This series of lessons is part of a six week unit my school is implementing all about mythology and ancient Greece. I call this week our "Dynamic Duo" week, explaining to students we get the best of both worlds, fiction and informational text. We learn real facts about ancient Greece, and read a fictional story that takes us back to the time of ancient Greece and the Olympics. Our shared reading texts for this week are Mary Pope Osborne's books Hour of the Olympics (fictional) and Ancient Greece and the Olympics (informational).
I was a little nervous about completing two chapter books in one week of ELA time, but my students did a great job! We are in the home stretch of our school year, and with solid routines in place, students utilized some of their literacy centers time to finish any work from our shared reading that we didn't get to in our regular reading class.
You'll notice some of our reading was done together as shared reading. This provided time for scaffolding, instruction, and guided practice. However, other chapters were read independently, allowing students to practice their skills. The books are at the low-mid level of our Lexile band, which made me more comfortable having students complete more reading on their own. The Common Core Standards emphasize that students should be completing as much of the reading on their own as possible.
I hope you find this series of lessons and resources helpful with your class as you learn about mythology and journey through ancient Greece! Thank you!
*Children reading clip art on lesson header from My Cute Graphics. Thank you to this website for providing great clip art my students love!
Review: We read through our Dynamic Duo anchor chart together, reviewing skills and writing from yesterday. I also have students do a quick *"65 mph skim" of chapters one and two. We discuss highlights from these two chapters. (See Resource File: Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart with Examples)
*Note: "65 mph skim" refers to a CAFE lesson I taught my students earlier in the year about adjusting their reading rate. In this case, we are just skimming to review information from yesterday. Here is a link to the CAFE program if you are unfamiliar with it, and a link to the lesson on adjusting reading rates for different types of text. I've also included my reading rates anchor chart I keep in my mini-lesson area. (See Resource File: Adjusting Reading Rates Anchor Chart)
Model Reading: I've chosen to start each day by reading the informational text, Ancient Greece and the Olympics. This helps us build our schema to understand the fictional story we'll be reading next. I set our purpose for reading - reading for information about ancient Greece, and identifying the main idea and supporting details. I start the students out reading the first few pages of chapter 3, "Daily Life in Ancient Greece" aloud. We also review looking for hints of the main idea and supporting details in the chapter title, headings, and other text features. The students follow along in their copies of the book, as I read aloud calling on them for assistance with new words. When I think they're ready, I let them know they'll be finishing and completing their writing on their own today, but I'll be around to help as needed. I also ask the students to give me a thumbs up after they've written their main idea sentence, so I can check to make sure they're on the right track. (See Resource Files: MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo - Day Two Page; CCSS Standards Posters RL/RI3.1, RI3.2)
Independent Reading and Writing I then ask the students to finish reading chapter three on their own, and complete their main idea sentence and supporting detail quotes in their packets. I walk around the room, listening in, and checking work as the students complete this job. After about 15 minutes, we head onto the fictional part of our lesson. If there are any students who didn't finish, they'll finish during our literacy centers time which follows our shared reading.
Model Reading: Today, the students will be reading chapters three and four in Hour of the Olympics, "The Secret Poet" and "Not Fair!". I remind students that we're reading this story for the enjoyment of a fictional story, but want to be sure we can retell it through a summary of the most important events and character information, as stated on our anchor chart. I start reading out loud for them, but they will be doing most of the reading on their own today. As I read aloud, I model taking notes of important events in chapter three. I frequently stop and check for understanding to make sure I'm recalling what is happening in the story. When I think they're ready, I ask them to finish the chapter and write their summaries. I've asked them to give me a thumbs up after writing their chapter three summaries, so I can be sure that their summary writing is on the right track. I notice some students need support with including enough information. I move around the room, listening in, and checking on students as they work. (See Resource File: MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo - Day Two Page - in above section)
Independent Reading and Writing: The students finish chapter three on their own, and write their summaries. They also read chapter four and complete a summary. I move around the room, listen in, and help as needed. These chapters are not long, but you'll notice in the next section most of my students will finish during their literacy centers time.
We review and celebrate our new learning for today by meeting on our back carpet area. I ask the students to bring their packets back today.
Review: I ask students to share about the following topics:
What tips do you have for someone who is reading to find a main idea and supporting details of an informational text?
Who would like to share their main idea and supporting details today?
Does anyone have a different response?
What tips would you have for someone who is writing a summary of a chapter in a fiction novel?
Who would like to share their chapter three or four summary?
Celebrate: I acknowledge some of the great things I saw students doing today - using their text to confirm ideas as they were writing, copying important words carefully from their books, keeping up their reading stamina, etc., as we celebrate together with an "Opa!"
Complete Chapter 3 in Informational Text and Chapters 3 and 4 in Fiction Text: My students complete any reading and writing during their literacy centers time. Some students finished earlier, and others need a few minutes of their center time to finish up today. (See Resource File: Student Sample Day Two)
Here are some additional items I used throughout our unit on mythology and ancient Greece. These items do not appear as lessons on the Better Lesson site, but I wanted to give them to you in case you are looking for additional ideas or resources to compliment your unit. Thank you!
Mythological and Ancient Greece Bookmarks: These are two bookmarks I created to go along with our unit for the students. One is based on mythological beings, places, and creatures, and the other has real people, places, and things from ancient Greece. Parent volunteers are a great resource to put things like this together for you! (See Resource Files: Mythology and Ancient Greece Bookmarks and Photos of Front and Back View)
You Wouldn't Want to be a Greek Athlete!: This was another shared text my students had completed during our six week unit about mythology and ancient Greece. I used it along with lessons relating to main idea and supporting details. (See Resource File: Main Idea and Supporting Details Greek Athlete)
Fantasy Narrative Story Writing Graphic Organizer: My students wrote and illustrated fantasy stories during this unit. Here is the graphic organizer they used to brainstorm their ideas. (See Resource File: Fantasy Narrative Story Brainstorm Graphic Organizer)
Main Idea/Supporting Detail Quotes Center: After we work on a skill during shared reading, I have my students practice it at their independent reading levels. This is a main idea and supporting details activity that can be used with any text. The students cut it out, glue the left side to a piece of notebook paper, and cut each section on the dotted lines (see photo). The students utilize their literacy centers time to complete activities like this. We also will use activities like these during our content area lessons, such as social studies. You can compile your students' work into a class book if you'd like! (See Resource Files: Main Idea Quote Center Activity and Teacher Sample)
Please see the short video explaining my "Lesson Extras".