My lesson today is aligned to the common core of engaging my students in a discussion about the different characters, settings and events in the story. We will write an informational paper on the main character. It is important for my students to be able to identify the details of a story such as the characters, the setting and the main events to give an accurate story retell. In the upper grades my students will be asked difficult questions about a text and being able to identify these details of a story will prove important. I am laying the foundation for future skills by teaching my students to identify these details.
I gather my students on the carpet for whole group reading block. I show them a vase of daisies.
"Daisies are my favorite flower. You can buy them in different colors, but I like the white ones with a yellow center. Do you have a favorite flower? What is it?"
We discuss everyones favorite flower. I go up and dow the rows giving each student the opportunity to talk briefly about their favorite flower.
" Many of you like Roses, they are beautiful. They smell wonderful too. Where do you think these daisies can grow? In a garden. At the plant store. In your yard. Yes these are all good places for a daisy to grow. I want to read a story to you about a girl named Maizie. Her friends called her Daisy Head Mayzie. Let's read the book and find out why they called her that."
I will have several discussions involving characters, settings and events because many characters are called away from their jobs to attend to Maizie. We will talk about who each character is, where they work and why they are called to help Maizie.
"By looking at the cover, I think you can tell why they call her Daisy Head Maizie. That is so crazy. Do you think a daisy could really grow on a person's head? I don't think so either. So do you think this is a true story? No, it is make believe. By looking at the cover can you tell me who the author is? Yes, this is a Dr. Seuss book. I know it will be fun. Show me you are ready."
I begin to read the book. We stop when each new character is introduced so they understand all the parts and pieces to this story. This story could be confusing to my ELL students so I will spend the time on discussing each character, setting and event. They will get a kick out of the part where Maizie and the daisy wilt and the swarming bees.
"Poor Maizie. That would be terrible to have a daisy grow on your head. Did the daisy go away? Hmmm, not really. It says it sometimes grows back but she is used to it. What does that mean, that she is used to it? Oh, she likes it? Ok. I guess if you got used to something you might like it."
Today I am going to prompt my students to come up with two sentences. I will write what they dictate and leave it up for them to copy.
"I want to write two sentences about Maize. Let's brainstorm some ideas and I will write the ones we agree on, on the board."
I call on students who have ideas. We discuss the different ideas and put some sentences together.
"So, What do you think? Does this sound good? Is it what happened in the story? Yes, it is what happened in the story. Good job. Look at these wonderful sentences that you came up with. Yay, for you. Now we will go to our seats and write both sentences. Remember that you need to have a detailed drawing that goes along with this sentence. So what will be in your picture? Maizie with a Daisy on her head. How can you show that she likes the daisy? Yes, a great big smile."
I dismiss my students to their seats today by letting all the boys go first. Then I let the girls go to their seats. I have to send them off in shifts or they think it is a free for all. Five year olds can be pretty silly during transitions.
My class paper passers pass out the writing paper to every seat. I walk around and help those that need prompting and encouragement.
This writing activity was fun in that I had my students come up with their own sentences. It was a group effort, but it wasn't a set sentence frame. They were able to put together two grammatically correct sentences that described the main event of the story. I am really proud of them.
After cleaning up the book explosion on the carpet, we all sit on our squares. I call my students up to the front of the class by rows. My students feel more comfortable and willing to orally read their sentences when they are surrounded by their peers. Each student gets the opportunity to read their sentences. We chuckle at some of the drawings of Maizie with her daisy. We cheer and applaud after each reading. They are so proud of themselves at the end of an oral presentation.
At the end of the day we made Daisy Head Mazie hats. We just had to have a class picture.
To make the hats:
1. using die cut machine cut white flowers for as many students that you have.
2. using die cut machine cut yellow centers.
3. cut leaves out of green contruction paper.
4. use green pipe cleaners for the stems
5. cut sentence strips in halve length wise making them thin.
6. students glue yellow centers on white flower
7. glue leaves onto pipe cleaner.
8. staple pipe cleaner to flower on one end and the sentence strip on the other.
9. fit the sentence strip to each child's head and staple together.