Magic Tree House Ancient Greece Dynamic Duo: Day 4

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SWBAT read informational text, identify the main idea, and two supporting detail quotes from the text. SWBAT read fictional literature and write a summary including the most important events and character information to show their understanding of the story. SWBAT write complete sentences with correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling of high-frequency words.

Big Idea

Students pair informational and fiction texts while reading and writing about ancient Greece

Welcome to My Lesson

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 of Yesterday's Reading & Skills

5 minutes

Review:  We review yesterday's reading by sharing main ideas and supporting detail quotes from chapter 4 in Ancient Greece and the Olympics, and chapters 5 and 6 in Hour of the Olympics.  I call on a few volunteers to read their written work to share with the class, giving students a change to practice their speaking and listening skills.  The students review their work that I assessed from day three.


Lesson: Informational & Fictional Texts

30 minutes

Lesson:  We read through our Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart, keeping our focus on the standards we're working on this week.  I ask students what strategies they've been using to find the main idea and supporting detail quotes.  The students identify that the chapter title gives a strong clue about the main idea.  Supporting details are sprinkled throughout in headings, and support the main idea of the chapter.  We peek at the beginning of chapter 5 in Ancient Greece and the Olympics, "Early Olympics" and make some predictions about the main idea and possible supporting details.  

We then focus our thoughts on the other side of our Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart, discussing our fiction focus, which is writing a summary for each chapter.  I ask students what strategies they've been using to help them write a strong summary after reading each chapter.  Most of my students are using Post-it notes to keep track of key events as they're reading.  Another student adds that they always tie in the chapter title into their summary, because the chapter title gives a clue of what the chapter is all about.  (See Resource Files:  Dynamic Duo Anchor Chart; CCSS Standards Posters RL/RI3.1, RI3.2)

Read Independently and Small Groups:  The students read chapters 5 and 6 in Ancient Greece and the Olympics, and 7 and 8 in Hour of the Olympics, while working on their writing activities.  I work with a small group of students who I noticed could use some more instruction and guided practice after assessing yesterday's work.  (See Resource File:  MTH Ancient Greece and the Olympics Dynamic Duo Packet; Two Student Samples for Day Four)

Review and Celebrate

5 minutes

We review and celebrate our new learning for today by meeting on our back carpet area.  I ask the students to bring two Post-it notes and pencil to our review today.

Review:   I tell students that they get to be the teacher!  Today, they'll give advice to a student working on main idea and supporting detail quotes, and summary writing.  On one Post-it, they write and finish, "Main idea and supporting detail advice:...", and on the other Post-it, they write and finish, "Summary writing tips...".   They also write their initials on the back of the Post-it so I can read through their responses.  I tell the students that each of them will be getting two Post-its with advice tomorrow to help them on their last day of the Dynamic Duo.

 Celebrate:  I acknowledge some of the great things I saw students doing today - copying accurately from the text, beginning sentences with capital letters, using new words from the text in their writing, etc., as we celebrate together by giving ourselves a pat on the back.  

Complete Chapter 5 and 6 in the Informational Text and Chapters 7 and 8 in Fiction Text:  My students complete any reading and writing they didn't finish during their literacy centers time.  Most students need a time to finish up today during literacy centers.  (See Student Samples in Above Section)

Lesson Extras!

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)