This is the third in the series of inference lessons where I compare this fable. The other 2 lessons include Ouch.. There's a Pea Under My Mattress and Ouch There's a Pea Under My Saddle. These lessons all address how to infer with scaffolding skills of using an inference starter and leading toward more independence in this lesson. We are looking at 3 versions of this fable from different cultural standpoints. Our goal is to use inferencing, comparing and contrasting these versions by looking at the author's viewpoint and culture in which the story was written. I want the students to see how different countries and authors in different time periods looked at this classic theme and presented the characters in different ways. (RL.2.9) Here's a picture all the projects from this lesson, plus the ones from the other lessons.
I chose this book because it's a twist on this classic story. The themes and characters repeat throughout literature and my students need to know the classics and how those plot lines and ideas are part of literature's rich history. Many of my kids knew the traditional version of this story, but loved this comparison. My goal here is inferring - I want the kids to make conclusions about what they see and read and support their inferences.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
As we read this story, the kids ultimately are comparing this fable to the others we've read. They love to share how are similar and different. The Common Core Standards emphasize this study of classic literature to help kids see perspective and author's purpose. By comparing/contrasting stories, students can really see how culture, perspective, purpose and vocabulary can take a similar theme and reveal it in different story lines.
Read and guide the ideas
I didn't pre-assign pages for the kids to make inferences about, so some of my kids had more than others. It's hard to have a whole lesson scripted like that (even for me if I taught it before-I don't remember where I stopped and what I said), so make it natural. Pause after each page and see who wants to make inferences. Give me prompts as needed, but don't require it.
From the aspect of 'point of view', there are also lots of opportunities, so don't force the idea. Let the kids infer naturally and add some ideas for point of view as they see fit. If some kids have fewer ideas written on the worksheet, but they are good ideas based on their inferences, then they have accomplished the goal for the lesson. Quality not quantity!
Reflect and Go Beyond the Text
Give students time to work
Take a moment and Compare the Versions
As we put up the new project next to the projects from the last 2 lessons, the kids took some time to connect and compare. We looked at how the themes differed, which story they liked the best and what they thought about reading 3 versions. It was great to have the 3 posters - the kids could really see how the common story idea (a pea causing a problem) ran through the 3 stories, but that the stories were really different.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Since there is a lot of support in this lesson, I would just monitor how the students with language challenges are doing. Perhaps pair them up with another student so they can spell words and get ideas from another.
Students with greater language should be able to make deeper inferences. Instead of just saying 'this is the princess because she has the same face', challenge them to use higher level vocabulary and say 'The visitor looks similar to the girl in the garden'.