Today's lesson is aligned to the common core standards for engaging my students in a discussion about the story events. We will sequence the story events using a template to write our sentences and draw our pictures. We will then orally retell the story to the class. It is important to teach my students how to sequence story details for an accurate retell. These skills are important to know for the upper grades on their standardized testing.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"I had so much fun yesterday reading about Swimmy. I love the ocean. Today we are going to read about another fish that you all know about."
I show them the cover of the book.
"Who is this? Yes it is the Rainbow fish. What do you know about the rainbow fish?"
I have them put their hands down and I go up and down the rows giving each student the opportunity to tell me what they know about the rainbow fish. WOW! do they know a lot.
"Many of you have read this book or watched the movie. I am so glad that you know so much about Rainbow fish. Let's read the story and see if we can learn more about her."
"The Rainbow Fish is so pretty. What are these pretty things called that are all over him? Scales? Oh. Why does he have all the pretty scales? The other fish don't have any. How sad. Let's read more about him."
I read the story and ask questions to make sure they are comprehending what is happening in the story.
"Why did he not play with the other fish? Doesn't he like them? . . . Did Rainbow fish give the little blue fish a scale? Why not? . . . Do the other fish like the Rainbow fish? . . . Oh, no the rainbow fish is lonely. Poor Rainbow fish. . . . What did the starfish tell him? . . . Oh, he is going to talk to the octopus. . . . What did the octopus tell him? . .Do you think the Rainbow fish will give away his glittery scales? . . . It says the Rainbow fish wavered. Wavered means he stopped and thought about it. Hmmm, let's see what he does. What is the Rainbow fish do? . . . Was the Rainbow fish happy after he gave away his scales? . . . Oh , look, they are all happy. So what does the story tell us? If we share with our those around us, everyone will be happy."
"Now I want to see if you can sequence the story events. I will draw 4 boxes on the board and we will title them First, Next, Then and Last. I will use my name sticks to call on friends to help me fill out the template. I want to know what happened first in the story. . . ."
As a class we decide what came first, next, then and last. I draw the pictures according to their suggestions. We then write the sentences to accompany the pictures. I use the students wording on the sentences or prompt them to reword it. We chorally read the sentences .
"Now it is your turn to draw the pictures and write the sentences. If you want to use the class sentences you can. I will leave them up on the board. If you want to write your own sentences you can. I will walk around and help you."
I dismiss my students from the carpet by the color of their row. I remind them that we walk in the classroom. I then ask my class paper passers to pass out the templates to every seat. I walk around and support my students with phonetic spelling and sentence choice.
When everyone is finished we gather on the carpet or our oral presentations.
Using my name sticks, I call five students up to the front of the class. They stand in a row and when everyone is ready to listen, oral presentation of the story retell. I remind them to read loud and clear so everyone can hear. My students like to stand in groups when they read, I find they are not as shy and are open to help given by their peers. When this group is down reading their retell, they sit down and I call up another five students. Each person gets the opportunity to orally retell the story. We applaud and cheer after each reading.
My students need multiple exposures to a text before they have a good grasp on the vocabulary and an understanding of what the story was about. I like to show a video of the book so they can hear it and see it one more time. Sometimes the video is more interesting than I was when I read the story. The more my students hear the story the more they understand. I show videos the last few minutes of class when the chairs are stacked, back packs are on and we are sitting waiting for dismissal. There are several different versions of this story but I liked the sound effects in this video.