I gather my students on the carpet and begin telling them about what I saw this morning. I am trying to stir up some excitement for my lesson by engaging my students in a conversation about the ladybugs.
"I saw lots of ladybugs on my flowers this morning. Have you seen the ladybugs? You have seen them? What color were the ladybugs that you saw? The ones on my flowers were red with black dots. What do you think they were doing on my flowers?"
I let everyone that has an interest tell about their encounter with a ladybug. I will then show a video about lady bugs to give my students some background knowledge before reading the story.
"Let's watch a video that shows what a lady bug does when she is on the flowers."
"What do you think about what ladybugs eat? Would you like to eat aphids? Most people don't like aphids on their plants because the aphids eat the leaves and then the leaves die. We don't want the aphids to eat our plants. Ladybugs love to eat aphids. If you have aphids on your plants, you can go to the nursery and buy ladybugs to eat your aphids."
"I have a story about a ladybug who found some aphids, and she is not a very nice ladybug. Let's read the story and find out what she does."
My goal for this lesson is for my students to participate in a class discussion about the details in the story. The ladybug has encounters with many animals. I will draw each animal on the board so they will have a reference to go to when writing their paper.
I begin to read the The Grouchy Lady Bug and point out all the aphids on the leaf.
" Why is the ladybug so grouchy? She doesn't want to share the aphids. What does she want to do? Fight? Is that nice? What does the friendly ladybug say? Oh, she is friendly, she said they could share. Does the grouchy ladybug want to share? What does the grouchy ladybug do? Oh my goodness, she wants to fight."
Before I continue with the story I teach them the repeated phrase so they can chant it with me every time I get to that part. Participation during a read aloud helps keep the students interest
"Hey, you. Want to fight?" "If you insist." "Oh you're not big enough".
"As the ladybug flies from animal to animal she wants to fight:
* a yellow jacket
* a beetle
* a praying mantis
* a sparrow
* a lobster
* a skunk
* a snake
* a hyena
* a gorilla
* a rhinoceros
* an elephant
Does she fight with any of the animals? Why do you think she doesn't? Are all the animals bigger than her? Yes, I think she is just grouchy and being mean to everyone.
Then she meets the whale. What do you think the whale does? Let's find out. OHHHH, the whale slaps the ladybug and she goes flying all the way back to . . . Where? Yes the leaf with all the aphids and the friendly ladybug. Does she decide to be nice and share the aphids? Yes. I think she is too tired to be mean."
I draw all the animals that the ladybug wanted to fight and label them. We chorally review what they are.
"What a silly story. I would be afraid to be little like the ladybug and try to fight those big animals. I am glad she decided to share the aphids. Today for our writing, your job is to write a sentence using the sentence frame; The Grouchy ladybug wanted to fight the ____. You get to choose and write the name of the animal the ladybug wanted to fight."
I demonstrate the writing process under the document camera using the same Writing paper they will use. It is important for my ELL students to have the thinking and writing process modeled so they know exactly what the expectations are.
"So, you will trace the words, not scribble, trace the words and then write the animal on the line. You can choose any of the animals. Sound out the word as best you can. Then you can draw a picture. Make sure to add details to your picture. I will help you if you need help."
"Will my paper passers please pass out the writing paper for today? Boys, will you tip toe carefully to get your pencil boxes? Girls, now it is your turn to tip toe to get your pencil boxes."
I walk around help and prompting my students to try to sound out the animal word and write the letter that they hear. Writing is fun and easy once they make the connection between the spoken word and the written word.
As my students finish, I gather their papers and have them sit on the carpet quietly reading library books.
When most of the students have finished their writing, I have them put the books away and sit criss cross applesauce on the carpet. I call several students up at a time to stand in front of the class. Each student gets to read their sentence and show off their drawing. Most of them chose different animals to write about. We applaud each reading with a cheer.
It is important for my ELL students to hear the story several times. I love to show the video of the story being read. Hearing the story several times helps with vocabulary and story comprehension. I like to show the video at the end of the day when the chairs have been stacked and my students are ready for dismissal.