Activate Prior Knowledge
This is the eleventh lesson in a series of fourteen.
I say: We have been learning about how 2 different people worked together long ago. Can you remember some of the things the Wampanoag and Pilgrims did together?
Their answers can be placed on a circle map. If they are struggling, I guide them towards: fish, corn, plant, cook, and build houses.
I say: Today we will begin learning about how we work together at school.
Unencumbered 1st Read
I read the PowerPoint book “Alone or Together…” aloud to students as an unencumbered first read. I read it one time all the way through without stopping. I do this so that the kids can get the gist of the read. I comment on the pictures and prompt: What do you see in this picture? Does it match what the text is telling us? At this point it is a quick discussion, as we will dig deeper later in the lesson to focus on verbs.
2nd Read-Step Asides for Verbs
I then go back to the following pages/slides to review verbs. Starting on page 3 of the PowerPoint “Alone or Together”, I ask: What is happening in the picture? Students should be able to identify the actions (verbs) by looking at the pictures. For each page/verb, I prompt: Show me (verb on the page).
Step asides are short teachable moments where we break from the text to discuss a word. I invite students to share knowledge about a word and/or I explain the word to them, modeling how we use context and illustrations to help us with understanding. Because the majority of my students speak virtually no English, this is a necessary strategy. I pantomime and use illustrations to explain the following verbs:
Pages 3-4 read (open hands like a book)
Pages 5-6 draw (one hand held flat like a paper, the other hand writing)
Pages 7-8 build (place hand on top of hand moving up, as if building)
Pages 9-10 count (hold up fingers, one at a time)
Pages 11-12 clean (pretend to wash)
Pages 13-14 play (pretend to bounce a ball)
Pages 15-16 sing (cup hand around mouth)
I teach and sing the Alone or Together Song.
As students are singing the song, we act out some of the things that they do together at school. This really helps with their memory of the song throughout the week.
Students are still on the carpet with me. After reading the text for verbs, I say: Turn to your partner and take turns telling what you like to do alone or together, using the pattern: “I like to alone.” “I like to together.” or "I like to alone or together “because”
I encourage: You can use verbs from the text (read, draw, write, build, count, clean, play, sing). I allow students to share with partners while I monitor and assist.
Mapping and writing our ideas (We do)
I say: Today we will be making a circle map of things we do alone at school. What are some things you do alone at school? Raise your hand when you have an idea we can add to our map. I take student suggestions and I draw pictures and write words to label the pictures.
I model writing from the linguistic pattern "I like to ___ alone." I say: Think about things you do alone either at home or at school. I like to write alone because my writing is how I tell you what my thoughts are! On my paper I am going to first write my name and date. (I write my name and date)
Now I am going to write my sentence. How do I write "I?" That one is on our word wall. (I) How do I write "like?" That one is also on our word wall. Can someone point to it with our pointer? I select a student to touch the word on our word wall and I write it on my paper as students watch.
I follow the same procedure for the word "to." For "write" and "alone" I sound the words out with the students' help. I stretch the words making each sound and solicit the letter for that sound from the students.
Student Writing (You do)
Students are at the point where they know our writing routine, but I still model so that expectations are clear.
Students then go back to their seats and begin writing. The linguistic pattern and circle map are available as a scaffold for those who need it. I post the circle map where students can see it and use it as a reference. I encourage my students who are more capable to use the word wall and letter sounds to help them write.
As students are writing, I monitor and assist where necessary.
Reading Our Writing
When students are finished with both drawing and writing they raise their hand. They must read back to me what they wrote.
I always have students read their writing back to me. We do this every day, so students are familiar with the procedure. I have them read back to me so that I can see how they are applying sight word knowledge, letter/sound and blending knowledge and tracking. This particular writing piece also allows me to see if they understand the return sweep.
If students are struggling, I have them echo me and I help them to track by using hand over hand and moving their finger along as we read.