Today's lesson is aligned to the common core concerning key details and new vocabulary in the story. It is important that I lay the foundation in kindergarten for many ELA skills. It will be important for my students in future grades to be able to identify key details in a text for testing or writing from difficult texts. Today I can use the standards to identify the key details with a fun text.
I am reading another book from the Elmer series, Elmer and Wilbur. I love the Elmer books. I have written many lessons using different Elmer books. There are a few new words that will be challenging for my ELL students to understand.
I gather my students on the carpet for whole group reading block and announce the today's book.
"We are going to read another Elmer book today. The title is Elmer and Wilbur. Let's look at the cover. Hmmm, This elephant is patchwork, so he is Elmer. Who do you think this elephant is? You are right he is Wilbur. Wilbur is his cousin.
Say cousin. This may be a new word. Tell your partner "cousin". Tell your shoe "cousin". Tell your elbow, "cousin". What was the new word? Cousin, right. How many of you have a cousin at this school? WOW! Lots of you have cousins here. So you know that a cousin is your aunt or uncles child. Sometimes they are older than you and sometimes they are younger than you. Sometimes, LOL, they are in your class. How did that happen? Do cousins always look the same? Or do they look different? You are right, some of your cousins look the same as you and some cousins look different than you. Well, what do you think about Wilbur. He is Elmer's cousin, does he look the same or different? He looks different. What? Oh, I see what you mean. Did you hear what Naomi said. They look the same because they both have squares.
Elmer's are all different colors and we call that, what? Patchwork. Patchwork was a new word for us when we first began to read the Elmer books. What is the word? Patchwork. Tell your knee, "patchwork". Tell the floor, "patchwork. Now tell me, "patchwork. Great.
Here is another new word, checkered. Can you say, "checkered"? Something is checkered when it has squares that are two colors. Wilbur is checkered. Tell your right hand, "checkered". Tell your partner, "checkered". Tell the door, "checkered". What do we call the squares that are black and white? We call them checkered. Hmmm, what is Wilbur? CHECKERED! That's right. This story is so funny.
Before we read the story I want to tell you that Wilbur likes to trick everyone. This is another new word. He is a ventriloquist. Everyone turn to your friend and say ventriloquist. Look up at the lights and say ventriloquist. Tell your shoe the word ventriloquist. A ventriloquist can make his voice sound like it is coming from someplace different. Let me show you this video about a ventriloquist."
"We are done watching this video, who is the ventriloquist? Where did she make her voice go? Did her voice sound the same for Lambchop as it did for her? No it did not. And that is what Wilbur can do. What is Wilbur? A ventriloquist."
It is important for me to introduce new vocabulary and have the students use the new word. I defined the word, had them repeat the words several times and showed them a video of a ventriloquist to help them understand what a ventriloquist is.
"Now that you know that Wilbur is checkered and is Elmer's cousin, I have to tell you one more thing. Wilbur like to play jokes on everyone. Listen to the story and see if you can figure out how he tricks Elmer."
I begin to read the story and then I have to stop to remind them of what a ventriloquist is.
"Here is that new word, ventriloquist. What does it mean to be a ventriloquist? Yes, they make their voices sound like it is coming from some where else. That is how Wilbur tricks Elmer."
I continue to read.
"Oh, no. They can't find Wilbur. They can hear him but they can't find him. What should they do? Listen and follow his voice. Wow, that was good thinking. Let's see what happens."
I continue to read.
"That was so funny, silly Wilbur got stuck in the tree."
"We spent so much time on new vocabulary that we will just draw our favorite part of the story. The paper passers will pass out blank paper and you will draw and color a picture with lots of details. I can hardly wait to see your pictures. This story was so funny."
I am only expecting a drawing as a response to the story today. I will use their drawings as an assessment to see if they understood the story. I am expecting their pictures to include a patchwork elephant and a checkered elephant. This will be tricky for their fine motor skills to produce a sample of patchwork and checkered. Drawings can tell me if they understood the story.
I send the students one row at a time to get their pencil boxes and go to their tables. I walk around and prompt them to use lots of details from the story in their pictures. When they are finished they sit on the carpet and read books.
We gather on the carpet after cleaning up the books.
"It is time to share the drawings of our favorite part of the story, Elmer and Wilbur. We will sit criss cross applesauce with our hands in our laps and our eyes on the person talking. Let's see if we all had the same favorite part."
I will be able to assess my students understanding of the new words; cousin, patchwork and checkered by their use of the words while explaining their drawings. Each student gets the opportunity to tell about their favorite part of the story and show their picture. We applaud and cheer after each presentation.
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help reenforce the vocabulary, story comprehension and the love of Elmer. I show videos at the end of the day when chairs are stacked, backpacks are on we are waiting for dismissal.