Today's lesson will be connected to the CCSS for engaging my students in a discussion about comparison and contrasting two characters in the story. We will end with an informational writing piece about the two characters. It is important that my students understand the meaning of comparing and contrasting and be able to identify traits/characteristics of both terms. Future grades depend on the students being proficient in this skill.
My students are seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"We have read several stories about bears. We read the Bear Went Over the Mountain and Going on a Bear Hunt. I thought it would be fun to read another book about a bear."
I show them the cover of the book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?.
"What kind of bear is this bear on the cover? You are right. It is a polar bear. Where do polar bears live? They love living where it is cold. You are right again. Who knows where this particular bear lives? Yes in a zoo. Would you like to see a video of a polar bear? OK."
I will show them this quick video about a polar bear. Showing a video about a real polar bear builds or re-enforces back ground knowledge which will help connect any new information and help with comprehension.
This video is of a baby polar bear seeing snow for the first time. He was born in a zoo.
"What did you think about the baby polar bear? He was so cute. He was born in a zoo and had never seen snow before. I am not sure he liked it. Let's see a video of a wild polar bear. He is huge and kinda scary."
This is a funny video of an adult polar bear being filmed, he discovers the camera and plays with it. You can see great close up video of the polar bear.
"What did you think of the big polar bear? He was big. He lived out in the wild not in a zoo. He really wanted to take that camera apart. I would like to read this story to you. Are you ready?"
While I read the story the students will make the noise of the animal. We will also discuss if they are big or little. I want to discuss each animals characteristics for the comparing and contrasting we will do after the reading. Having my students participate during the story keeps their interest and helps with vocabulary and comprehension.
Everyone is seated and ready for the story.
"As I read the story I want you to help me make the sounds of the animals. We will also identify each animals characteristics."
I begin to read. I do stop at each animal for sounds and discussion.
"At the end we see all the children acting like the animals, just like you."
I like to use the Double Bubble when comparing and contrasting things. I make one bubble map with all of one character's traits and another bubble map with the other character's traits and then I put the traits that they have similar in the middle. Doing the comparing and contrasting this way is so visual and easy for my students to understand.
We took a vote and they voted to compare the Polar Bear and the LIon. I begin by making a lion bubble map. I choose name sticks for students to give me traits about the Lion. Then I make a bubble map about the polar bear. I choose name sticks for students to give me traits about the Polar Bear. Last we decide what traits they both have. These bubbles will go in the middle. I choose name sticks for students to give me traits about the both characters. When we have finished, we review the similarities and differences. This is the finished double bubble map. We review what is contrasting and what is similar.
"Here we have all the characteristics of the lion and here are all the characteristics of the Panda Bear. In the center we have the characteristics that are similar with both animals. I will now model the writing paper. The first sentence starter is;
The polar bear is ____________.
The lion is _______________.
They both have __________.
You will need to choose from this bubble map for the polar bear. You will choose from this bubble map for the lion. And you will choose from the center of the double bubble map for the last sentence about both animals."
I send my students one row at a time to go to their tables and I have my paper passers pass out writing papers to every seat. I have a job chart that gives all my students the opportunity to help in the class. I find the jobs help with independence, self confidence and helps build a sense of community within my classroom. I always have to remind the paper passers to put a paper at every chair, not to run around and give only to their best friends.
I walk around an offer my help with phonetic spelling and walking back up to the double bubble map to find an answer. I collect all the papers as they finish.
I love this part of my lesson. I enjoy seeing how much my students grow in their abilities of writing and reading. This is a formative assessment for my students and for me. When they read their writing I will be able to tell if they comprehend the content and the assignment. If they struggle with this part, I know that I need to change my instruction.
I ask my students to sit on the carpet and be ready to listen to the reading. I call one row of students at a time to come up to the front of the class. I found my ELL students feel more confident when they stand up to read with their friends. They do read independently. Sometimes a friend helps them with their reading if they have trouble. We cheer and applaud each oral presentation.
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help reenforce the vocabulary, story comprehension and the love of listening to a story. I show videos at the end of the day when chairs are stacked, backpacks are on we are waiting for dismissal. Here is Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do You Hear? video.