In reading Charlotte's Web, I want to give my students the opportunity to read informational text about the topic of farm life, too. Today, my students will research a farm animal. Part of what makes Charlotte's Web a complex text is the integration of the fiction and non-fiction elements. For students to be savvy about what is real and not real in text, then, they need to have content knowledge about many things.
First, students will brainstorm about farm animals.
Then, each student will read an informational text, *highlight 7-10 facts about the animal, and create a bubble map.
Afterwards, students will write a descriptive paragraph about the animal.
Finally, students will share their paragraphs.
On the rug:
I shared the objective: I can ask and answer questions about farm animals. Then, I will ask students to share what they know about farm animals, and I will transcribe their answers on a circle map. Afterwards, I will show students how they need to proceed to research their animals. I will pass out informational sheet.
*For this task, I found an excellent source of informational text appropriate for this age range.
For this lesson, I pre-selected the farm animal students will be researching. One of the skills my ELL students need much practice is with descriptive language. So today, they are highlighting 7-10 descriptive facts about the animal as they read their informational text.
They will spend 10 minutes reading and highlighting interesting facts about their animal. Once they are done with the highlighting, they will move on to creating a bubble map. The bubble map is a graphic organizer to help them organize the information they are gathering. It is important to separate the reading and the creation of the bubble map. This helps not to overwhelm them.
Here is a compilation of their work:
Now, students will write an explanatory paragraph. My students have written similar explanatory paragraphs when writing about rocks and farm products to help them be successful with this task.
Before the students write their paragraph, though, I will review what students need to include in their paragraphs.
In addition, I will remind students of the chart they can reference for introductory sentences.
As students work, I will walk around and give assistance where needed.
Here are samples of their work:
Now students will have an opportunity to share their paragraphs. I will gather students on the rug. During the writing time, I made sure to pick students who accomplished the task (well-structured paragraph with lots of descriptive facts) to share. Three to four students will share.
After each share, students will give the speaker feedback. The feedback consists of two stars and a wish. The two stars are about what the students liked. The wish is about what they like the writer to work on/improve. I ask students to be very specific with their comments and include why they liked what they liked.