This book is a classic. I found it at a garage sale and was intrigued by the author, whom I’ve read before. It’s a great story because it has a predictable ending, although the kids have to put some thought into it. I created the powerpoint of animals in the story to show before the lesson because I didn't think that they would know what a nightingale or pheasant looked like. I'm really glad we had time to preview the animals - it was a great precursor to the story and really helped my kids enjoy the story SO much more.
** "Imaging" is the term that my district uses for "visualizing". In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
I am working on imaging/visualizing throughout this unit by helping students realize that this powerful reading strategy can really deepen comprehension. Take a look at some of my other lessons, utilizing the 'Imaging/Visualizing' poster mentioned in the materials section: Imagine That-Make a Picture in Your Mind, Pictures in the Snow-Imaging, Picture This-Lost and Found on a Mountain, Oh No! Duck for President-Imagine That!, and Extend Your World.
imaging makes us want to keep reading
As we look at illustrations and words in the text, we are using that information to demonstrate the understanding of the characters, setting and plot. (RL.2.7) The Common Core Standards encourage students to examine these as evidence that the author includes to bring meaning to the story. By pointing out this evidence to the students and having them purposefully examine it to bring meaning to the story, you are helping them develop the habit of using evidence from the story to bring meaning for them to the text.
Explain the task
Read and give kids time to work
As we read through the book, the kids had a GREAT time talking about what the birds and worm was thinking. They had guesses about how long the birds legs and beaks were and what the worm was thinking. It was really a wonderful opportunity to talk about how the characters responded to events in the story. (RL.2.5) Using imaging helped them to read, think and then verify or adjust their thoughts as we read. Since I had modeled and we took some ideas throughout the activity, the kids got to see how other kids perceive the characters' responses.
Prepare the book
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with language challenges may need help formulating and writing ideas for the thought bubbles. I would suggest they work with a partner or you could add ideas for them on desk slates.
For those with higher language, challenge them to use higher vocabulary and upper level language. instead of saying, "I run" the student could write, "I'm escaping while you're singing."