Teresa Klein ROXHILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA
5th Grade ELA : Unit #7 - Historical Fiction- Slavery and the Civil War : Lesson #6

The Man Who Mailed Himself to Freedom

Objective: SWBAT listen to a story and summarize the main events by stopping and creating a visual image.
Standards: RL.5.2
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Mini-lesson - 30 minutes

Call students to the rug to hear the rest of the read aloud Henry's Freedom Box

Teaching Point:  Readers listen to a story to summarize across the pages by visualizing the event as a complete picture with feelings and sound then retelling the main events in order across our fingers.

"Students yesterday you listened to part one of Henry's Freedom Box. Today you will hear the last half of the story based on true events of Henry Brown.  In this part of the story you will hear how Henry Travels to Freedom on his journey from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 Show list of important events on doc camera. Say, "Review the main events from yesterday by reading each one to yourself.  Then say them across your fingers in your mind.  Take the time to hear yourself talk.  Now turn and talk. Partner B go first.  Retell the main events to Henry's Freedom Box to your partner across your fingers.  You do not have to use exactly the same words we wrote yesterday.  My list is just one way to say it.  Yours might be shorter or longer based on the picture and the words in your mind."

"Now, I will read the rest of the book to you.  But notice how I stop after every important turn of events to make a picture in my mind and think/write words to describe what I am visualizing."

Read pages 12-13 aloud.  Stop and ask, "Students turn and talk about what you are seeing in your mind.  What words can you use to describe what you are picturing and hearing?  What is the next main event we could retell?"  Process students' responses as before.

I anticipate students will say, "After Nancy and the children were sold, Henry was very sad for weeks.  One day he heard a bird and he got the idea to mail himself to freedom."

I will jot down what the students say in my reading response journal. Then I will ask the students to turn and talk and share main event #5.

Read pages 14-16 aloud. Stop and ask, "Students turn and talk about what is the next main event we could retell based on the pictures in your mind, the sounds you can hear and the words that match?"  Process students' responses as before by jotting their ideas on the list.

Read page 17 aloud. Stop and ask, "Students turn and talk about what is the next main event we could retell?"  Process students' responses as before by jotting their ideas on the list.

Read pages 18-21 aloud. Stop and ask, "Students turn and talk about what is the next main event we could retell?"  Process students' responses as before by jotting their ideas on the list.

Read page 22-23 aloud.  Stop and ask, "Students turn and talk about what is the next main event we could retell?"  Process students' responses as before by jotting their ideas on the list.

"Now, students watch me as I retell the main events from the 2nd half of the story across my fingers."  Using my memory of the mental pictures, sounds, and words,  I will model the retell across my fingers for the students.

Direct students by saying, "Now it is your turn.  Partner A go first and retell the main events from the last half of the story to your partners.  Use your mental pictures, sounds and words to describe the main events in the last half of the story.  Then switch and Partner B retell the events.  Use your memory and the words up here to help you.  Remember you can say a bit more or a bit less as long as you capture the main events."

Listen in to students retell.  Ask for a student to model for the whole class the main events from the second half of the story.

Say, "Students one way we can learn to summarize a story is to stop after every few pages and make a mental picture with sounds to rehearse the main events in our minds.  Then tell the events across our fingers  to help remember how a story goes.

If you can retell a story based on the mental pictures in your mind it makes it easier to write a summary.  Today when you are reading your own book at your desk stop after every important event and make a mental picture and practice putting words to what you are visualizing to get good at summarizing as you read.  I will be conferring with some of you to see how it is going."

 

Developing a Conceptual Understanding
Gradual Release

I reminded my students to make a picture in their mind of what they are seeing, hearing and feeling based on the main events in the story. This is very powerful because of the parts of the brain that are activated- the limbic system as well as the occipital and temporal lobes.

As I planned this lesson,  I came up with the idea of having students make a postage stamp drawing, a little sketch to go with the main events in the second half of the story to support their recall when they retell across their fingers.

2 Independent Reading - 30 minutes

Dismiss students from the rug to start independent reading.  After they are settled, I will begin conferring with students to check for understanding of how to determine main events and how to retell across their fingers.

I will prompt some students to make bigger jumps across the pages and leave out small details, if they are including too many events.  On the other hand, I will look for students who are not able to retell and have them read while I observe and then see what is getting in the way of their comprehension of the story.

If students are struggling because of vocabulary, I will teach them what the words mean so they can picture the ideas, things, and concepts in their story.  Then I will coach them to make postage stamps pictures to really see, feel, and hear what is happening.