Common Core Connection
This lesson allows me to teach science and reading comprehension in one lesson, which is one of the neat things about Common Core. In addition, the students will engage in practicing their speaking and listening skills, which is a new thing for teachers as we implement Common Core. Analyzing illustrations, speaking, and listening give the students opportunities to engage in higher order thinking which really deepens the lesson.
I am using a complex text to allow my students to analyze the pictures in From Seed to Plant and From Seed to Pumpkin. The students will do Transitions about every twenty minutes and work with their Peanut Butter Jelly Partners the entire lesson. I made a video in the resources to describe the partners.
I find that frequent transitions really help my students focus. We start at the lounge, then move to the desks, and on the the center tables. Last the lesson reflection and closure happen in the lounge. We also chant the lesson goal three times as we move to help reiterate the goal. There is another chant (Fun Chant to Refocus Class After Discussion) I do to refocus the class after discussion, and it is also in the resource section.
I ask the class to look at the picture on the cover of From Seed to Plant and tell their partner what inferences they can make based on the image. This is my time to quickly assess their prior knowledge and see how much help they will need understanding the pictures.
Then I share the lesson goal, because students need to know what they are supposed to be learning. I can use the illustrations and details in a text to describe the key idea.
Then I give each child a copy of the image (From Seed to Plant Picture) that we are going to analyze. I only select a few images and limited text, because I want to spend a lot of time analyzing quality. We will dig deep into the pictures to gather a complex understanding of the details that the author and illustrator want the reader to understand.
The students discuss each image one at a time. Then I ask one or two students to share their ideas. Others add to, confirm, or justify their reasoning. The class engages in a discussion and they develop a big idea from the image. I write their ideas on the board.
We pair share, then share a few ideas with the whole group, and engage in a class discussion about every picture selected. I facilitate and lead students through questioning. I made a video (Guided Practice) that explains what I do in more detail.
This is a great video to show to the class. Students enjoy seeing other students read instead of just me all the time when we begin a book. Its inspiring and different for children to model for each other. Plus, technology always motivates my class.
The students work with their partners at the center tables to analyze the illustrations (From Seed to Pumpkin Picture 1,From Seed to Pumpkin Picture 2, and From Seed to Pumpkin Picture 3). They gather information and develop a main idea based on the illustrations and text. I made a video (Partner Work) that explains it more clearly.
Next we transition to the lounge where my students get to practice their speaking and listening skills. This is their favorite time, because it is a showcase of their knowledge and hard work. To make sure everyone meets my expectations I revisit every rule I have ever known about speaking, listening, and evaluating work. Then I go on to model what I expect.
After all that, I finally select a few students to read their work. When each presentation is over I encourage a few students to give their peers feedback, but if no one will I just offer my own suggestions. Usually I say two things I like and one thing I want them to work on. Keep in mind in the primary grades our focus is on understanding and comprehension. I am not very critical of grammatical or conventional errors. Although, I casually correct subject verb agreement, because it drives me nuts. The rest of the grammar I usually ignore in this situation.
In the closing I try to use some kind of quick formative assessment for all students and share our future learning goal. So, today I ask the class to tell their partner one thing they learned about the illustrations and details in a text. Then I listen to see if anyone understood the lesson. I usually share some great conversations, and share that we will continue to learn about illustrations in nonfiction.
Last, the students chant the lesson goal. I can use the illustrations and key details in text to describe the key ideas.