The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Day 2 of 8: Chapters 4-6

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SWBAT explain how a novel builds from chapter to chapter, telling how parts of the story relate to the whole novel. SWBAT answer questions after reading referring to the text, and making inferences to support their choices. SWBAT write a summary including the most important events, and characters after listening to a series of chapters.

Big Idea

The journey continues! The students learn and practice skills about understanding how a novel builds, summary writing, and comprehension questions as they read chapters 4-6 in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Welcome to My Lesson

Thank you for visiting my lesson!  This lesson is part of a series of eight lessons my class completed while reading the novel The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  Our class reads one extended text, or chapter book, during our shared reading time in each of our six English-Language Arts units.  Our district does this to follow the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Model Content Frameworks, which suggests an extended text for each of the four modules within a school year.  Completing this during our shared reading block allows all students, regardless of reading ability, to experience grade level text, practice with the standards, and an overall literary experience as a classroom community.

This book was chosen because it meets the rigor of the Common Core State Standards for third grade at the upper level of our recommended Lexile band, at 700Lexile level.  It also is a good mentor text to teach the standards I was asked to teach this particular week within my grade level curriculum RL3.5, and SL3.2, although I've snuck a few more in there, too!  

My kids really enjoyed this novel, and many of my higher readers went on to enjoy other novels by Kate DiCamillo, like The Tale of DespereauxBecause of Winn DixieFlora & Ulysses, and The Magician's Elephant.  Other readers enjoyed her Mercy Watson chapter books.  Our shared reading texts often help students find their next book to read for their independent reading time, and reading at home.

I hope you and your class enjoy Edward's journey as much as we did!  Bon voyage!


Lesson: Understanding How a Story Builds

5 minutes

We begin our shared reading lesson at the back carpet area of our classroom under our classroom tree.  We often sit here for read-aloud stories, mini-lessons, and other special parts of our day.  

Lesson:  Throughout the week, I'm delivering lessons to help students understand how a novel builds from one chapter to the next.  I build upon yesterdays lesson, by reviewing the graphic organizer, and having students follow the map of how a story builds by moving their hand up a hill while saying the different parts.  We then discuss where we left off in our novel yesterday.  The students identify that we are at the beginning of the novel, and at the start of the map, where the author introduces characters and the setting.  (See Resource File:  Understanding How a Story Builds Graphic Organizer)

We talk about how important it is for authors to introduce characters and setting, especially in a longer novel, like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  I explain that as we continue in the story, events and rising action will happen.  It's at this time that Kate DiCamillo's will develop her characters and we'll understand more about Edward's miraculous journey. 

Keeping our standards front and center, I remind students that we're using this graphic organizer, and our RL3.5 poster, to understand the structure of a novel and how it builds from chapter to chapter.  (See Resource File: Text Structure Poster CCSS RL3.5)

Audio Recording Chapters 4-6

20 minutes

Each day, we are listening to an audio recording of the story.  The recording was purchased by my school librarian, and is read by Judith Ivey.  We are tying the recording in with daily summary writing, to work on standard SL3.2, which asks the students to identify the main ideas and supporting details of a text that's read aloud or presented in diverse media and formats.

Prepare to Listen:  I pass out copies of the novel to each student.  The students are eager to hear what happens to our friend Edward today.  I give them a minute to browse the pictures and have a short pair-and-share with their neighbors about thoughts and predictions, similar to yesterday.  We review the summary that we wrote yesterday to remind us of the most important things we read yesterday. 

Audio Recording:  Today, we'll listen to chapters 4, 5, and 6.  I remind students of what my expectations are for following along while listening to an audio recording.  I tell students that they should follow along as best as they can, and that I will be holding my copy of the book up, holding my finger where the audio recording is reading.  If they get lost all they have to do is look up at me, and I'll be pointing to the location of the audio recording.  I ask the students to make sure they are sitting on their bottoms, so we can start.  We listen to the audio recording.  I stop the recording after each chapter, and ask the students to help me summarize the most important information and events of each chapter. I find it helpful to mix this up, by sometimes calling on individual students, and other times having them pair and share the main events of a chapter.  We'll be using this information later during our summary writing lesson.

We head back to our desks for today's lesson on summary writing after chapter 6 is finished.

Lesson: Summary Writing

10 minutes

I ask my students to journey back to their desks to complete our "Day Two" work in our Edward Tulane packets.  (See Resource File:   The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Packet)

Summarizing Lesson:  My students have some experience with summary writing, but still need support to accomplish this on their own.  I've created a "Summary Writing Tips" page and rubric that I read through and display for students to see.  I have my class help me by giving me the most important things we encountered in chapters 4-6.  We refer back to our "Tips" page to make sure we are including the important ingredients to a great summary.  I make a bulleted list on the board, that will serve as support to write today's summaries.  Our list looks like this:

  • Pellegrina tells a story of a selfish princess - mostly to Edward
  • Pellegrina says she's disappointed in Edward
  • Abilene, Edward, family voyage on Queen Mary
  • Edward thrown overboard

Throughout the eight day study of this novel, you'll notice that I will slowly release responsibility to the students, but for now, I help guide the conversation and list the most important things on the board for us to write our summary together.  We take our bulleted list, and write the following summary together:

Pellegrina tells a story about a selfish princess to Abilene and Edward.  Pellegrina says she is disappointed in Edward.  Abilene and her family went on a voyage on the Queen Mary.  Edward was thrown overboard and sank into the ocean.

After we write our summary, we refer to the rubric on the "Summary Writing Tips" page displayed on our SMART Board to see how we score.  The students are happy to give themselves a "4", or exemplary for today.  (See Resource File:  Summary Writing Tips)

Independent Practice: Day Two Work

10 minutes

Questions:  I ask my students to reread through their summaries and answer the questions included with today's work.  Throughout the week, there are some multiple choice, short answer, and Part A and Part B questions.  I have my students complete these on their own, for comprehension practice.  If your students don't have experience with Part A and B questions, you'll want to teach them about answering these.  I've varied the kinds of questions to practice character traits, vocabulary, and other types of skills.  (See Resource File:  Day 2)

Daily Pair & Share:  Each day in this series of lessons, the students complete a short pair-share with their neighbors after listening to the story.  These are listed at the bottom of the page for each day.  Today's pair and share topic is:  "Edward felt his first emotion.  How is this important to the story?".  Students turn and share for about one minute.  If I ever feel students need a change, or to mix up partners, I'll ask students to find a new desk and count down from 10.  I use this time to listen in to student conversations, make sure everyone is participating, and help students convey their ideas.  We try to incorporate our speaking and listening skills as often as we can.  The students learn a lot from one another, and how to actively participate in a conversation about grade level topics.

(See Resource File Included in Section Above:  The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Packet)

Review and Predictions

5 minutes

Review:  Each day, we review at the end of our shared reading time.  I choose a student to read their summary of the day's reading and move Edward along the map on our SMART Notebook file.  (See Resource File:  The Miraculous Journey of Edward Map Notebook File)

*I've included a video of my students reading their summaries.  This video is a compilation of different days while we were reading the story, one summary for each day of reading.  Each day, I chose a different students to read their summaries as a review of what we had read in previous days.  We always ended with a new summary for the day's reading.  (See Resource File:  Edward Tulane Summaries)

Predictions:  We make predictions for tomorrow based on what we've read in the text, and using our inferring skills to guess what may happen in the novel tomorrow.  (See Resource File:  Predictions Poster)