I chose this book because it has a very clear introduction, problem, climax, and solution. It is a simple nice story with some prediction and the kids enjoyed the characters and simplicity.
** "Imaging" is the term that my district uses for "visualizing". In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.
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)
Common starting point
I am working on imaging/visualizing throughout this unit by helping students realize that this powerful reading strategy can really deepen comprehension. Take a look at some of my other lessons, utilizing the 'Imaging/Visualizing' poster mentioned in the materials section: Imagine That-Make a Picture in Your Mind, Pictures in the Snow-Imaging, Oh No! Duck for President-Imagine That!, Extend Your World, and Imagine What An Inchworm Would Say.
Set the purpose
Read the text *
*When you preview the book and think about your class's ability, I will leave it up to you which pages to stop on and how often to have the kids use imaging. I previewed the book, putting a marker in the pages that seemed like good places to stop and draw the events, the climax and the solution. Since I was prepared, I was able to give the students ideas of what to draw.
**I felt it was important to integrate the important plot-related academic vocabulary in this lesson, as was evident in the video of the student retelling the story. This is a key shift with Common Core State Standards towards acquiring and using academic vocabulary and generalizing those words across the curriculum. It’s important for students to know words like 'climax' and 'plot' so they can describe other stories, deepening their comprehension of other examples of literature.
As students work, there are often questions about character names and ideas. The students make predictions about what will happen based on the information in the text. In this situation, the students were predicting how the penguin left. Several students guessed a boat or tube, but I suggested that they use what they know from the text by returning to the ideas in the book and using clues from the story.
Review the ideas
My class has focused quite a bit on character development this year and I wanted them to look at this story from that angle and bridge that to plot development. My goal was to encourage the his evaluation/integration of the author’s approach to character and plot development alongside students’ own analysis of the events (RL.2.3).This discussion is the first my class will take part in about plot development. Understanding that we use information gained from the illustrations and word in a text to demonstrate an understanding of plot is critical for students to recognize.(RL.2.7) Students are doing ‘close reading’ as they analyze how the author develops the plot, by looking at the text and pictures, and how he/she uses events that rise to a climax and a solution to wrap up the story.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
For students with language challenges, this lesson should be accessible because the reading is done by the teacher or on the Elmo for the class. The reading level is well within the 2nd graders' reading level, but I find that they can focus on the reading strategy more fluently when the story is read to them. Here is one of my students with language challenges explaining the story.
For students with higher abilities, it would be worth challenging them to justify their thoughts with higher level language. "Can you tell me 'why' you drew that? What was your reasoning?"