To prepare for this lesson, I found an old picture of the cat I had as a child. I am going to use the picture to model recalling information for my students. When students can make a connection to the story being read, their comprehension grows. They have a foundation, or scaffolding, upon which they can place new facts, ideas, and concepts. As good readers read, (or good listeners listen) they think about what they are reading and consider how it fits with what they already know.
Boys and girls, as we gather on the rug for our story, I have a picture that I would like to share with you. This picture is from when I was twelve, and this is my cat, Roxanne. The story that I am going to read to you today, is about a boy and his cat. When I read this story, it reminds me of my Roxanne. As I read the story to you, I want you to see if you can make any connections to this story, too, and you don't even have to have a cat to do this!
This is a story by our Author of the Month. If you remember what his name is, blow it into your hand...and release--Eric Carle is correct! I would like your help in reading this title because it has many sight words in it. Read with me: "Have You Seen My Cat?". What do you see at the end of the title? That's right--it is a question mark.
As I said earlier, when I showed you my photo of Roxanne, I could make a connection to this story--who can see the connection? This type of reading work is called text-to-self--text being the book, and self being you. I have some other connections to this story, too, but I'll save those until after I have finished reading, Have You Seen My Cat?
Now that the story has been read, I will choose three people to share their personal connections to this story. (The key is for the child to make a connection, so if they are telling a story and wander off course, redirect by asking them how their life experience relates to the story that was read. Sometimes their connections don't seem logical to us, so that is why they need time to explain.) You have listened to a story so that you will recall information from experiences to answer questions about the story.
If I want to share my story, but my mind wanders in every direction to tell about my cat, is it going to make much sense to you. No. So what I have done is I have put a tool on the board to help us organize our thoughts. It is called a concept map. All of the boxes work together to help me retell my story in a clear way. My name goes at the top, and the title in also at the top. I wrote, "My Cat", for the title, but I want to give more details. I will write Roxanne's name in the middle box. In each of the other boxes, I wrote about the things that the story made me think about in regards to Roxanne. She escaped; she ran away; I looked for her; she came home.
When you are doing a text-to-self activity, you need to ask yourself:
In a minute you are going to write about a lost cat. Think about a cat you know. If you do not know a cat, you can imagine one. You will imagine if you lost the cat you are thinking about and make a sign.
The children will see if they can take the information they have heard and apply it to a writing piece about a lost cat.
Each of you will get a "Lost Cat" sign writing prompt. On the paper is an area to draw a detailed picture of the cat you are looking for. Why do you think that a detailed picture would be important? In order for someone to know what your cat looks like, they may need a picture to show them. If you do not use the real colors or no colors at all, will anyone understand what your cat looks like?
At the bottom are four questions:
+What is your name?
+What is your cat's name?
+What color is your cat?
+Is your cat big or small?
These questions are also important to express details about your cat. I will be checking with you as you are working to find out more about your cat connection to this story.