I chose this story because it demonstrated a great example of story structure. The kids were really able to see how the story was structured by using the index cards to lay out the event. There are lots of opportunities for inference, as the author did not always clearly tell why the characters were acting as they did. It was great fun to use cause and effect within the story structure because it was so clear in this story.
For more practice on inferring and cause and effect, I used these same techniques and materials in my last lesson, Whose Fault Was It? Infer the Cause and Effect.
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
Encouraging students to make inferences about characters and cause/effect relationships in stories allows them to see how characters change over the course of a story. (RL.2.3) Their reaction to events and challenges can be evaluated when looking at how a cause changes the character. This analysis of characterization is the kind deeper story comprehension that the Common Core Standards encourages students to strive for.
Introduce strategy - teacher models & guided practice
I'm purposefully keeping these inferences short and simple. There are MANY inferences to make about the book, but I want to focus the kids so we have a few short ones for each part and are able to finish the lesson and start the book cover.
Assign the Task
Read and give students time to work
As students detail the beginning, middle and end of the story, they learn that stories have structure. (RL.2.5) It's important that they realize there is the author has a plan as he writes and that the beginning introduces the action and ending concludes the action. The book cover helped them to see that the information about the story (main illustration and title) was on the front and the structure of the story was shown in text boxes on the back cover.
Explain the project
Scaffolding for Students with Diverse Language Abilities
This lesson could be used with students who have a variety of language abilities. Avoid grouping according to ability, but mix up language levels instead. Those with lower language abilities can offer ideas and others can write the sentences. This allows students to learn from each other.