While gathering my students for story time, I begin singing the ABC song. When I get to the LMNOP section of the song, I really try to emphasis the blurring of letters that often occurs when the song is sang. Referencing the alphabet on the wall in the front of my room, I ask my students to point to the letter LMNO. (Many children really think there is a letter LMNO because of the way they are taught the song!) When the children cannot find it, we re-sing the song but emphasize the individual letters L-M-N-O, and then ask for help identifying the letters again. I introduce the book L M N O Peas by Keith Baker, pointing out the individual letters on the cover.
Children, would you help me sing the ABC song this time? If you notice, I slowed down at the part about L-M-N-O. I did this so you could hear that each of these is a separate letter. Today, I will be reading to you a book by Keith Baker, called LMNO Peas. Keith Baker is the author and illustrator. What do those words mean? Yes, an author writes the words and the illustrator draws the pictures. Keith Baker does both in this book. Let's begin our story.
Before reading the story, I tell the children about my desire from a young age to be a teacher. Although I took a detour through my career choice in high school and initially through college, I ended up right where I began--teaching. I tell the children that the peas in this alphabet book get the chance to "share" their career choices in the rhymes that the author writes in the story.
What do you think I wanted to grow up to be when I was a little girl? Yes, a teacher. But as I got a little older and became a teenager, I wanted to do something else. I wanted to work at a park as a ranger to help campers. Then when I got to college, I changed my mind back to being a teacher.
In this book, the peas get a chance to share their job choices. See if you know and like some of their choices.
After the story has been read, I write on a piece of chart paper the children's names. (This can be set up ahead of time to save on time.)
Can you tell me what you would like to be when you grow up? (I write this on the chart.)
How many of you knew what job you wanted before I read the book? (Most hands go up.)
How many of you chose the same job as your best friend? (A few students will admit to picking the same career of their best friend.)
Lastly, I ask, "Who got an idea for a job by listening to the story?" A few hands go up. This is my focus group.
This is important to me because it goes along with our objective for this lesson. Writers use sources to generate stories. What that means is that children can use ideas that they think about while listening to a story to start writing their own stories. An important thing aboutgetting an idea from a story is that their writing cannot be filled with the author's ideas, but have to come from their own brains.
For the assessment piece of this lesson, the children will write about their career choices in two different locations at two different times. For today's lesson, the children will complete the sentence: When I grow up, I want to be a _____. Each job choice has a distinct setting and equipment.
Before I hand out the prepped worksheet, we review what it means to add details to our stories and pictures, and discuss what would each job need. The children are asked to add as many of those details into their pictures so that the reader can tell important facts about the job. These pages become part of a class book.
As a review of the lesson (the next day), I have the children write in their journals why they would like to have the job that they chose. The chart that we made yesterday is readily available to help the children with spelling. During this time, they may discuss their choices and draw additional pictures. During our sharing time, I would randomly select three to five students to share their work with the class. Students can ask questions to the authors and praise the effort.