** I chose this book because it is a classic elementary text and supports our current science study. All of my students have read an Eric Carle book and are familiar with his style of writing. This book has excellent illustrations and the text is rich with descriptions and simile. Although this is a story, this book is listed as informational text. The events that happen are real and it has rich academic vocabulary that connects to our Science unit on plants.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
Give the purpose of the lesson
(In this section, you’ll see how I gradually release the task of identifying and interpreting figurative language in the text to the students.)
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Explain the task
Read and Pause for students to write
I'm using this rich text and vocabulary to helps students recognize how the author uses specific words to create images. This kind of wording allows the reader to picture the events in his mind and enriches the text. The Core Standards encourage students to use 'close reading' to analyze a text as they read. They should bring in background knowledge and connect to the words and events in a story to deepen comprehension. As students look specifically that the vocabulary choices that the author uses, they can appreciate that imagery. When students describe who the words and phrases supply meaning to the story, (RL.2.4) they are able to deepen their comprehension of the story.
Finish the project and wrap up
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
This is a tougher lesson for students with language challenges because the text is so dependent on figurative language, which is usually more difficult for these students. I would encourage you to work with them as a group separately or pair them with a partner.
For students with higher language, touch on their abilities as you walk around asking kids about their ideas. They need to be challenged...'Why did you choose that for figurative language? What does that mean to you? Can you tell me how the simile helped you to understand? Can you think of another simile that would fit?"