4th Grade ELA : Unit #18 - Number the Stars Literature Unit : Lesson #1

Getting Ready to Read: Opening to Number the Stars

Objective: SWBAT use the iPad to research Lois Lowry before beginning to read "Number the Stars".
Standards: RL.4.7
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Meet the Author - 15 minutes

Before jumping into our literature study, I want to make sure that students are using all the resources available to them when selecting a book. Today I am trying to get their interest peaked and have student buy in.

I hand out the iPads and ask students to keep them off to the side. I explain, while passing them out, that the lesson today would require them to do some research. They will be looking into the author of the book we are about to read. I will not be giving them the book until we have learned all we can about the author.

To remind them on how they will use the iPads for research I model the steps. I first remind them the Safari icon will take them to the internet. Once their I will write the name of the author on the board and they will need to have an elbow share on what they already know about her. I write Lois Lowry onto the board and ask them to turn and talk about what they know. I listen in and no one student has heard of her. 

Now I ask them to conduct a search and write down all of the interesting facts they can about her. One suggestion I make is to look at the other books she has written and try to find out what they might have been about. I allow students to talk and search.

2 Predicting Practice - 10 minutes

Once they have been given time to research, I ask them to turn and share their findings with a partner. Most of them have some great facts and are sharing a lot. One group started to guess what her books might be about.

I ask them to set their iPads to the side and explain that they are now going to try to predict what they story is about without opening the book. I hand out a copy to every student and ask them to write on their white boards their predictions. To help them prompt them to look closely and make notes of what they see. The class then discusses their thoughts with a partner and then we have a debriefing of their predictions as a class. 

The next step is to have them read the jacket. Without changing their predictions from the cover I ask them to write what they now think the story is about. I challenge them to try and connect the front cover to the back. Students then share agin with a partner and we again debrief as a class. This conversation really gets them thinking and quickly see which student might not have any prior knowledge for the historical context of the book. 


Extension Activity
Intervention and Extension

When the students were talking with their partners, I thought of another way they could have shared information. They could have done a fish bowl or inside/outside circle to share their findings. They could have shared more information and been able to hear more with this method. 

One way I would have done this would have been to give them the directions for predicting while sitting in the circle. They could take their white boards to the floor. Students on the outside would share what they learned first. I would keep time while they talk. I would then ask the inner circle to move to their left. It would now be their turn to share. I would have continued this a couple more times and then moved to the second part of reading the jacket cover. Then repeat the same activity to share. 

3 Quick Writing Response - 5 minutes

Now that they have some information and have been given time to think, I hand out a half piece of paper. I ask the students to write a three to four sentence response. The prompt I give them is if they would now choose to read this book, and remind them to explain the either why or why not. I ask them to use what they read either about the author or the cover the book to give their writing some strength.