Can a Caterpillar and a Gosling Be Friends? Day 1 of 2

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about key details informational and literary texts.

Big Idea

True friendship knows no boundaries. Today, my students apply their background knowledge that we have spent time learning to understand and enjoy the first part of a narrative text on true friendship.


10 minutes

Context and Overview

Today, I continue to build content knowledge on geese as well as dive into the first reading of Farfallina & Marcel by Holler Keller, which we have been working up to reading over the past few lessons by building our content knowledge about the life cycles of butterflies and geese. This story is part of our anthology. The students will be asking and answering questions in both the informational and literary text. Prior to reading the narrative, we will be briefly looking at the life cycle of the goose.

My students will have the opportunity to discuss the ideas we are learning today and reflect in writing their learning.

On the rug

Afte I share the objective, I prompt my students with two questions. The first one asks them, "what do you know about geese?" I have them turn to their carpet partner. After a few moments, a few of the students share out loud. I record their responses on the Circle Map About Geese.

Then, I ask them what questions they have about geese. They first ask their carpet partner before some of them share out loud. I transcribe their responses on a chart: Questions About Geese. Asking my students what they know and what questions they have about geese gets activates their prior knowledge and helps them focus on the topic for today. It also helps me assess where they are coming into the lesson so I know how much scaffolding of the content I'll need to do.

The Life Cycle of a Goose

7 minutes

Today, briefly, I want to give my students an account of the Life Cycle of Geese. Usually I like for content knowledge to be built by reading the text itself, but today I prepared a power point for different reasons:

  1. Since we have been learning about life cycles, I want to expand their knowledge in this area. I provide a short lecture in which I review the stages and then ask them about what is happening in each stage so that I check their understanding: How Does The Life cycle of A Goose Start?
  2. It came up as a question for my students and I answered it to demonstrate I care about their questions.
  3. I plan for as many possibilities to engage my students in academic talk as possible. My students need much practice with academic vocabulary and this is a fun and engaging activity for them to do so.

Informational Sheet on Geese

20 minutes

I am approaching my informational text teaching this year by helping my students learn how to be strategic readers and how to navigate informational texts with ease and confidence. I seek to make activities fun and interactive because I think this aids their comprehension. Thus, before they embark on reading the informational text, I draw a goose with them. They all have a blank white paper. I take 2 minutes to do this fun and engaging activity, and that is all. It's worth the small time to get them excited and start thinking about text features they will come across, like labels.

In drawing the goose I want them to label it a certain way: Modeling How To Label the Goose.

Then, as we read our selection, Canada Geese, I want them to answer certain text-based questions: Task For Informational Sheet. This text has more information than they need for this task. That is why they will need to be strategic in their reading.

I have asked them to read the questions on the white board carefully because the questions guide them to the headings or subheadings on the informational sheet that they need to read to answer the questions. In this way, my students are practicing how to use headings and subheadings as well as reading complex text.

As they work and label, I walk around and lend support. Some will need help with how to organize the information on their paper. Others will need guidance to navigate the headings and subheadings, while others will need support with spelling or repetition of task directions.

Also, something my students love to do is share their discoveries as well as questions they have: When Are The Baby Goslings Going To Hatch?

Here are some of their diagrams:

Reading Farfallina & Marcel

20 minutes

Note: Cleaning up and getting our materials ready for this next section served as needed break for my students. Sometimes we sing as we clean up to make it fun, and the break ends up serving the dual purpose of refocusing student energy on the task at hand.

Now we read the story of Farfallina & Marcel by Holly Kellyer. This story is part of our anthology. I divide the story in half, and we just focused on the first half today. You may decide to do it differently depending on the needs of your students.

We read with Text Dependent Questions I have created. These questions focus on the key details of setting and characters. I ask a couple of questions about unfamiliar words. I ask the students if they know what the words mean. If they do not, I define the words for them today to maintain the flow of the reading moving along.

The how and why questions are about the characters and their feelings towards each other. They will need to infer the answers to these questions based on evidence from the text. The reason I am giving them a variety of questions and asking inference questions, even though this a first read, is because I know my students can handle them at this time of the year. And, in reading text, proficient readers need to be able to tackle a variety of questions at a time.

I start the reading by asking them to make observations and predictions about the characters: What Can We Predict About The Characters?

As the reading progresses I engage the students in a lively discussion:

I ask this question anticipating my students refer back to our knowledge about butterflies early in the week in order to fully understand what is happening in the story: Why Is Farfallina Feeling Uncomfortable?

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

It is time to gather on the carpet for Socratic Seminar. My students bring their anthologies because they know as they participate in discussion they need to refer back to the text to support their statements.

Every time we gather for Socratic Seminar, I review the rules for participation and for handing-off. I have two charts posted for them to reference as needed:

In case you would like to know more about how I run Seminars, I have attached a document that gives more information on how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom: Socratic Seminar Rules.

Here is part of our discussion of the relationship between Farfallina & Marcel:

Independent Writing

20 minutes

Now my students reflect in writing about their learning. I ask them to think about what they have learned about geese. Why? The have already written about butterflies and will write about the story of Farfallina & Marcel later on during the week. Today, I want them to focus on what the informational text taught them about geese.

I am looking for them use factual information. I am looking for them to use complete sentences in a paragraph.

Here are some of their entries:

I am curious about what I will read.