I chose this book because my students LOVE this series (the previous book is Click, Clack, Moo!). It has a clear plot line with a great climax and there are lots of great images for the students to work with. I will use it as a read-aloud because the concepts and voice comes through more clearly when I read it. Due to the higher level of the text, students who comprehend literature in the grades 2–3 text complexity band, with scaffolding as needed, are challenged to engage in this higher level text. (RL.2.10)
"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
This lesson was developed to address the Common Core Standard 2.7 (using information gained from the illustrations and words in a print to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot) because it is crucial that students in 2nd grade begin to understand the words and pictures provide evidence of changes in the story. Specific to this story, students look at the plot development to understand how the story elements are organized and understand how the problem is followed by events, the story climaxes and then a solution is provided by the author. Imaging is an important reading strategy that can be employed to help students understand plot development. Instead of simply reading the story and showing the pictures, students are engaged in creating mental images as the story is read (the teacher hides the pictures and reads only the words). This engages them as active participants in the story and encourages them to check their images against the author's illustrations to verify or correct their thoughts.
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, Picture This-Lost and Found on a Mountain, Extend Your World, and Imagine What An Inchworm Would Say.
Set the purpose
Explain (put the pieces on the plot mountain as you talk)
Read the text
READ AND SHOW PICTURES UP TO EACH OF THE PAGES LISTED BELOW. FOR THOSE PAGES BELOW, DON'T SHOW THE KIDS PICTURES - JUST READ AND LET THEM CREATE THE IMAGES. WHEN THEY'RE DONE DRAWING, THEN SHOW THE PICTURES.
Formative Assessment - Watch as students use images
As we work on imaging for stories, I stress to the kids that we are sketching, not coloring or drawing detailed images. It's important to capture the author's details, but beyond that, we are trying to keep the ideas simple enough that the meaning is captured, but students are not concentrating on drawing only. This is how it looked when I sketched the solution.
Review the ideas
This discussion is the first my class will take part in about plot development. Understanding that the plot changes over the course of a story and that is has organization are foundational skills. Students are doing ‘close reading’ as they analyze how the author develops the plot and 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 2.8, so it is 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.
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?"