Common Core Connection: I am using this story to compare fiction and nonfiction text. It is important for students to identify the difference between different genres. This particular book has both fiction and non fiction making it a great book for comparing and contrasting. Comparing and contrasting is an important skill for our kindergarteners to learn. Taking two similar stories or events and being able to tell what they have that is the same and what is different helps with identifying story details. In the upper grades students have to be able to identify story details to support their writing.
This story will be fun to use for a quick opinion writing that will lead into tomorrow's lesson of explanatory writing.
I pull out of a box a snake shedding and ask; "What do you think this is?". With every answer I will ask them "How they can tell?", or "How do you know?" questions to promote higher level thinking. I want to know what they are thinking and how they are thinking.
I then pull out of the box a Boa egg and ask; "What do you think this is?". I ask the same thought provoking questions until we know what it is and what was it about the egg that told them it was a Boa egg.
"I am going to read two different texts. One about a make believe Boa and one about a real Boa. We are going to learn some fun things about both Boas.
I gather my class on the carpet and tell them that we are going to read a make believe story about a Boa and then read information about a real Boa. The story is called, "The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash". After reading the text we will talk about the differences between the Make Believe story and the Real Information about a Boa.
"While I read the story I want you to help me find story details that are real or make believe."
As I read the story I make a point to bring story details to their attention and ask, "could this really happen"? By making a big deal out of the things that could not happen, help the students identify stories that could not really happen are fictional text.
"So, what do you think? Was that story about Jimmy's boa real or make believe? Ha, Ha, it was make believe. Now I am going to read you another part of the book. Are you sitting criss cross applesauce, ready to listen. OOOOOO, what do you think we will see? Real or make believe? Listen and you will find out."
At the end of the book there are three pages of nonfictional text with REAL pictures that teach about real boas. I ask them, "do you think this is real?" Books about real things are call nonfictional text.
" We just read two types of text, a make believe/fictional story and a real/nonfictional text. What is a fictional text? It is a book that is make believe. What is a nonfictional text? It is a book that is real. Great, now I want you to turn to your partner and say "Hi partner!". Now using the sentence frame tell your partner what a non fictional text is, "a non fictional text is ______.(Make believe). I walk around and listen to make sure the sentence frames are being used and that they are on task. Please, give your partner a "high five". Now I want you to tell your partner what a fictional text is using the sentence frame, "a fictional text is _____."(real). WOW! Give your partner another high five. Great job."
It is important that my students understand the different genres of text. As they get older they need to know which types of books they need for different assignments. I expose them to different genres in kindergarten to build their literary foundation. I chose this book because it already has the fiction and nonfiction together. When added to my real snake skins and egg, the lesson is complete. The standards put a heaver expectation on nonfictional text. This lesson exposes my students to it in a friendly way.
"We are now going to do a double bubble map to compare and contrast Jimmy's Boa to the Real Boa. "
I love to use thinking maps to help organize my students thoughts and empowers them with the information they need to write the expected task. Using Thinking Maps is a District wide expectation. Using some of the maps in kindergarten gets them ready for using all the maps in the years to come. I like that all schools and grade levels are using this strategy for teaching writing. I love consistency.
"Remember the double bubble map is where we put all the things we know about Jimmy's Boa on this bubble map, all the things we know about the Real Boa goes on this bubble map. Who remembers what goes in the circles in the middle? Yes, we put all the things Jimmy's Boa and a Real Boa have that are the same.
I use my name sticks to choose a third of the students to tell me what they know about Jimmy's Boa. I write the answers on the "Jimmy's Boa" bubble. I use the name sticks to choose another third of my students to tell me all the things they know about Real Boas. I write the answers on the "Real Boa" bubble. I then use the name sticks to choose the rest of the names to find out things that Jimmy's Boa and real boa's have in common.
"Let's read together all the bubbles on Jimmy's boa side. Now let's read all the bubbles on the Real Boas side. Hmmm, what are the bubbles in the middle? Oh, they are the bubbles for both Boas. Good remembering."
"Today's writing will be an opinion paper. An opinion paper is where we write about something we like. So, think about the Boa you liked. Did you like the make believe Boa that ate the wash? Or, did you like the real Boa? How could we write a sentence that tells what we like? (Someone will remember.) Yes, you are right. We would write, "I like the _____." What else could we write? Could we write, "It is ____." Let's quick think of what it could be. I quickly draw a circle map and we write what our Boas could be."
Using sentence frames makes writing sentences EASY for my ELL students. All they have to do is write the high frequency words, I like the and then write their answer. Then they write the high frequency words; It is and then they write their answer. Sentence frames makes everybody's sentence begin the same so they can help each other at their tables. The sentence frames gives each student the opportunity to be different by the answer that they write. Sentence frames help teach proper English grammar using capitals and periods. This two sentence paper becomes our standard writing for opinions. They learn it quickly.
I model the writing paper on the smart board. We use the circle map to fill out our sentence frames. We discuss the choices and fill it out as a whole group.
Now it is your turn to write the sentences and draw a picture of a Boa. Paper passers please pass out the writing papers. Purple row, walk quietly to get your pencil boxes, blue row, green row, orange row and red row. We transition to writing our sentences.
When we they are finished writing we gather on the carpet to read our papers to the class.
I like to use videos to introduce my lesson or to add more fun or information about my lesson. My students love to be read to, so I try to find a video of my story that they can watch on the smart board and hear it again. They love to hear different versions. Each reader brings out a different feeling and tone when they read. My own children enjoyed Reading Rainbow. I hope your students enjoy this version as much as my students do.
Because my lesson was on comparing and contrasting nonfiction and fiction, I thought I would add both versions to my videos. There is nothing better than seeing it, unless it is touching it.
Video about real snakes:
Discussions after the videos fulfill the standards of comparing and contrasting. The more practice my students get for this the better they become at recognizing the details that are different and similar.