4th grade ELA : Unit #23 - Fantastic Fiction: Exploring the Elements of Fiction : Lesson #14

Putting It All Together: Planning the Poster

Objective: SWBAT independently read a fictional text, analyze the elements of fiction contained within it and present the information to their peers.
Standards: RL.4.2 RL.4.3 RL.4.10
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Presenting the Project and Planning the Parameters - 10 minutes

Today's lesson begins the walk toward ending our unit on the elements of fiction.  This project will have students choosing their own Patricia Polacco book to analyze.  They will create and present a poster to their peers demonstrating their understanding of the fictional elements within the book they chose.

So, this day starts with the students finding a plethora of Patricia Polacco books spread all over the room.  They are amazed at all the titles they see that we haven't read.  (We never really talked about how MANY books she has!)  I tell them that today is the beginning of a three day project that will be used as a summative assessment for our elements of fiction unit.

They are excited- as they usually are when they get to make a poster!!  They have lots of questions so we just get started right away with creating the rubric.

2 Pick Your Book - 40 minutes

After creating the rubric, I hand out a note taking form so the students can keep track of information as they read.  To keep the students on track, I created daily checklists.  I show them their goals for Day 1.  The things they don't finish will need to be taken home or completed during recess time.   

After we go through the note taking form, I let the students browse the books available to them.  I have pulled nearly every Patricia Polacco book I could find!! I made sure to gather multiple copies when I could.  It takes the students a while to pick a book, but as they do, the room gets quieter and quieter as they settle down to begin reading.  

I give them the rest of the time to work with few interruptions.


Reflection: Allowing Book Choice
Performance Tasks

Normally, I give my students all sorts of choices to increase engagement and buy in for whatever we're working on.  In this case, I still allowed for free choice, but I did keep my eye on my lower readers.  I wanted to make sure they chose books they would be able to a.) finish and b.) comprehend.  I would discourage some of my lower readers from choosing Pink and Say, for example.  Since my students are very aware of their reading level and in choosing just right books, none of them chose way out of their range, but for kiddos who may not be so self aware, it's something to keep an eye out for.

The crux of this assignment is can the students identify the elements of fiction in their book of choice.  The book being below grade level doesn't impact what I'm trying to assess.  If a student is below grade level then I already know that and already have interventions in place to address it.  Always keep in mind what you're trying to assess and don't let reading level get in the way if at all possible.  

3 Wrapping Up - 15 minutes

Near the end of class, I gather the group back together to discuss how far they've gotten today. A lot of kiddos didn't finish reading the book and recording the info so they come back at recess time to finish.  Those still not finished at recess will need to finish this at home.

In order to prepare for tomorrow, I do a quick Google image search for story maps to show students that their poster is essentially a story map but it doesn't have to be rectangles with lines on them.  Their poster can have a theme, it can be 3D, it should in some way represent their book.  We use Mrs. Mack as an example.  One student says the map could be in the shape of a barn and have horse shapes for each element of fiction.  Another student suggests that the poster could be green like grass and the shapes for the elements of fiction could be barns.  They have the idea.  I ask students to think about what they want their poster to look like for homework and that tomorrow we would begin working on the posters.