Common Core Connection:
With all the changes that go along with transitioning to Common Core, I can understand some of the anxieties some teachers may be experiencing. When I first looked at the Common Core standards, I thought: ‘No way would a teacher be able to teach all this, let alone students learn it all’. After working with the standards, getting some ‘non-professional growth’ pointers, and ideas from my BetterLesson coach and team members, I understand that the standards are not meant to be taught in a single lesson, but rather to be broken down over a sequence of lessons that give students many opportunities to explore and practice the skills they will need to get them on a path towards the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards. I am learning to begin a unit by looking at how the grade level standard relates to the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards and determining what my students need to be able to do to meet these standards. From there I try to break down the grade level standard and add activities that will give my students an opportunity to work with a partner or small group.
While trying to stay within the realms of the district pacing guide, I am focusing today's lesson on helping students understand how the characters, events, and settings are all related in a story (RL.1.3).
In today’s lesson my students will begin by discussing major events in the story, Lost!, by David McPhail and how the characters reacted or responded to the events. After table partner reading the story they will have the opportunity to switch partners to work together on the activity sheet that has them looking at a major event in the beginning, middle, and end of the story and describe how the characters reacted to the events.
We began this lesson by reviewing the story Lost!, by David McPhail, which we have read several times leading up to this lesson. To do this I had my students think about the story and used the magic cup to select students to tell the class who the characters are in this story, describe what the problem was, and summarize what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. As the selected students responded the rest of the class showed me they agreed or disagreed by showing me a thumb up or thumb down.
Once we finished reviewing the story, I reminded my students this past week we looked at the characters, the setting, and the events in this story as well as in It’s the Bear! by Jez Alborough. In today’s lesson, I told them, I wanted them to think about one event that happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story and how the character responded or reacted to that event.
Once my students were settled in their desks I modeled what a major event was by using the very first picture in the story, Lost!. I explained that my students could use the pictures as well as the words to describe an event. I had my students look closely at the first picture and tell me what they noticed. It did not take long for them to notice the truck was broken down and the bear looked like he was getting ready to sneak in it. At that point I wrote on the Promethean board: The truck broke down, and the bear sneaked into the truck. As I wrote this I explained the event is what happened: the truck broke; the character's (the bear's) reaction was to sneak into the truck.
To check their understanding, I directed my little ones to read the first page and talk with their table partner what event took place next and explain what the character's reaction was. When they were finished I called on a couple of student pairs to share with the class what they talked about. Some answers I was looking for included the event was the boy heard someone crying and his response was to tell the bear not to be afraid. I also accepted: the bear crying was the event and the boy finding him was how the boy responded.
From there I restated that after they partner read they were to think about one event in the beginning, middle, and end of the story and how did the character respond to that event.
Once my students finished partner reading I directed them to stand up and bring their pencil with them. They were then to find a partner they wanted to work with and sit at the desk of the partner’s desk they were closest to.
I then displayed the Major Story Events and Character Response Activity Sheet on the Promethean board and passed out a copy to each student. I modeled how to fill it in using the example from the first page. I also instructed my students to talk about which events they were going to include on their activity sheets before they began filling them out.
As my students worked I circled around the room to answer questions and to make sure they were on task.
When nearly all students were finished I stopped the class and used the magic cup to have a couple of student pairs share their work with the class.
At this point we moved into our differentiated reading rotations. One of the activities is journal writing. In today’s journal my students were to write about the events they chose from the beginning, middle, and end of the story and how the character responded.
The prompt I put on the board was: Describe in detail an event from the story and what the character did?
My students earned a sticker when they answered this question: What would have happened in the story if the event (you just shared with me from your journal) did not happen?