Today's lesson is aligned to the common core standards for engaging my students in a discussion about the story details by identifying and writing about the 5 W's. We will give individual oral presentations of our writing at the end of the lesson. Today will be interesting to see what answers my students give for the 5 W's. The common core standards emphasize the student's ability to identify the main points in the story, Who, what, where, when and why. If a student is able to identify these parts of a story, they will be able to answer difficult questions on standardized tests in future grades.
"I would like all my friends to sit on their squares. I will wait for all of you to get ready. Oh I see some of my friends are sitting criss cross applesauce with their hands in their laps. Yay! I think we are ready. I want to tell you that I was so excited yesterday when I saw there were strawberries for lunch. How many of you ate the strawberries? MMMMM, I ate some and they were so sweet. I bit into one and what do you think ran down my chin? Juice, yes, I made a big mess. But it was so sweet. Hmmm, do you know who else likes strawberries?"
I get many answers. I give every student the opportunity to talk about strawberries and who might like to eat them.
"Well, I have a fun story where a mouse and a big hungry bear LOVE strawberries. I am so excited to read this to you. Are you ready?"
The story is called; "The Big Hungry Bear". Before we start I want to write up on the board the 5 W's. Can you help me remember what they are?" Identifying the 5 W's is a new skill for us. I like to write them on the board to help us remember what we are looking for.
My students sing the 5 W's song and I write them on the board like a list.
"I would like you to listen for the answers to the 5 W's as I read. Let's read them together; Who - so I want you to listen to who is in the story. What - Listen for what is happening in the story. Where - listen for where the story takes place. When - listen for when the story happens. Is it in the day or night, morning or afternoon. And last I want you to listen for why the story is being told. Great. Let's begin."
I begin to read and we stop to answer some of the questions in the story and discuss picture details.
"What is the mouse doing? Hmmm, why does he have a ladder? Go pick a strawberry? let's see."
"What is the mouse trying to do? He looks like he is pulling and tugging the strawberry really hard."
"Oh my goodness, where did the mouse try to hide it? In the dirt. Do you think the bear will find it?"
"Now what did he do with the strawberry? This is a chain and a lock. He is trying to keep the strawberry from the bear."
"Hmmm, the book used the word. disguised. By looking at the picture clues, what does disguised mean? To look different so the bear won't know it is a strawberry. Good thinking."
"Look at what is all over the table. They made a mess. Yes, it is juice."
"Look at the mouse, his belly is so fat!"
I stand by the board where I listed the 5W's. We will now answer them as part of our story retell. I will write the student generated sentences on the board.
"What a fun story. Let's answer the questions about the story. What is the first question that we want to answer? Yes, Who. Who is in our story. The mouse is in the story. Did we see a bear? No, he did not come to get the strawberry. What is the next question we want to answer? What - What happened in the story? The mouse at the strawberry. Where did the story take place? The story took place in two places. The mouse picked the strawberry outside. The mouse ate the strawberry inside his house. When did the story take place? The mouse ate the strawberry in the morning. Why did the mouse eat the strawberry? So the Big Hungry Bear could not eat it. Wow, you all were great in answering the questions about the story. Now I want to you write the answers on your paper. I will model the writing under the document camera."
I model the writing activity so each student understands the expectations. My ELL students need this extra modeling so they are not completely lost in the expectations. I have printed out a large strawberry for each of them to color/cut/glue onto their drawings after they finish writing the sentences. After modeling the writing activity, I dismiss my students from the carpet one row at a time. If I send them all to their tables, I get running, jumping and CAOS! I ask my class paper passers to pass out the writing papers to every seat. I walk around to prompt and support their efforts and give them all a strawberry.
When my students are finished with their writing and drawing the picture, I allow them to sit quietly on the carpet to read library books. I continue to assist others in their writing. When all are finished, we clean up the books and all sit back on the carpet for our oral presentations. Today I call up all the boys to the front of the room. They will read their papers one at a time. I learned early in the year that my students felt more at ease and willing to read out loud if they were surrounded by their peers. Standing in front of the class by yourself is a scary thing. I know that first hand! Each student has the opportunity to orally read their work and show us their picture of the mouse and the strawberry. We applaud and cheer after each reading. The added strawberry was a hit!
It is through repetition that my ELL students learn the ELa skills. They love to hear stories read to them over and over again. I found that they enjoy listening and watching the story being read to them on youtube. These extra doses of listening to the story helps with vocabulary and story comprehension. Here is a reading of the story that my students loved. I usually show a video at the end of the day. They have to be all packed up and the room clean, ready to leave in order to watch the video. They are quick to be sitting down on the carpet ready for the bell.