How Does The Author Tell the Story Day 2 of 3

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to analyze the structure of the story.

Big Idea

Authors write about what interests them. For Eric Carle nature is a powerful source of inspiration.


5 minutes

Summary and Context:

Today we continue with the second part of the second read of the The Tiny Seed. In this second read we continue to analyze the author’s purpose. I made the decision to happen over three lessons to meet the needs of my classroom. My students benefit from chunking, from receiving information in parts. This aids their comprehension and this retention of the material. Also, this helps me build their stamina for tackling cognitively demanding tasks. As we read, I will be asking them to think about the way in the which the author has written the story and his attitude towards the tiny seed. So I am asking them to infer based on the text in front of them. I will guide their analysis by referring them to specific lines in the text with text dependent questions. 

One key question I will be having the students think about as they answer the text dependent questions: Where in the text do you find support for your answer?

I will let them know that one way they can answer is by saying, "The text says..."

Once we are done with the meaty part of the lesson, I want to give my students another opportunity to think about what the author has told us so far in the story and how he feels about the tiny seed during Socratic Seminar.

Then, students will have an opportunity to integrate their thinking in writing.

Lesson Opening:

I start with sharing the student friendly objective: "I can ask and answer questions to analyze how a story is told."

Then, I ask them, "What did we learn about the tiny seed?" After a few moment of wait time, I ask them to turn to their rug partner and share with each other. Once they are done, I ask for a few volunteers to share with the class. 

Rereading with Text Dependent Questions

30 minutes

Today, we read The Tiny Seed from pages 184 to 186. To help them answer the question, "How has the author let you know something has changed?" I am following up with, "Where in the story do you find support for your answer?" This helps them to dig deeper into the text.

Additionally, I continue to help them notice the change of season by going back to the blank piece of paper to draw and write words about Spring. Here are more examples:

In helping students think about the meaning of words, I keep asking, "Does the author give us clear clues to figure out what the word, '___,' means?" This asks students to stop and really think whether they are understanding a word given the evidence that is being provided because students need to understand what options they have to figure the meaning of word. Today, we move on to the word "gently."

How we frame a question helps students become aware of the author's style. By addressing the author directly, the author becomes a tangible source rather than some mysterious entity. I help them understand that good readers critique the way in which author tell their stories and whether the authors are being clear about the message they are trying to tell us. This aids their comprehension and confidence as readers.

I am attaching the text dependent questions. Feel free to use them how you see fit for your students.

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

I have found that a challenge for second grade students is knowing how to enter a discussion/conversation and how to exit it. My students need linguistic sentence frames to support in this process. And so, in getting them to participate in Socratic Seminar, I have provided them with sentence frames to support their speaking and listening skills. I list them on the Handing-Off Chart These sentences frames include but are not limited to:

  • "I think...because..."
  • "I believe...because..."
  • "I agree with...because..."
  • "I disagree with...because..."

It is my goal for my students to feel very confident about knowing how to use these frames in their discussions by the end of second grade.

Also, in practicing these stems within the context of the Socratic Seminar, my students understand that they need to refer back to the book for evidence in their sharing.

Before we proceed with the discussion, I take the time to ask why we meet for Socratic Seminar and the rules for participation. I keep this short and I ask them for the reasons. In this way, I am helping them internalize the process and take ownership of it too. The questions for today's conversation are:

  1. What Has Happened So Far?
  2. What is the most important thing in this part of the story?
  3. How does the author feel about the tiny seed?

I am attaching a document that details in depth the process of how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom if you would like to read further.

Independent Writing

15 minutes

An integral part in my classroom includes having students response to the texts we are reading in writing. My students need practice with writing paragraphs, with integrating the vocabulary words in their writing, with writing different types of sentences and with different types of writing.

Today, they are taking a few moments to think about what has happened so far in the story and then write about it. As they write they need to refer back to story. This is the first year with the implementation of the CCSS for my students, so the more practice they get about displaying evidence in their writing, the better.

In their writing, I get to see what they are understanding and how their writing is progressing. I call this type of writing a "quick write." It's a writing piece we won't probably go back and review/revise, but quick writes are a great informal assessment. I get a snapshot of what the individual needs to improve, and it allows me to take note of any writing patterns that show up for the whole class. This informs the type of mini-lessons I create for writer's workshop.

Here are some examples of their writing: