The Cool of the Evening

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about key details in a literary text.

Big Idea

The evening brings relief from the heat at the fair and Templeton indulges in paradise.


5 minutes

Context and Overview

Today, I am moving forward with the reading of Charlotte's Web. Students will focus on Chapter 18: The Cool of the Evening. They will be reading with text dependent questions. The students will make predictions before and confirm those predictions afterwards.

The students will then engage in a Socratic Seminar to discuss what is happening in this chapter that is important.

Last, they will have the opportunity to synthesize what they've learned from the text and the seminar in writing.

On the rug,

After sharing the Objective, I will engage students in a quick pair share. They will be asked to think about what has happened so far in the story. They will get the opportunity to review. After they share with a partner, I will have a few share out loud. Reviewing helps my students make connections between the old and the new knowledge they are learning. It helps them to focus too.

Making Predictions

5 minutes

Before the students read this chapter, they will make predictions. I have chart for them to use as reference that helps them remember how to formulate their predictions:

  • I think … because …
  • I predict … because …

The students will write one sentence. Here are examples of their predictions:

After students finish reading the chapter, I do ask them to confirm their prediction. It helps them to build comprehension because they need to clarify what actually happened in the story.

Reading The Chapter: The Cool of the Evening

25 minutes

For the chapter, here are the Text Dependent Questions.

The questions are asking the students to dig into the text. The questions ask them to give evidence in their replies.

For this reading, I have created a mixture of who, what, when, why, and how questions. Usually in a first reading I would stick to asking more surface type questions, but this is later on in the year and and the students are accustomed to answering these types of questions. I feel confident about them juggling both thin and thick questions. Thin questions can be answered more readily but thick questions require a deeper digging and understanding of the story.

I do most of the reading so that all my students can access it on a comprehension level without worrying about decoding.

Confirming Predictions

5 minutes

Confirming their predictions is vital, so I make sure to build in time to allow them to do so. It helps them to check in and see how accurate they are with their predictions. It helps them to clarify misunderstandings. It helps them to focus. All this aids their comprehension.

Hera are some examples of their work:

Socratic Seminar: What Is Important In This Chapter

10 minutes

Now, students are gathered on the rug for Socratic Seminar. To help them with this process, I have posted two charts for them to reference when remembering how we behave during our seminar time: 

I have also attached a document that fully details how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom in case you're interested in learning more:

I review the rules for participation and how to hand-off.

These are the questions the students will be discussing:

  • What is important about this chapter?
  • How does the author tell us that some of the characters are changing?

If students need redirection to help them answer the questions, then I ask:

  • What is happening to Charlotte?
  • What is happening to Fern?

Independent Writing

20 minutes

Now students get the opportunity to write about has happened in this this chapter that is important. I am looking for them to use evidence from the text in their responses. I am looking for them to use complete sentences. I am looking for them to show how Templeton again brings the final word that Charlotte will write and how he goes off to enjoy himself.

Here are some examples: