To begin the lesson, I asked students: What are the different sections of a long book called? I reminded students that chapters are the main parts, or different sections, of a book. I asked them how many chapters are in Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan and had them write it on their whiteboards. I did this to see if all students knew how to identify chapters. If the answer was incorrect, I asked them how they got their answer so that I could identify the misconception. Two students wrote the number of pages as the number of chapters. I directed their attention to the numbered chapters in the book.
I displayed the student sheet on the document camera and read the first question. I modeled reading the end of chapter one and the beginning of chapter two aloud to help me answer the question. I explained the connection between the chapters as the following: At the end of chapter one, Papa reads Sarah’s letter to his children. Chapter two begins with Caleb, Papa, and Anna writing back to Sarah. I underlined the answer with a dry erase marker on a transparency placed over the book. I did this to emphasize the importance of referencing the text when responding to the questions. I stressed using the word chapter when writing my answer and told students they are to refer to the different chapters in the book and use the term when writing their answers.
I guided students in answering questions 3 and 4. I did the more challenging question number 4 with them because it required them to refer to a later chapter to find the answer. This helped them see the connection between chapters 2 and 8. We read the question together. I asked them to recall a time when Sarah built something. Some students remembered her helping Papa fix the roof. We skimmed the chapters for the answer, underlined it, and wrote it using the term chapter. I asked students the following questions: Where did we find the answer? They all said, “We found it in the text.” What chapter? “Nine!” I wanted to remind students to always reference the text when writing their answers and get them accustomed to using the terminology.
Students worked with a partner to answer the remaining questions on the student sheet. The questions varied in complexity. Some questions required students to answer comprehension questions, make inferences, notice patterns, and identify character feelings. Each question directed them to use the term chapter in their answer. I circulated around the room and assisted students as needed.
As students worked, I did an informal assessment. I marked a check on their paper if they were on the right track. This positive reinforcement encouraged students to continue referencing the chapters as they wrote their answers. When I noticed students having difficulty, I formed a small group and worked with them until they were able to continue independently.