This lesson will address the CCSS for engaging my students in a discussion comparing and contrasting two characters from the story. We will then write sentences about the characters. The book I am going to read is The Big Yellow Bus. I am hoping to connect their experiences with riding a bus to today's story.
I begin with my students seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"Over the weekend I took a bus to the mall. It was really fun riding the bus. There were a lot of people on the bus. How many of you have been on a bus? "
We have a discussion about riding the bus. Everyone has a story or experience. So I have them put their hands down and I go up and down the rows and call on them to talk. I give everyone the opportunity to talk. It is important for my ELL students to have many opportunities throughout the school day to speak English. Most of my students do not speak English at home. Mondays and holidays are difficult for these students to come back to class. They have to switch gears with their ELA skills. Mondays are always difficult for my students. Having time to talk about our experiences is a good warm up for the lesson and for their English skills.
"How many of you ride the little blue city bus? How many of you ride the big green and white city bus? How many of you ride the yellow school bus? Well, I have a fun book for you today. It is called the Yellow Bus and it picks up the silliest kids for school. Let's read it."
I will engage my students in conversations while reading the book. We will talk about each animal that gets on the bus. I will read the book all the way through and then instead of reading it a second time we will read it. We will make the sounds and motions that the animals do.
"The big yellow bus goes down the street, who is the bus picking up? Zebras? Do Zebras go to school? Not to our school. They must be going to an animal school. The bus driver is a bear. How silly. What are the Zebras singing? ZZ,ZZ, ZZZ. They are singing that because they have a zipper in their jackets. How many Zebras are there? Two, that's right. Who will get on the bus next?"
I enjoy reading books that can also be sung. I teach the students the words to the song they already know the melody to. I have everyone's attention. We are singing and doing the motion. This is a great activity because it helps with vocabulary and comprehension.
"Let's make a bubble map of all the animals on the bus. The middle bubble will have the title of the story, The Big Yellow Bus. I will turn the pages of the book and we can name all the animals together."
We name all the animals and I write them on the bubble map. We then take a vote on which two animals we will compare and contrast. The Yak and the Sheep win the vote. We will do a double bubble on these two animals. 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 Yak and the Sheep 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 the Yak. Ok, talk to your partner, tell them everything you know about the Yak"
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 the Yak.
"Emely, what is one thing you and your partner know about Yak? He has curly hair., Good, I will write that down, draw a circle around it and draw a line connecting to the Yak's bubble "
I continue drawing sticks until we have filled the bubble map with all that we know about the Yak We then move on to the bubble map of the Sheep.
"Partners, it is time to talk to each other and tell your partner everything you know about the Sheep."
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 Sheep in the center. I will continue to draw name sticks for help with naming all that we know about the Sheep.
"Kimberly, what did you and you partner say about the Sheep? 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 Sheep bubble."
I continue calling on students until we have all the bubbles filled with what we know about the Sheep. Now I will move on to the center bubbles.
"Look at all we know about the Yak. Look over here at what we know about the Sheep. 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 the Yak and the Sheep. Would you tell your partner everything you know that are the same about the Yak and the Sheep."
I will use my name sticks again to choose students to help me name all the similar things between the Yak and the Sheep. I stop them and ask them to look at me.
" James, 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 the Yak's bubble and the Sheep's bubble. Why do I draw a line to the Yak's bubble and the Sheep'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 the Yak's and the Sheep'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 the Yak. We have to look at the Yak's bubble map and choose what to write on the line. The sentence starter says; The Yak is _________. The next sentence is about the Sheep. We have to look at the Sheep's bubble map to choose what to write on the line. The sentence starter says; The Sheep is ______. The last sentence is about both the Yak and the Sheep. 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 the Yak and the Sheep."
My students talk to their partners and they tell me what to write. My students refer to the completed map for sentence ideas. 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 the Yak on the first sentence, the Sheep on the second sentence and both of them on the third sentence."
I walk around and help students and remind them of their spaces. Several students go up to the double bubble map and check out their options. I have to scaffold my lower students with writing the words they can't sound our on a sticky not. Sticky notes have become my best friend at writing time. 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 work and show off their drawing. 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 video of the Wheels on the bus from Starfall.