I chose this text because it is at the second grade level and has great illustrations and wording. The book has direct quotes from Martin, as well as language that is simple enough for the students to understand. The concepts are a little more mature, but second graders should be able to understand with discussion. Our class lesson about this book led to higher level concepts such as 'discrimination' and 'equality'.
This lesson is an example of why I believe the Common Core Standards make sense. I'm integrating a Social Studies topic into reading lesson and writing lessons. Instead of reading about a random concept, why not read and write about those topics that you're studying? With this emphasis on using literature to learn about and reinforce the other academic areas, my students are getting a cross-curricular experience and I am able to 'fit in' all the subjects during the school day.
There is also a nice video of this book read aloud with music. This might be a great follow up at the end of the lesson or for the next day.
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
The focus on verb tense is a common one for second grade. Identifying, changing and spelling verbs with regular and irregular tense can be difficult. (L.2.1d) Students at this level typically use verbs expressively but struggle, at times, to fluently read them through the text. Writing a story with consistent verb tenses is also a challenge for second graders. I'll be following up this lesson with a unit on about writing narratives, which will use past tense verbs to describe the life of M. L King, Jr..
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Work as a class
As students focus on these words, they are defining vocabulary and determining the meaning of words and phrases relevant to a 2nd grade topic (RI.2.4). As students learn how to decode words, they are learning how to draw on their own abilities to learn and read, a shift in the Common Core Standards.
**This is a great read aloud that you can use a 'voice' for. The writing sounds poetic and it will encourage the students to hear the beauty of the author's words. The text level is 2.5, so it is within the students' reading level, but I still like to read it myself to the kids as I put it on the Elmo.
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges will need help identifying verbs and whether they are regular or irregular. I would suggest putting some prompts on slates or the whiteboard to help them. They could also work with a partner for this section. They will be able to pick their 5 verbs and participate in the puzzle.
Students with more academic ability should also be challenged during the discussion about the more complex vocabulary. I would expect deeper thoughts to some of the questions posed, "Why does ML King talk about waiting?" or "How can love drive out hate?"