I like this story because it has great descriptors and 3 scenes where the kids have to guess who is coming in the door. This makes the kids want to ‘keep reading’ and use imaging to predict who is at the door. The reading level is this story is 2.9, which falls at the top of the lexile for 2nd grade. I read this story to the kids because it has some difficult vocabulary and the students need the opportunity to comprehend literature in the grade 2 complexity band proficiency with scaffolding at the high end of the range. (RL.2.10)
** "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
It would be great fun to put up a black outline on the window your door, if possible. I can’t do this because my door is solid, but consider this.
The author has great examples that the kids will connect to, including illustrations and text that help kids create images to contribute meaning to the text. (RL.2.7) The opportunity to examine words and pictures in a book and form images that can be verified or changed allows kids to facilitate the learning process and be an active reader, a shift in learning suggested by the Common Core Standards. We want kids to take charge of their reading by imaging/visualizing as they read, bringing in background knowledge and adding information from the text.
Imaging is better with adjectives.
My goal through this discussion with students about adjectives is to share ideas and brainstorm. The students have different vocabulary levels – they need to hear higher level words through discussions and from books to increase their own vocabulary. The Common Core Standard for L.2.6 says that students will use words acquired through conversations, reading, and being read to, and responding to texts, using adjectives to describe. I want to have rich discussions and garner a variety of words that the students can choose from to describe the character.
Explain the task
Finish the story
The kids also wanted to draw an image for the teacher in the end, but the illustrator shows the picture. They really and a GREAT time with the humor of the book - understanding that the teacher dressed up like Viola Swamp!
I finished the story and we talked about the humor and irony. Some of the kids understood more than others, but they all enjoyed the imaging and using adjectives to describe the characters.
Describe the task
Give kids time to work
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges may need help thinking of vocabulary words and synonyms for the witch. I would give them some ideas on whiteboards at their desk or work with them as a group.
Challenge students with higher language to think of ‘juicier’ words to describe their image. Instead of ‘scary’ and ‘bad’ ask them to think of ‘older kid words’ – perhaps ‘frightening’ or ‘obnoxious’.