This unit follows the same flow as my Multicultural Cinderella unit because the flow of all every lesson was the perfect pace for my students. The students also did an excellent job with the written work.
When I have students work on the skill of comparing and contrasting, I don't just want them working on the reading comprehension skill that comes in next in our teacher editions. I want this unit to have students compare and contrast two different books. In order to do so, we need to dig really deep into understanding the key ideas and details in each book and then be able to evaluate the two books together based on this foundational work. So, we will spend a couple of days looking in depth at each text and then apply our understanding to comparing/contrasting on Day 3.
Today, we are going to pick apart our story and retell parts of the story describing the characters, settings, and events. As I read the story, I will stop at different points and ask students questions about the story. The students will discuss the questions with a partner, and then we will have a class discussion about what each of the partners thought. As the students are answering my questions, I am expecting them to use evidence from the text in their answers. They really have to be specific by describing exactly what is happening with the characters, settings, and major events in the story.
For this lesson, you will need the book "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" by James Marshall. You also want to download either the Smartboard Goldilocks Compare and Contrast.notebook or Activboard Goldilocks Compare and Contrast.flipchart lesson and the set of questions to ask the students Questions to Ask For Goldilocks Stories.docx so that you don't have to keep flipping back and forth on the Smartboard lesson. One strategy that works well for me is to preview the book before the lesson and think about where I'm going to stop and ask my students questions. I mark those pages with a sticky note. This gives me a visual reminder to remember to stop and ask questions and then let partner groups talk to each other about the book.
I like to have my students work with diverse sets of groups and partners. I partnered my students up using my partner picking cards. Each student gets a card. The students that become partners are the ones that end up with a match. For example, the baseball matches with the baseball mitt. Socks match with shoes. I've included several resources that I've found so you can group your students in different ways as well: PartnerPickingCards.pdf, TheGrouperthefastandeasywaytogroupstudents.pdf, and PickYourColorPartner.pdf.
I partnered students up, and then they sat next to each other on the carpet in front of the Smartboard. Each set of partners decided who was going to be Person 1 and who was going to be Person 2. This took about 20 seconds. I stated the objective and overview. I said, "Today we are going to read a Goldilocks story. We are going to answer questions about the characters, the setting, and the major events in the story. We will record everything we talk about on a circle map. By the end of today's lesson we should understand the story very well."
I started to read the story. After I read page 2, I stopped and said, "I want you to talk about this question: How did Goldilocks happen upon the bear's house in the first place. Person 1 you get to talk while Person 2 listens. Remember, you need to tell your partner how you know. Use evidence from the text to support your answer." After partners discussed I continued reading. I stopped at page 4. I said, "Here is my next question. Where is the bear's home located? Person 2, you get to be the speaker this time, and Person 1 you are listening to your partner. Remember, you need to use evidence from the text to support your answer."
We continued on in this manner, which partners taking turns being the speaker and listener. The remaining questions were:
I have a video here Discussing Goldilocks and the Three Bears With Partners.mp4 of my student's talking to their partners. Discussing the story in this way really helps your students to understand the story and retain the information better. This video may give you an idea of what this might look like in your classroom.
Once we were done reading and discussing the story, it was time to record our information on the circle map on the Smartboard lesson. I know this part of the lesson seems redundant because we just finished answering these questions, but I am trying to build my students' working memory. Plus, students at this age benefit from repetition along with strategies, such as circle maps, for organizing their thinking. By discussing these same questions again, it gives my students an opportunity to discuss the key details in the story again and really synthesize their understanding so that, later, they can apply their deep understanding of the key details to their analysis of how this book is the same/different from the next version of the story we will read. Discussion also benefits students who need help with oral language development and speaking/listening skills.
I looked at my questions and asked them one at a time. You will also notice that on this paper I said which color to record the answers in on the circle map. Color coding is very important when students need to locate information. If you record an answer in green on the circle map today, you will record that same answer in the green bubble of the double bubble map on the Day 3 lesson. Students will begin to correlate where to put the information based on color.
I asked the students the question, we would have a class discussion and then I would record the answers in the corresponding color on the circle map. Here are the questions I asked:
Since my students were already on the floor and near their partners, I decided to do a pair share as a closure. I said, "I want you to talk to your partners and summarize today's lesson. I want you to tell your partner the most important details you learned about the story or characters in the story. Person 1 will summarize first. Then Person 2 can summarize." I thought this would be a great way to give my students some practice summarizing. Summarizing is a hard skill for students, so the more informal practice I give them in a setting like this, it will help them later when we do some formal summarizing lessons later.