Each day, my class gathers at our classroom rug for our literacy block. All month we have been reading books by Dr. Seuss, and today I am introducing the class to the book, Horton Hears a Who. We will be looking for interrogative sentences that include who, what and where.
Kindergarten students should know that questions begin with the 5 W and 1 H words (who, what, when, where, why, and how). Today I will only focus on three of them: who, what and where. They will demonstrate this knowledge during class discussions, while reading big books, when working in small groups, when participating in discussions following read alouds, and so forth. Kindergarten students will begin to recognize these words in print and come to understand that questions in print end with a question mark.
Dr. Seuss wrote a story about an elephant named Horton. Horton found a world floating on a small speck of dust. Imagine if you had found a small speck of dust floating by.
Imagine that there was a small world with cities, towns, etc. on this small speck of dust. What would this world be like? Who would live in this world and what are their names? Where would this world come from?
As we will to this story, think about the questions of who, what and where. When we learn about the who, what and where, we can better understand what the author was trying to tell us in his story. Understanding these things helps us to comprehend. I will write those key words on the board and afterwards we will fill in the chart to answer those questions.
Let's listen to this story of Horton Hears a Who.
Although the children have had some explanation of what who, what and where mean in a story, it is a good idea to reteach these concepts.
Whenever you read a story, the characters' names answer the question,"Who is in the story?" Thinking about the story that I just read, who are some of the characters in our story. Besides the fact that the people of Whoville are the Whos, the names of the other characters in the story also answer the question, who? Tell me some names from the story that I can add to our WHO list.
The question, "What?" means "What happened to the characters in the story?" Who can remember somethings that happened to Horton or the Whos. I will add these things to our WHAT list.
The question, "Where?" means "Where did the story take place?" Does anyone remember what we call the "where" part of the story? When we say where did the story take place, we are talking about the setting. Where did this story take place? I will write your ideas on the list as well.
Now that we have all this information on the board, we can use this to retell the story. Use the statements made by the students to create true sentences from the story. For example: Horton (who?) found the Who's dust speck on a clover (what?)in the forest (where?)
The assessment piece is quite simple, is the child able to sort the pictures into the categories of who, what and where, and explain to me why they made the choices they did. It is important to take note of anyone who is unable to do this task, and work with a small group of children to reteach this concept. This is a great page to do if you have another adult in the room with you. I like to float from table to table to listen to the students' thoughts on their work, but there are usually lots of questions, and I get interrupted. If another adult is in the room, you can both work around the room and ask about the children's choices.
I have another activity to go along with this story. It is a sorting activity. I would like you to sort pictures from the story into three categories: who, what, and where. This is just like what we did on the board, but this time we will use pictures. First, you will do your most important job--write your name on the paper. Secondly, you will need to cut out all of the pictures. Once these are cut out, you can sort them onto your paper, but do not glue until you have raised your hand and I have looked at your work. This way we can talk about your choices and decide if we want to leave them this way.