Today we are going to be analyzing the characters and plot in this first chapter. When I designed this lesson, I really wanted to make sure I included text dependent questions where students had to cite the evidence in their answers. This is a lesson where you will be reading the text to students and they are going to be developing their listening comprehension skills. In a perfect world I would have a book for each of my students, and they could be practicing their reading comprehension skills. However, this isn't economically feasible for me.
Even though this is a listening comprehension lesson, we are still setting the foundation for students to be able to do close reading. Close reading means being able to look at a text closely enough in order to gain meaning. Speaking of close reading, let's look at how that relates to this standards addressed in this lesson. Today we are addressing standards RL1.1, RL1.2, and RL1.3. If we look even more deeply, you can see that by addressing these standards we are also setting our students along the path in order to achieve those anchor standards in future years. Let's look at those standards:
CCRA.R1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCRA.R2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCRA.R3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
For today's lesson you will need the Smartboard lesson "Frog and Toad". You will also want to copy enough student work packets for each student in your class. They will need these packets for all 5 lessons in this unit.
I wanted to start off by telling my students the objective of the lesson. I said, "Today we are going to read Chapter 1 of "Frog and Toad Are Friends". We are going to discuss the story about the character's traits. We will also discuss the plot of the story which is the problem and the solution. The solution means the way the characters solved the problem. Let's get started!"
I had my Smartboard lesson pulled up. I put the lesson up on page 6. Then I read the actual book and stopped at page 11. After reading that page we talked about what the problem was so far in the book. We wrote the problem down on our problem/solution chart in the student packet. We then predicted what Frog would do with Toad next. I asked them, " What is your evidence from the book that supports your answer." Knowing that a huge shift in the Common Core standards is to cite text based evidence in their answers, I really wanted to make sure I am getting my students in the habit of using evidence to support their answers.
I continued on and read the rest of the chapter. After finishing the chapter, I wanted to discuss the character traits of each character. I have never used the specific words "character traits" with my students and wanted to make sure they understood the concept. I said, "When we talk about character traits we use adjectives, or describing words to describe the character. If I wanted to describe myself I could use the adjectives, silly, funny, and hard-working. My evidence is you have seen me act silly and be funny and you see how hard I work to make fun activities for you. Does everyone understand how we use adjectives to describe a character?" Once I knew they understood this concept, I wanted them to start on their independent work.
This next part of the lesson was independent work, but since there was a lot of different pages to go to in the student packet, I gave the tasks to the students in pieces so they wouldn't record information on the wrong page.
I told them to go to the first bubble map on the work packet for Frog. I said, " Talk to the people at your table. What is one word you can write on your bubble map that could describe Frog. Use evidence from the text that supports your answer. You have 2 minutes to talk." After discussing as a group, I had them record that adjective on their bubble map.
We then turned to the next page on the packet that had the bubble map for Toad. Just like we did with frog, the groups talked about an adjective to describe toad based on evidence from the text. They had 2 minutes to talk and then we recorded the adjective on their bubble map for Toad.
Then we turned to our problem and solution chart. We had already written down the problem. I gave students 2 minutes to talk about how the characters solved the problem. I then said, " Record your solution on the chart."
Since we had already discussed the story in groups, I knew they could handle answering comprehension questions. The 3 questions on the student packet were:
My students are having a hard time restating the question in their answer and I also wanted to point out that it was a two part question. The first part they had to answer the question and the second part they had to cite their evidence. I made a point of this before I let the students get to work.
I have been trying to improve my closures and another first grade master teacher, Laura Quellhorst, showed us how she utilizes a Twitter Poster in her classroom. So I ran with that idea. I had one of our wonderful teacher's aides make me both a Facebook and Twitter poster. Today we did our Facebook poster. I gave each student a post it note and had them post what we did in class today. It is a great way for me to see what they took away from the lesson. I forgot to take a picture of today's poster but I am showing you a picture of our Facebook poster from another lesson so you can see how you might make one in your classroom. It's nothing fancy but the kids love it and it does the trick.