Today I am hoping to hook my students interest by beginning my lesson with a class discussion about birthday parties. This is a topic that all my students have experience and back ground knowledge. I will use their knowledge and experience to connect help them connect with the story; A Birthday Basket for Tia. I will encourage them to draw a picture about their favorite birthday party and orally present it to the class. My purpose for this assignment is to fulfill the common core standards that expects students to stand up in front of the class and orally speak about their thoughts and feelings. My students are quiet and shy. Many are afraid, especially when I pull out my phone to video them. The more opportunities I give them in kindergarten to express themselves, the more confidence they will have in the upper grades when they have to speak on important content subjects. This is a beginning writing lesson for my students. I am only expecting a drawing in response to the story. I am teaching them how to relate what they know to what we read about. Many of my students struggle at the beginning of the year with their writing skills so we are just drawing today. This lesson introduces them to skills that will help them in future grades.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"I went to a surprise birthday party last night and it was so much fun. The birthday person was so surprised that she cried. How many of you have been to a surprise birthday party where you hide and yell, "SURPRISE!" when the birthday person come in? Look how many of you have been to a surprise party. Nod your heads if you had a good time. Wow! I know that I had fun at the party. What fun things do you do at your parties? I am going to make one of my circle maps to write all your answers on."
I give all my students the opportunity to tell me what they do at their party. I write their answers on the circle map. Our district uses Thinking map in all schools k-12. I love to use thinking maps. The circle map in this lesson will become a visual organizer for my students to use during the writing process. My students will eventually learn to draw and fill their own circle maps to help them in their writing.
"That was so much fun talking about our birthday parties. Now I want to read to you a story about a little girl named Cecilia who is helping give a party for her Tia, her Aunt."
"The book is called; A Birthday Basket for Tia. The mom is preparing the food for the party. Is this the kind of food you like at your party? MMMM, it looks delicious."
I continue to read and we discuss the story events.
"What is it that Cecilia wants to do? What is she looking for? A present for her Tia. That's right. Does she have money to go buy a present? No she doesn't. Do you think she will be able to find a present in the house? I don't know. Let's find out."
"Do you think Cecilia's Tia will like all the presents in the birthday basket?"
"Yes! she does like the presents and she remembers what each present means. Cecilia thought of the perfect present."
"Let's look at this last page. What do they have at their party? There are a lot of people, they have mariachis, food and a pinata."
We point out and discuss the details of the pictures of the party. .
"Cecilia had a wonderful party for her Tia. She has a lot of the fun things at her party that you said you have at your parties. When you go to your table you will be drawing a picture of your birthday party. Everyone tell me what are you going to do? Yes, you will be drawing a picture of your birthday party. You can look at the circle map to see what is at birthday parties."
" I would like my class paper passers to pass out the drawing paper. Would my orange row tip toe quietly to their tables? Now, would my blue row tip toe quietly to their tables? Would my green row tip toe quietly to their tables? Last, would my purple row tip toe quietly to their tables?"
I dismiss my students a small group at a time in order to keep some control over my kindergarten chaos. I walk around and prompt the students to remember using different colors and lots of details. I am encouraging my students to use at least five colors on their drawings instead of choosing to scribble the whole paper solid with one color.
When they are finished with their drawings we meet on the carpet to "show and tell" about our birthday parties.
We gather on the carpet when all my students are finished drawing their pictures. I sit at the front of the class and call each student up one at a time. I have them stand in front of me so I can look over their shoulders as they talk about their papers. I have to do a lot of prompting with my students but they will become familiar and more confident with our procedures. I give each student the opportunity to come up to present their work. We applaud and give a cheer after each Oral Presentation