Today I plan to engage my students in a discussion about going to school. After reading the story I will model a sequencing paper for my students. I will encourage my students to stand up in front of the class to orally sequence the events of the story. Being able to identify story events helps my students give an accurate retell which is an important skill. Upper grades need to be able to identify story events within a text for standardized assessments and district assessments.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for our whole group reading block.
"Good Morning. This is the first day of school. I was a little worried about coming to school today. I wasn't sure I would have friends here at school. How many of you were worried about coming to school? Were you scared? When I got here, I saw all of you smiling and happy to be here. I can tell that you are all nice. I think you will be my friends. So I am not scared any more. I hope none of you are scared. We can all be friends and help each other."
"I have a story of a raccoon named chester who was scared to go to school. He cried. Did any of you cry this morning? His mother had a secret that will help him be brave and go to school. Let's read the story and find out what the secret is."
"The book about Chester is called The kissing hand. Chester is a raccoon. Oh my, Chester is so worried that he would not get to play with his toys, play with his friends and read books when he was at school. What do you think? Do you think he will get to play with toys? I don't know, do you get to play with toys here at school? Yes you do."
We talk a little about the toys in the classroom that we will be playing with.
"Chester didn't think he would have friends at school. Do you have friends at school? Yes, you all have lots of friends at school. Look all around you. These are your new friends at school."
I have them turn to each side and turn around and shake each neighbors hand and say 'hi friend'.
"Oh, his mom wants to show him a secret, what was that secret?"
I give them the opportunity to answer.
"She kissed his hand and told him he could hold the kiss in his hand until he was sad. Then he could hold to his check and it would help make him feel better. Did the secret make him feel better? Yes, it did."
"Chester headed off to school and came back to his mother. Why did he come back?"
"What a nice thing for Chester to do for his mom. Was his mother sad that Chester was going to school? Yes, she was. Chester kissed her hand and now she is happy. What a wonderful secret."
"Do you think the secret works? Hmmm, I think it does."
"I have a fun activity for us to do now that we have read the story about Chester. This activity is a sequencing activity. Sequencing something means to put it in order. I have this paper with pictures from the story. We will use our scissors very carefully and cut out the four pictures."
I model this activity in front of the class. I will do it by myself while talking to them and then I will do it again with their help.
"Now that I have sequenced the story using the pictures, I will take them down and let you come up and put them in order."
Using my name sticks I call on students to come up and place the pictures in the correct sequence.
"Termina, would you come up and choose the first picture for our sequence. The picture is of Chester. He was crying because he didn't want to go to school"
Termina places the correct picture on the sequencing page.
"Le'ts see who's name I will pick next to help me. Allen. Would you come up and find the picture that come next?"
Allen needs a little prompting to find the correct picture. I continue choosing students to help sequence the pictures.
"Now that our pictures are in the right order, let's tell the story."
We chorally say what is happening in the pictures.
"By telling about each picture, you just retold the story. Great job. Now I want you to go back to your tables and do this all by yourself. I will walk around and help you."
I dismiss my students one row color at a time so they can find their names on their tables with out being rushed. I then pass out the papers and walk around using a highlighter to write their names. Many of my students can not write their names so I highlight the name and they can trace it.
After the student work has been done we will gather on the carpet. I am seated in front of the class. I call each student to come to stand in front of me to oral retell the story. I will prompt them to say the sequence of the story by telling what is happening in the pictures. Each student is given the opportunity to give their ooral presentation. After each retell we applaud and do a cheer.
I like to show videos of the story I used in my lesson as a review of content and vocabulary. Many of my ELL students need more opportunities to listen to the story in order to understand what is happening and to learn and review the vocabulary. What a fun way to review our lesson. This video is especially fun because it is Audrey Penn, the author, reading the book.
I have included a fun book that can be read and colored as an extension to the story.