I gather the students on the carpet for whole group reading time. I remind them of our listening procedures, sit criss/cross applesouce with hands in lap and eyes on me. I begin with my "hook" to the lesson by telling my students what I saw this morning: "When I came into the school I saw lots of butterflies and bees around the flowers on the bushes. They were flying around and were so busy. Do you know anything about butterflies and bees? (I let them talk briefly about their knowledge about butterflies and bees.) You all know a lot about butterflies and bees. Let's watch these videos and find out more about them.
The first video is about the butterfly.
The second video is about the bee.
I learned some things about the bee and the butterfly that I did not know. Let's make a double bubble map to write down all the things we know about the butterfly and the bee. Then we can compare what we know about the two insects.
I like to use Thinking maps to help my students organize our thoughts and to make our thoughts visible to them to use as a writing resource. I like to use a double bubble map for the comparing and contrasting of two characters or two texts. It is much like using the venn diagram. This template clearly shows the differences and similarities between the bee and the butterfly. Double Bubble Map
I start with the butterfly and one bubble map. I also like to use partner talk for my ELL students to help practice their academic oral language. Partner talk gives them more opportunities to talk to each other.
We will begin by naming the characteristics of a butterfly. Turn to your partner and tell them one thing you know about the butterfly. When you are done telling your partner, give them a high five and turn to look at me."
Using name sticks I choose a third of the students to tell me what characteristics they know about the butterfly. I write their answers on the bubble map.
Now we will name the characteristics of a bee. Turn to your partner and tell them one thing you know about the bee. When you are done telling your partner, give them a high five and turn to look at me." I continue to choose names for students to describe the characteristics of a bee on the other bubble map.
"Last we will name the characteristics that both the bee and the butterfly have that are the same. Turn to your partner and tell them one thing you know that both the bee and the butterfly have that are the same. When you are done telling your partner, give them a high five and turn to look at me."
I then choose the rest of the students to help me decide what characteristics the butterfly and the bee have in common. I move these characteristics to be in bubbles between the bee and the butterfly. We review the double bubble map and agree that we added all the details we could think of.
Now that we know about the butterfly and the bee. I wonder what charteristics a butterbee has? I think we should read the story about Butterbees.
Before I begin the story I teach the students how to sing the "Buzz hum, buzz hum, buzz hum, hum, hum, hum" which is how the bee and the butterfly talk to each other. This song is woven throughout the story.
"Watch and listen so you know when to sing the butterfly and bee song."
I begin the story and point to them when it is time to sing with me.
I put the double bubble map on the smart board for reference when writing. I use sentence frames to help my ELL students with the informative writing. Breaking the process into three sentences helps them understand what we are doing and what it means. I used a dot to dot font for the sentence frames to give them more practice with writing letters and words. The sentence frames I used are:
The butterfly has ___.
The bee has ____.
They both have _____.
With an accompanying picture.
I modeled various ways of writing the sentences. I asked them to refer to the double bubble map for answers to their sentence frames.
Because I use class jobs as a way to increase a sense of responsibility and community, I call on my paper passers to pass out the papers to all seats. I then call every row, one art a time to go to their cubbies and get their pencil boxes.
Once they are at their tables I remind them that we use capitals, spaces and periods when we write sentences. I also prompted them to sound out the words that they want to write. My students are getting better at phonetic spelling. I love to hear them sounding out words as their head is bent down while writing a word.
When my students are finished with their writing we gather on the carpet for shared reading. This is the true assessment. The student being able to sound out a word to write it and then to stand in front of the class and sound out what they wrote to read their sentences. I find it absolute magic!
We applaud all their efforts. On all writing levels they are improving each day. YAY!
This student wrote: The butterfly has pretty wings. The bee has a stinger. They both have six legs.
With my ELL students, I find watching a video of the book or hearing the story read online helps re-enforce the content and skills taught to day. A video or reading is also great for listening skills. Sometimes my students need more exposure to the vocabulary in order for them to learn the English language. So, later in the day I will show this video about the authors of the book telling about why they wrote the book.