I used this lesson as an assessment because my kids had done quite a bit of connecting and were able to more easily identify text features and understand how to use text evidence. You could use this lesson in isolation instead of an assessment, as well.
Take a look at some of the other lessons that led up to this one, 'Details, Details, Details', 'Key Details and a Theme-Make a Connection', where I used a Venn Diagram and taught the kids about connecting to a story.
The previous lesson, Connecting to the Text-Find the Theme and Details (Lesson 1 of 2) was also part of the assessment for the strategy of connecting. You could also use these lessons without teaching the unit, but students would need more support.
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.
Get students excited:
Bring students to a similar starting point
I chose to use a powerpoint and pre-teach the names of the animals because they are in Spanish in the Mañana Iguana story. I wanted the kids to have a firm grip on this vocabulary before I read the story. They liked the powerpoint, but most importantly, enjoyed learning the Spanish words.
Explain the task
I was trying to make the second story more independent, so I didn't write a lot on the board or take too many ideas about connecting to it. I wanted to see what the kids could do themselves.
Monitor student work
Students are examining text to do a 'close reading' of the stories, which is a focus on the Common Core Standards-going beyond a literal understanding ("the story was funny") to a deeper comprehension level ("I connected to the character when was lazy sleeping on the couch") demonstrates a deeper level of understanding.
Some students may need prompting, but allow them to at least put down a few ideas before you step in. I want to hear their reasoning and see if they are using details from the text.
Sharing & Story Comparison
Apply What You're Learning
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
This lesson may be difficult for students who have language challenges. I worked closely and prompted those students in a small group. Other students should be able to work independently, as long as there are prompts on the board.
Raise the expectations for students with more language ability. They should be able to make some deeper connections and identify the problem and solution with higher language. Instead of 'the hen wouldn't share' I would expect something like...'The hen was angry because she had no helpers so she wouldn't share the bread.'