Today my students will choose a version of Cinderella, read it, identify the key details of the narrative, and record these key details on a graphic organizer. In identifying the key details the students will be able to show their understanding about characters, setting, problem, solution, author, and the different ways that magic occurs. In completing this task, the students are also meeting the goal of reading with a purpose. This is a task the Common Core State Standards asks them to do.
Students need to spend time reading independently. Students need to read a variety of stories. In providing the students with a choice of different versions of Cinderella, I gathered a variety of titles from different sources. I bought a few which added to my collection, I borrowed from colleagues, from our own school library, and from two other public libraries. My goal in doing so was to provide a range of lexile levels that met the needs of my class. The website: lexile.com is a wonderful resource to help with the levels. Giving students the experience of reading from a range of stories helps to build their vocabulary, their background knowledge, and aids the other content areas.
The CCSS also ask students to compare and contrast different versions of the same story. For my students, I am scaffolding this standard by teaching it over three days. In order for students to be able to compare and contrast they must have a subject/topic to compare and contrast. Thus, today they will read one version and gather the key details. Tomorrow, they will choose another version, gather the key details so they are prepared to compare and contrast on the third day. I am chunking the cognitive task of comparing and contrasting and making it manageable to my students.
I will be teaching the word "version," giving students sentence frames to use for their sharing, and modeling how to use the graphic organizer. I will be reading with a small group to give them support with their reading and attention issues. I will have to see what version they choose because today, I don't want them to be limited by their reading level. I want them to choose what interests them. In this way I am differentiating the instruction. I am looking for students to be focused on reading their text, on sharing the elements of the narrative in complete sentences, and completing their story map.
I start with my students on the rug. I share the objective. I explain to them they will be selecting a version of Cinderella. I define the word version. I show them a few samples of the Cinderella stories. I tell them I will be spreading the books on the tables with their help and be giving them time to choose their selections. I will bring the students back to the rug before I give time to read their books to make sure everyone has chosen a book. It’s a good way of checking in. I have kept some titles because I will be sharing them with the group of students I will be supporting.
I have placed plenty of titles on each table for each student to have a choice. I am giving them the time to choose because I want my students to take ownership of the process.
I give my students students direction about my expectations as they settle to read their selection at either their tables or on the rugs. I let those students know who will be working with me to stay seated on the carpet. Given that it is still relatively early in the year, 20 minutes of independent reading may be a challenge. However, I am still looking for them to be engaged for this amount of time because I think they can do it.
I will bring my students back to the carpet and pair them up with their rug partner. I will give them the following list of questions to ask of one another. As they discuss, I will walk around and listen to their conversations. I am looking for them to answer in complete sentences.
These are the questions they are asking:
1. What is your setting like in your version of Cinderella?
2. Who are the characters in your version of Cinderella?
3. Describe Cinderella: What does she like? What type of person is she?
4. How does magic happen?
5. What is the problem? How is it solved?
I will have students sit at their desks. I use the strategy of modeling often with my second language learners. Graphic organizers are powerful visual tools that facilitate their conceptual understanding. I will model for them briefly how to fill in the graphic organizer. I will draw the graphic organizer on the white board. One can choose to draw it on a chart paper too. I will share my thinking aloud as I use pictures, words, and sentences to fill in the story map organizer. To show their understanding of the story elements, they too can use pictures, words, and sentences. I expect most of my students to use words and sentences. Those using pictures are most likely the students needing the extra support. I do like giving my students the choice of what to use because I have found that it keeps the flow of the lesson moving.
As students work on completing their story map I walk around and offer assistance and redirection. To complete the story map, they can use pictures, words, and sentences. I am looking for them to refer back to their books to obtain the appropriate information either from the illustrations or the text. I am offering praise as well.