through using pictures and text and extracting meaning is not something all of them will get intuitively. This direct teaching and modeling helps the kids see that reading is more than word calling. Understanding what we read is an important part of the process and is really WHY we read.
Making the book:
Sorting good/bad choices
Give each student on set of Good Choice/Bad Choice word boxes. (I have put two sets on one page, so one page will provide 2 students with their words.)
I have students cut them one at a time with me. I cut my word box on the document camera and students cut the same word. ( You could add icons on each word box to help students with the words, but I do not because at this time I am stressing the use of letters and sounds to read.) As we are making decisions as a group on where to place the word, I model talk moves to help kids dig deeper into their thinking and reasoning.
I say: Where should we place the word ‘helping?’ Is being helpful a good choice or a bad choice? (I accept student answers) I agree with you and I would place it with good decision also. Why do you think it is a good choice? Can you give me an example? If students cannot give me an example, then I offer an example.
We do most of the words whole group. I leave the last three words for them to do with a partner or in a small group, as either works. I do this so that kids have opportunities to have collaborative conversations with each other to make decisions about where to put their words. As they are sorting their words, I am assisting and monitoring the discussions.
After all groups are finished, we discuss where we put our last three word boxes. I ask groups to share why they placed their word boxes where they did.