Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Folktales: What Do They Teach? Day 1 of 2 - Section 5: Identifying the Key Details


Today, I asked my students to choose a folktale, read it and identify key details of it. I thought the students did an excellent job reading their stories. It is very rewarding to see how their stamina is developing. A shift with the Common Core State Standards is making time for students simply to read. My students benefit from this shift because they come to school with limited literacy experiences. And building their reading stamina can prove to be a challenge. So I am happy to see them so engaged in their reading. Now in order for students to understand the lesson in a folktale or any other story means they need to have a good understanding of the key details such as: characters, setting, problem, and solution. So while this looks like a simple task, my students are still mastering these skills, especially with more challenging texts.

What is surprising is how many of my students struggled with the Problem and the Solution. I asked these students to reread. I gave them time to do so. I came back and asked again about the problem and solution. For some this helped them. They were able to meet the task:



Interestingly, a few said the setting was outside. I spoke with those students about being more specific. I don't know if these few students were just being lazy with their thinking. It is always necessary for us teacher to maintain their focus regardless of the time of year. Some students need this persistent monitoring.

To note, we did have a practice fire drill during the lesson so that impacted some of the time we had for the lesson and probably on their attention.

As for me teaching them how to identify the lesson, this is what I learned. I need to do more modeling of character analysis. And with this character analysis, I need to have my students notice the words and phrases that repeat because these text features give us clues as to the lessons. So I got that today. Nothing is ever wasted as we teach students. There is a learning opportunity in becoming a better teacher and part of that does include reflecting. But reflecting in a way that empowers not shame or blame oneself for not being clear about how to get across a particular skill. This is what teaching is all about and we are constantly expanding our strengths and developing our weak areas.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Knowing the Key Details
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Folktales: What Do They Teach? Day 1 of 2

Unit 17: Folktales
Lesson 4 of 5

Objective: SWBAT ask and answer questions to identify key details in folktales.

Big Idea: Anansi, Coyote, Lo Po Po, what lessons do you bring to teach us?

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anansi for me
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