My lesson today will be addressing the CCSS of engaging students in discussions about story details. We will identify and act out all the verbs, the action words in the story. We will then write about one of the animals in the story.
"The other day you did the "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" song in PE. You looked like you were having fun. Did you know that animals can do dances. They each have their own action. What is an action word? A verb, that's right. We are all doing action words all the time. I think we need to read this book and see what kind of actions these animals do."
"This is a fun book titled, From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. I really like his stories and pictures. Listen carefully for the action for each animal."
I will read the book only stopping to explain some of the more uncommon animals that they may have never seen such as the flamingo and the peacock.
"We have read the story. Those animals are crazy! I am going to read it a second time and I want you to act out the verbs, the actions that the animals are doing. Before we act out the verbs we need to Ready?"
I read it again and encourage all my students to move like the animals.
I am going to engage my students in further discussion about the animals and the verbs by drawing a bubble map. We then will compose sentences for each animal using the accompanying verb.
"That was so much fun acting out the verbs for each animal. I will make a bubble map and put the title of the book in the center, From Head to Toe. I want you to turn to your partner, go knee to knee, eye to eye, using whisper voices. I want you to tell your partner the action word for the Penguin."
I walk around and listen for conversations that are on task and redirect those that are not.
"Put your hand on your head when you have told your partner what action the Penguin did. Good, I will choose a name stick and have someone tell me the answer. James, what action did the penguin do? Turn his head? Yes, everyone turn your head. I will write Penguin/turn his head and draw a bubble around it and then draw a line from this little bubble to the big bubble. Let's do the other animals. Turn to your partner and tell then what action the giraffe did."
I continue the partner sharing until all the animals and the action words are written on the board.
"Look at all the action words we now know and can do. How fun. For today's writing i want you to choose one of the animals and write a sentence. The sentence frame you will use is: I can _____. "
I model the sentence writing under the document camera so that the writing is large enough for all the students to see.
"So if you wanted to write about the penguin you would write, I can turn my head. What could you say about the gorilla? I can thump my chest. If your sentence is about a seal, what should be in your picture? A seal, that's right."
I dismiss my students one row at a time to go to their tables. I ask my class helpers to pass out the story paper.
"I am going to turn the document camera off. I think we can help each other sound out the words for our sentence. If you need to, you can come up to the bubble map to see what the action word is for your animal. I will come around and help you if you want help."
I walk around and help a few students with their phonetic sounding out of words. I highlight the sentence for one student who forgot his glasses.
I collect the writing papers as they finish. My students sit on the carpet quietly and read library books. I don't want to rush my slower students. Sometimes they are not slow, they draw and color very detailed pictures. I like them to not be rushed so they can finish and feel the satisfaction of doing how they want to. Even though this is a structured activity, there has to be some amount of creativity.
This has been fun with all the movement. The movement has made this a very interesting lesson for my students. The CCSS are very specific in engaging students in discussions about the details in the text. 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 work We cheer and applaud after each reading.
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help re-enforce 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 the story in a song. My students loved this. I wish I had seen this before. I would have had them sing along with it instead of us just doing the actions.