Each day as I do my literature time, I gather the children to the classroom rug. I tell them that I have one more book by our Author of the Month, Audrey Wood, that I am wanting to share with them. I emphasize the bright colors because the children will be able to read along with the color words.
Boys and girls, who remembers the name of our Author of the Month? That's right, Audrey Wood. Do you remember who helps Audrey Wood illustrate her books? Yes, Bruce Wood and Don Wood--the author's son and her husband. The book that I am going to read to you today is called, The Deep Blue Sea. It is written by Audrey Wood and illustrated by her son, Bruce. One of the things I like best about this book are the Bright Colors that are used to illustrate it. Let me begin reading.
The lesson begins and as I read two pages into the story, I told the children that this reading adventure was going in a new direction. My purpose in teaching this lesson was to tell how well my students comprehend what was being read, so by going in this new direction, I felt like I could watch them go through the process of developing an understanding the parts needed for retelling.
I sent the students back to their tables and asked my paper passer to hand out sheets of blank paper.
Write your name on one side of the paper, and then turn it over so the empty side is facing up. When you have done this, place one hand on your head so that I can know who is ready to move on.
I began to read the story again to the children: There's the sea, the deep blue sea.
Take out your blue crayon and draw the sea. Remember, it is a deep blue sea. When you a finished, place your hand on your head so I can see who is done.
There's a rock, a red rock in the middle of the deep blue sea. I show the children the illustration What do you think I would like you to do next. That's right! I want you to draw the red rock in the middle of the deep blue sea. From here on out, I want you to listen to what I am reading, and then decide what you are going to add to your picture. I will be watching to see if you are carefully following along.
I read through the rest of the story and at the end of each page, I have the children indicate to me with hand on head if they are ready to move on to the next page. This makes for a quieter work time.
Once the children are finished with the drawing, we take a minute to look at how detailed our drawings are and how by taking our time, we have done beautiful work. At this point, I ask the children to buddy-up with someone at their tables and retell the story to that friend. Turn and talk is a great strategy to help student process what they have just heard or read. As a closing activity, this activity is good so that students can review what was learned in the lesson.
Using the details that you have drawn in your picture, retell the story to your table buddy. Are you able to use this paper to completely retell the story? Can your table buddy understand your picture?
As the children share and retell, I walk around the room and ask a few questions. What is so special about the butterfly? What part of the story did you like best? (and other questions)
These observations help me to know if the children are getting to their goal of retelling a story.