In today's lesson I will engage my students in a discussion where we will compare and contrast two characters from the story. We will then write sentences about the characters. The book I am going to read is Franklin In the Dark. Franklin is afraid of being in his dark little shell. I will begin my lesson with a conversation about being afraid of the dark.
I begin with my students seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"Last night I had my grandchildren over to watch a movie. I turned off the lights so we could cuddle on the couch and eat popcorn while we watched the movie. One of my granddaughters began to cry. She said she was afraid of the dark. I did not know she was afraid of the dark. So I went and turned on the bathroom light. It was still dark enough to enjoy the movie but she could see that it was just us in the room. What do you think she was afraid of in the dark? Are you afraid of anything? Hmmmm, you know, I am afraid of being up high. I guess we are all afraid of something. And that is what our book is about. Being afraid of something."
I will engage my students in conversations while reading the book. We will talk about each animal and what they are afraid of. I am hoping to connect the knowledge they have about what it feels like to be afraid to how all the animals feel.
"This book is titled Franklin in the dark. So right away we know by the title that Franklin is afraid of what? The dark. I will read the story and we will find out what he does about being afraid."
I read the book and I stop at each animal so we can talk about the event in progress. I draw a bubble map on the board and will make a bubble with a picture of what the animal is afraid of. We will then vote on which two animals we will compare and contrast.
"I will start a bubble map for all the animals that are in the story."
When I finish the story we review the bubble map with all the animals on it.
Before I begin drawing the double bubble map, I need my students to vote on which two animals they want to compare and contrast. The take a vote and Franklin and the Polar bear win. We will do a double bubble map to compare and contrast the two characters. I need to review what comparing and contrasting is.
"Everyone put your hands together. Say compare, Compare. Compare means to see what is similar. Say that with me. Compare means to see what is similar. Now put your hands out and say contrast. Contrast. Contrast means to see what is different. Say that with me, Contrast means to see what is different. We are going to first do separate bubble maps for the Franklin and the Polar bear which is contrasting. Then will will do the middle bubbles which is the comparing part. I will need you to go knee to knee and eye to eye with your partner. Get ready to talk to each other about Franklin Ok, talk to your partner, tell them everything you know about the Polar bear."
I listen in to the conversations and redirect those that are off task. I ask them to stop and look at me. I draw the first bubble and draw name sticks to choose students to give me characteristics of Franklin.
"Naomi, what is one thing you and your partner know about Franklin? He is a turtle, Good, I will write that down, draw a circle around it and draw a line connecting to Franklin's bubble "
I continue drawing sticks until we have filled the bubble map with all that we know about Franklin We then move on to the bubble map of the Polar Bear.
"Partners, it is time to talk to each other and tell your partner everything you know about the Polar Bear."
I walk around and listen as they name all the things that they know. I ask them to stop and look at me. I draw a bubble and write Polar bear in the center. I will continue to draw name sticks for help with naming all that we know about the polar bear.
"Termina, what did you and you partner say about the polar bear? That he is big? That is very good. I will write that down, draw a circle around it and then draw a line from that bubble to the polar bear bubble."
I continue calling on students until we have all the bubbles filled with what we know about the polar bear. Now I will move on to the center bubbles.
"Look at all we know about Franklin. Look over here at what we know about the polar bear. These things are what is different. Now let's make bubble in the middle of the two bubble maps. What are these bubbles for? These bubbles are what is the same about Franklin and the polar bear. Would you tell your partner everything you know that are the same about Franklin and the polar bear."
I will use my name sticks again to choose students to help me name all the similar things between Franklin and the polar bear. I stop them and ask them to look at me.
" Irvin, what did you and your partner say was the same about these two things? They are both animals? That is right. I will write the word animals down, draw a circle around it and then draw a line from that bubble to both Franklin's bubble and the polar bear's bubble. Why do I draw a line to Franklin's bubble and the polar bear's bubble? That's right, because it is for both of them. If the word animal is for both of them, then I need to erase the bubbles on both Franklin's and the polar bear's bubbles."
I continue until all students have participated and the bubbles are filled.
"Here is our finished double bubble map Let's review what is contrasting and what is comparing."
I model the writing paper under the document camera.
"I made a writing paper for you with sentence frames already for you to fill out. I want you to help me make up the sentences. The first sentence is about Franklin. We have to look at Franklin's bubble map and choose what to write on the line. The sentence starter says; Franklin is _________. The next sentence is about the polar bear. We have to look at the polar bear bubble map to choose what to write on the line. The sentence starter says; The polar bear is ______. The last sentence is about both Franklin and the polar bear. We have to choose our answer from the middle bubbles. The sentence says; Both are ____________. Talk to your partner about what we could say about both Franklin and the polar bear."
My students talk to their partners and they tell me what to write. I am just acting as a facilitator, helping them come up with their own sentences. After I write their sentences we read the sentences.
"Can I turn off the camera? Can you write the sentences all by yourself or do I need to keep them on? OK, I will turn it off. I will help you if you forget what you want to say. You can even change your sentences as long as you write about Franklin on the first sentence, the polar bear on the second sentence and both of them on the third sentence."
I walk around and help sounding out the words and remind them of their spaces. As they finish, I collect the papers and have them sit quietly on the carpet to read library books.
This has been a long lesson. It was very information rich. The CCSS are very specific in engaging students in discussions about the details in a text. I think we accomplished that today. The wrap up of a writing lesson is alway fun for me. I love to see the end result of all the prep work we just put into the writing process. I love to see what the students are thinking. They are becoming more proficient in their writing and their illustrations. Their comprehension about the process is awesome.
We clean up the book mess and sit criss cross applesauce on the carpet. I call each row up one at a time to read their papers. I find that my students are more at ease reading their writing out loud when they are surrounds by their friends. Each student has the opportunity to read their paper and show off their writing. We cheer and applaud after each reading.