Today's lesson is aligned to the common core standards of engaging my students in a discussion about the story events. We will write multiple informational sentences about the main character to read to the class. Discussion about story details and events is important to extract meaning and main ideas to write about. Common core expectations are high for students to participate in discussions to gain understanding of text. Today's story is fun and easy to follow. We will have fun with new vocabulary and creatures of the ocean.
My students are seated on the carpet ready for our daily reading block.
"Our new theme for reading is The Ocean. I love to read about the ocean. How many of you have been to the ocean?
I let every student have the opportunity to say something about the ocean. I pull the large class map of the United States down to remind them where we live and where the ocean is. Many students spend the summer in Mexico and get to play on the beach and see many creatures. Others go to California to the beach. Knowing that all my students have had experience with the ocean I continue with my lesson.
"I want to read to you a story about a little black fish. His name is Swimmy. Can everyone say Swimmy? Swimmy. Good. And what is Swimmy? Yes, a little black fish. In this story we will see many creatures and objects that are in the ocean. We will also see how smart Swimmy is."
"The story is titled, Swimmy I need everyone to sit criss cross applesauce with their eyes on me. Great!"
I begin to read, stopping at each story event to explain vocabulary or tell them about the new ocean creature.
"Swimmy swam with his brothers and sisters in a school of fish. A school of fish is a big group of fish. The big group of fish is called a ____, a school. Good."
I show them a black muscle shell when the story describes Swimmy's color.
"When we look at the school of fish, Swimmy looks different, what did they say was different? That he is black and his brothers and sisters are all red."
I explain that fierce is big and mean. I have them all make a fierce face.
I explain that to escape means to get away.
I ask my students to show me how Swimmy felt when he was scared, lonely and sad.
I explain the a marvel is something wonderful and marvelous.
I explain what a Medusa is and how the jelly fish looks like a medusa.
I have my students stand up and walk like a slow water moving machine.
I demonstrate on the board how the fish look like they are being pulled by and invisible thread. ( after we discuss what invisible means.)
I explain forrest and sugar candy rocks.
We talk about the anemonies and that Nemo lived in an anemony.
"Oh my goodness. Why did the fish not want to go play? Why were they afraid? Yes, they were afraid of the big fish. They didn't want to get eaten. What did Swimmy teach them to do? What was his great idea? Yes! He taught them all to swim together so they looked like a giant fish. That was so smart. Do you think the red fish liked swimming and seeing all the marvels? Yes, I think they did too."
"Today we are going to write sentences about Swimmy. Let's make a bubble map of all the things we know about Swimmy."
I use my name sticks to call on students to tell me things about Swimmy. I call on all students. Using the sticks is a fun way to call on students, if they are not paying attention, I put their stick back in the cup and call on someone who is listening. They like to listen for their name. When we have thought of a lot of things about swimmy and I put them on the bubble map.
"Let's read the bubble together. That is a lot of things we know about Swimmy. Now we can write our sentences."
We chorally read the bubbles and then we think of sentences out of the bubble words. I modeled the writing of sentences using the bubble words.
"Put your hand on your head if you understand what we are doing. I want you to write as many sentences as you can think of. I will give you a gummy bear for every sentence. A sentence is from the Capital letter at the beginning and a period at the end. I am not counting lines of words, I am counting sentences. So, remember your capital letter at the beginning and the period at the end. Try to sound out your words to write. I will come around and help you."
I dismiss my students from the carpet by row color to go to their tables. I ask my class paper passers to pass the writing paper to every seat. The writing paper is the story paper cut in half so it has only the lines.
I walk around and prompt students with phonetic spelling and to help others with sentence choice. When they are finished I give them a gummy bear for every sentence and have them go to the carpet for the demonstration of the fish art that goes with the writing. I didn't want to show them the fish art until they were done writing.
Each student gets a large blue piece of construction paper and three pages of fish. I model coloring all the fish red except for Swimmy who is black. I model the cutting and gluing of the fish to make a big fish. As students finish, I ask them to help other students with the cutting of the little fish. As students finish, I collect their work for the hall bulletin board.
When everyone is finished creating their giant fish, we glue their writing to the bottom corner. We quietly went into the hall an stood in front of the bulletin board. I had each student present their sentences and then I stapled it to the bulletin board. We didn't cheer or applaud because we were trying to be quiet in the hall. All my students read their sentences and we stood back and looked at our creations hanging in the hall. Awesome!
I like to show videos of the story or content from today's lesson. Listening to the story multiple times is beneficial to my students. With each viewing or listening to the story, my students improve in their comprehension of the story details and vocabulary. I show the video at the end of the day as a review after the chairs are stacked, backpacks are filled and we are sitting ready for dismissal.
Fun story reading:
This version is a stick puppet show of the story: