This is the third and final version of 3 books about Little Red Riding Hood that we will compare. The previous lessons were Add Some Sense to the Images (Lesson 1 of 4) and Red Riding Hood Smelled Like Apples (Lesson 2 of 4). For this third lesson, I am letting the students take the lead toward imaging, but encouraging them to add voice to the characters' descriptions. I'll be wrapping up this comparison unit with a lesson entitled Wanted.. One Big Bad....(Lesson 4 of 4)
The focus on rich vocabulary continues, as we describe how the characters feel and use the senses to add more information to the image. It gives a different motivation for the wolf and reasons why he acted as he did. The character descriptions gave us LOTS of discussion topics. As you discuss images, you'll ultimately discuss why the wolf, girl and other characters acted as they did. We spent time comparing versions of the stories and they kids really picked up on the ideas of why the girl acted differently in this story. Describing how the character in a story respond to challenges and events (RL.2.3) gives the kids an opportunity to delve deeper into the text and explore the author's purpose in characterization.
I chose this book because it is a version from China. The story is very different and more difficult to read, so I will be reading to the students. We will be discussing tone as well as voice because this story has some great examples.
'Imaging' is the term that my district uses for 'visualizing'. In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.
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
Give the purpose of the lesson
When students use voice to read what the character says or thinks, they are adding their own perspective to the author's ideas. My students had different ideas about what the wolf or Red sounded like, but they justified their thinking ("She has a high voice because she's a girl, wolf has a loud voice because he's an animal"), so their ideas had validity. The ability to read with expression and add voice to the text, (RL.2.6) evidences that the reader is adding meaning as they read and able to insert personality into their perception of the character.
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Highlight the distinction between how the scary wolf voice sounds in this version versus how the nice voice of the wolf sounds in the earlier version you read. This might help your students make the connection that using the text to help us imagine the characters and their voices will help us understand the text better.
Guided practice - work with the students
Read and assign groups
When you preview the book and think about your class's ability, I will leave it up to you which pages to stop on and how often to have the kids use imaging. My kids needed more prompting so I stopped after every few pages, but this time they needed less prompting and repetition of details. For this last story, they have really improved with practice. Second graders typically do not always have a lot of confidence about their reading and ability to form images, especially comparing them to the author. As we continue to compare author's versions of these fairy tales from other countries or perspectives (RL.2.9), they will see that there are different interpretations and no 'right answer', which should improve their confidence. I think that's why the Common Core Standards include this focus area. As students critically compare works on similar topics, they realize that perspectives vary and they should be open to different interpretations of stories.
Share what you know
As students work in groups and then participate in class discussions about this text and project, they are part of a collaborative discussion about grade level topics. (SL.2.1) The Common Core standards represent a shift from individual demonstration of a skill to group collaboration to create a finished project and present it as a whole.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
This lesson could be taught to those with language challenges with proper support. Putting some feeling and descriptive words on the board would allow them to have some ideas for the images. Grouping them with others of different abilities would allow them to use their creative ideas without the pressure of writing or spelling words.
Students with greater ability should be challenged to use higher level vocabulary to describe the images. Their ability to share their thoughts with the class should also challenge them to explain clearly their thinking about character motivation.