Today's lesson is aligned to the common core standards of engaging my students in a discussion about the story details. We will use a first/next/then/last template to retell the story. It is through class discussions that my students learn how to express their thoughts and ideas about the story. My students are at different levels of English Proficiency, giving them the opportunity to talk out loud is important. I use thinking maps to help with the story retell. Story retells are an important skill for future grades when they have to take standardized tests or write after reading a more difficult text. In kindergarten I may be laying the foundation for more difficult tasks, but today we will have fun with the standards I chose.
"This week we have been reading stories written by Dr. Seuss. This has been a fun week of reading and writing. Today we will read one of his most famous book's, The Cat in the Hat. I love to read Dr. Seuss's books because they rhyme and flow in a bouncy rhythm. Do you remember what rhyming words do? They sound the same at the end. Yes, we will look for these words as we read the book."
I begin reading and stop to ask comprehension questions. I want to make sure my ELL students understand the crazy antics of the Cat in the Hat. It is important that I clarify any misconceptions as we continue to read so they can give an accurate story retell.
"Look, they are sitting in the window with nothing to do. Do you ever do that? What do you do when it rains? "
I gather some answers and return to reading.
"Ohh, noo. The Cat in the Hat came into their house. Would you let a Cat in the Hat into your house? Would your mother like it? OOOOOO, my mother never let strangers into our house when she wasn't their. Is their mother at home? Hmmm, I wonder what she will say."
I continue to read and ask questions. I enjoy their answers and thoughts.
"Now that we have read the story, let's sequence the story using the First, Next, Then and Last the Hat template. We will use this big template as a whole class, you can help me. Can you turn to your partner and tell your partner what happened first in the story?"
I use my name sticks to chose a student to give me the answer to what happened first. I draw their answer and write the sentence.
"Turn again to your partners and tell them what happened next."
I use my name sticks to chose a student to give me the answer to what happened next. I draw their answer and write the sentence.
We go through this process until all the pictures are drawn and the sentences are written to retell the story.
"Now let's go to our tables and draw pictures and sentences on the templates. You can color your pictures when you are finished writing your sentences."
I dismiss my students by letting the girls walk on their tip toes quietly to their tables. Then I ask the boys to tip toe quietly to their tables. I ask my class paper passers to pass out the last writing papers to every seat. I walk around and give prompting and support to those who need it.
When finished my students sit quietly on the carpet to read library books.
When all my students are finished with their writing we clean up the books and sit on the carpet. This is my favorite part of my lessons. I love to see how they draw their pictures and what words they write. I call my students up to the front of the class for their oral presentations as a group. I find my students are more willing to read out loud if they are surrounded by their peers. They are much braver in a group. Each student has the opportunity to rad their sentences. We applaud and cheer after each reading.
For Dr. Seuss's birthday we did many fun activities besides writing. Celebrating on this day re-enforces the love of reading. Our school celebrated by pairing the fourth grade with the kindergardeners in the hall way for Buddy Reading.
After we wrote about the book we did many crafts.
Color/cut/glue pages for stick puppets = I sometimes copy the bodies
onto red card stock or construction paper.
color/cut/glue pages for puppet
color/cut/glue pages for the hat - copy onto white card stock. Glue onto sentence strip cut in half length wise and staple to fit student's head.
color/cut/glue pages for Cat face - can be used for hat
And then watched the video. Here is the Cat and the Hat.