What do Photographs and Captions Tell Us About the Story? Day 2 of 2

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand text features in an informational text.

Big Idea

The text features the author uses liven her story and stir up a lively conversation about what is important to her.


5 minutes

Context and Overview:

Today, we are rereading the second part of the Stirring Up Memories, by Pam Munoz Ryan, titled, "Finding An Idea." I am asking the students in our second reading to analyze how the text features, photos, captions, and illustrations, help us to better understand the story and the author. As in the previous day's lesson, these questions mostly include the words "how" and "why," with some "what" questions. In doing this, I am helping the students obtain a deeper meaning of the story on the structural level.

I believe in the power of rereading, and so the students are rereading this section before we dive into the text dependent questions. After rereading, I will then have students help me chart what the photos, captions, and illustrations show.

Then, we will gather on the rug to discuss what the chart tells us about the author.

Finally, students will have a time to quickly express one idea about the author.

Opening Activity:

On the rug, I start with the objective: "I can ask and answer questions to analyze how the photos, illustrations and captions better help me to understand story."

As in the previous day's lesson, I will review the text features: photographs, illustrations, and captions.

Rereading Silently, "Finding An Idea"

10 minutes

Students are spending time quietly reading the section, "Finding An Idea." Students need to do different types of reading during the day and at this time they are practicing silent reading. Second graders need this practice so that they can develop reading stamina and fluency.

I make sure to walk around to encourage students to stay on task.

Reading With Text Dependent Questions

25 minutes

In rereading this section I am asking four similar questions on each page:

1. What text features does the author use?

2. What do the photos/illustrations/captions show?

3.How do these text features help us to understand the story/author better?

4. Why do you think the author included these text features?

In asking these questions, I am making a chart of their responses. I am creating with two columns and six rows. The heading of the first column states the word "page." The other column states "what do the photos, illustrations, captions show?"

The reason I decided to chart this information is to provide my students a visual in which they can use to draw conclusions/ideas about the author. I want to help them notice patterns. Writers write about what they know, like, and what they value. I want to make this visible to the students.

Also, I want my students to understand how these text features help us to better understand the story. Amelia and Eleanor inspired the writer to write stories, and she writes stories.

I like to give my students various opportunities to practice academic vocabulary, so I incorporate pair-shares in different settings.

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

With the students gathered in a circle on the carpet, I reference the charts (I post them on the concept/question board next to the rug) we created about the text features and what they show. I am asking the students to look at the charts and see what repeats. I want them to see how the text features (photos, illustrations, and captions) helped us to better understand the story and what these text features say about the author. These are our questions for discussion.

We quickly review the reason for our gathering and the rules for participation. My students know that when we gather on the rug, it is to discuss ideas. Participating means paying attention, making eye contact, having book open, and taking part in the discussion. I have a chart with the sentence frames to help them enter a conversation:

I think...

I believe...

I agree with...

I disagree with...

I open up the discussion by posing a question to the group. I choose a student. When this student is done, they know to hand-off, which basically means, that this students chooses another student who is raising their hand, and states, "I hand off to..." The other student share their thoughts and once they are done, hands-off to the next speaker.

I interject if the boys are only choosing the boys and the girls are choosing the girls. If I find that students are not volunteering, I repeat the question and/or I move on the next question. I make sure to only intervene if the conversation is not flowing in the direction I planned for. I do give my students a 5 minute warning and a 2 minute warning to let them know how time is progressing. In the end, I like to restate what was discussed. I do it because I want to help validate their contributions help them remember what was said.

As student share I want them to either refer back to their book or the charts in their responses: 

The Author Likes To Visit Schools

I am attaching a document that gives an in-depth detail of how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom.

What Do the Photos & Captions Say About The Author

10 minutes

Before the students write, I bring the students back to their desks. I have them pair share about what we learned about the author by her usage of photos, illustrations, and captions. I write these ideas on a paper and then ask the students to choose one idea and find evidence in the story to write about it.

Another way to look at this is to ask, given the photos, what is important to the author? What does she like doing? How does she spend her time? These questions get at what the author values--what is important to her. I want to get across that writers write about what they know.

Independent Writing

12 minutes

Now students will take one of the ideas they learned about the author and support it with evidence in writing. Since we took quite a bit of time with the other tasks, the writing time is much shorter today. The question they are answering is: What Is Important To The Author?

Here are examples of their writing: