Today's lesson will address the CCSS of engaging my students in conversation about the story events, characters and settings. The students will choose one event to write about. It is important that I lay the foundation now in kindergarten expecting my students to identify the details in a story. In the upper grades my students will have to independently identify story details to answer questions on standardized tests, and write papers that need all this information.
I gather my students around me on the carpet. I am holding a bag of rubber fish.
"Look what I found in the cupboard. Fish!!! They are small and are different colors. I use these for counting and for doing addition and subtraction when we talk about the ocean. Do they look real? No, they don't look real. They are just fun. When I saw them I thought I would bring them out because they remind me of a fun book by Dr. Seuss;One fish, Two fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish The fish in the book are not real, but they are fun. I love Dr. Seuss books. I think you will find this one just as fun as his other books".
As I read the story we stop to discuss the strange creatures and discuss opposites. I also point out and explain the rhyming words.
"Can you hear the rhyming words? Rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end. I will read it again and then you tell me what the rhyming words are on this page."
It takes several pages for my ELL students to understand what I am looking for. We work on word families, but they seem confuse when I switch to calling them rhyming words. I continue this rhyming questioning through out the book. My students benefit from hearing me enunciate and emphasize the rhyming words. Near the end of the book most of the students can pick out the rhyming words. My lower students benefit from hearing their peers say it.
When we finish the book I open every page and we identify the rhyming words. I write them on the board for them to see the endings of the word, that they are the same.
For this writing activity I decide to use the predictable chart. This takes a little more time, but my students seem to enjoy it. I have to keep the pace moving pretty fast and encourage them all to point to the sentences and read with me.
To do a predictable chartI use chart paper, two different colored markers and a sentence frame. I usually have only one sentence frame, but today I will have several depending on the characters they choose. All sentences will begin with; I have a ___ . Today I will have them choose a pair of rhyming words to fill in the blanks of the sentence frame.
To make it faster I just call students up to the chart by row color. When I take two to three days to use the predictable chart I call students using the name sticks. I have each student pick out a pair of rhyming words and we build the sentence so it makes sense. I write the dictated sentence and have the student orally spell their name. If they spell their name with out help, I give them a star by their name. My students quickly learn how to spell their name. I hand the student a pointer and the whole class points to the sentence while we all read the sentence together. The student sits down and we begin the next sentence. I taught my students that no matter where they sit on the carpet, they can use their finger and touch each word to help our friend read the sentence.
"Now that the sentences are finished, I will cut the sentences off and let you take them back to your table to copy. Remember that you need a detailed picture to go with your sentence. I put a copy of the book on your table so you can reference the story event you chose."
I cut the sentences off and give them to the students to copy onto their writing paper. While I am cutting the sentences the class paper passers are putting a writing paper at each seat.
This is the fun part of any writing activity. This activity can be used as a formative assessment. Did they understand the concept of rhyming words well enough to dictate a sentence for the predictable chart? Did they write using appropriate conventions even though they were copying? Did their drawing match their text? Did they have enough details in the drawing so you knew they comprehended the story event they were writing about? Were they able to orally present their sentence accurately? It is amazing what you can assess from this activity.
I call my students to the front of the class by rows to read. My ELL students feel more confident and secure reading out loud when they area surrounded by friends. Each student gets the opportunity to read and show off their detailed drawing. We applaud and cheer after each oral presentation
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help re-enforce the vocabulary, story comprehension and the love of listening to a story. I show videos at the end of the day when chairs are stacked, backpacks are on we are waiting for dismissal. Here is the video for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.