4th grade ELA : Unit #9 - Beyond the Venn Diagram: Learning to Write a Compare and Contrast Paragraph : Lesson #1

Comparing Cinderella: I Read- You Choose

Objective: SWBAT listen to a version of Cinderella and then complete a chart noting different elements of the story.
Standards: RL.4.9 W.4.1a
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Do You Really Know Cinderella? - 10 minutes

We begin this lesson with the section title question, "Do You Really Know Cinderella?" Immediately I hear one of my boys scoff so I ask him first.  "Do you really know Cinderella?"  He is hesitant, but goes into an answer that sounds very much like the Disney movie version.  I tell him that yes, that is one version of Cinderella.  Then a girl calls out, "I checked an African Cinderella out of the library."  I answer her with yes, that is another version and I ask her if the two versions are the same or different.  She proceeds to tell us with much detail how they are the same and different.  (Isn't it funny that when I ask them to write it down they can't think of anything?!)

So I pull out all of my Cinderella books I'd had the librarian gather for me.  I have six different versions because I have six groups of students and I show them.  I also show them the chart I made for comparing.  I tell the students that today we are going to listen to a Cinderella story and then choose a book to read with a small group.  The focus of today's lesson is to just take notes about each story.

Reflection: Looking Back
ELL Students

After I collected the final paragraphs, I noticed that many students still had blanks on their initial compare/ contrast chart.  Even though I helped them fill in their charts, I didn't explicitly write the words in the boxes for them to copy if necessary.  The reason I didn't do this was because A.)  I wanted them to analyze the text on their own and B.)  I wanted the words to be theirs. Looking back, what I should have done was make a master copy for those students who I knew would need to use it.  A great way to do this is to make a fill in the blank style chart for those kiddos who can't keep up and write while I'm talking.  Next time, I will make one of those for each story and "secretly" pass them out to my students who need that extra support. 

2 I'll Bet You Never Met This Cinderella: Reading the Story - 20 minutes

I hand out the comparing chart and pull out the book that is most like the Disney version of Cinderella that most of my students are familiar with and read it.  (I chose Cinderella by Ruth Sanderson) I help students fill in their chart.  Even though they can't help it, they are still enamored with Cinderella and forget to fill in some of their boxes!!  I then set the books around the room. You see, here, I don't want students to pair with their friends, I want them to pair with a book that piques their interest.  I let one group at a time stand up and peruse the book selections. When they find the book that interests them, they are to stop and wait at the book for further instructions.  It continues this way until all students have chosen a book.  To avoid overcrowding at a particular book, I limited the number of students to three per group.

Once all the students are grouped with a book, I let them begin reading it together and charting the elements.  

3 You Know Her Now: Sharing the Stories - 20 minutes

After each group has had a chance to chart the elements of their Cinderella stories, it is time to share.  I simply ask students to read from their chart.  They haven't learned how to effectively summarize and I don't want them to give too much away.  As they are reading, other students are calling out, "Hey, we had that!!" or "I've never heard of that before!"  It was fun and the students enjoyed seeing the many different versions that exist of such a familiar story.

We leave the day by completing an exit ticket, collecting the books and charts and discussing how the next step is to write a compare/ contrast essay about the two versions.