4th Grade ELA : Unit #13 - The Genre of Fantasy : Lesson #5

Comparing 2 Books: Classroom Discussion

Objective: SWBAT to list key story elements shared between multiple stories.
Standards: RL.4.1 RL.4.2 RL.4.3 RL.4.9
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Introduction - 5 minutes

In this first day of two lessons, I review story elements with students and read another picture book for them to compare to the first one. 

In some of the previous days, students recorded story elements in their learning journal about one of the stories we read. We read The Brocaded Slipper, by Vo-Dinh Mai, a Vietnamese Cinderella story.

Before I read the new book, we review what we discovered in the The Brocaded Slipper. Students should pay attention to story elements are I read the next book.

The story I chose to read is Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, by John Steptoe which is also a Cinderella inspired story.

By focusing on the same types of story elements as students read multiple books, they begin to get a sense or a feeling about what ways authors create common story elements. By using multple picture books as class read alouds, I can facilitate their understanding of those story elements and point out commonalities between books with similar themes. 

2 Class Discussion - 15 minutes

After I finish reading the story, students share what they noticed about the elements in the new story. We begin to fill out our venn diagram, pay attention to one element at a time.

When students shared that some element in one story was different than the other story, I challenged the class to think of how they may also be similar. For example, in one story the main character was becoming a queen while in the other story, she is becoming a princess. However, in both stories, the main character is living a peasant lifestyle and will eventually be married into royalty.

We do this for each category. When I ask the class if anyone can share or add information and very few students are willing to share, I ask them to talk with another student or group in order to spark new ideas.

Do it With Me

Originally, I planned to teach this in one day and quickly model the Venn diagram using the new read aloud and then read them another story for them to create their own Venn diagram comparing two stories. Therefore, I did not provide students with a Venn diagram to copy our class notes and to write it in their own words. 

During the lesson, students seems to disengage during the discussion so I decided that I would have to turn it into a 2 day lesson and provide them with a blank copy of the Venn diagram for them to fill out their own and stay engaged in the lesson. It worked well because soon after starting to fill out the Venn diagram, students had their hands in the air to share ideas with the class.