Context and Overview
Today, I continue with modeling how to research questions for my students about their insects. They will use a bubble map for their research. Additionally, we will be reading the next chapter, "Uncle," in Charlotte's Web," with text dependent questions.
Students will then get the opportunity to share their findings about their insects in pairs and with the whole group.
Some of the students will be working independently answering text dependent questions, while I will work with a small group.
After sharing the objective from the carpet, I begin modeling the process to research of how to research a second question on insects today. I use the same book as yesterday. I show the students the table of contents again and state how this time I am looking for different information. I read the titles again and I let them tell me when they hear the title that would give information on: what do mosquitos look like?
I turn to that page. I have my bubble map ready on the easel. I write the above question in the middle. I read the page one sentence at a time and ask the students if that sentence gave me pertinent information that answers my question. If it does, then I add it to the bubble map. If the information is not relevant, I move on. I repeat this process until I finish the paragraph on the page. I keep adding to the bubble map.
Now students are working on reading and researching what their insects looks like. As they get settled, I make sure to walk around and lend support. Some students need support with how to set up their resources on their tables: their books, their bubble maps, and/or word book that helps them with spelling words. Others need support to start and to stay on task.
Some students will need support with discerning which chapter or section in their book will help to tell about what their insect looks like, since each book will be written differently: I Found What Termites Look Like
Others will need me to listen to their discoveries:
Here are examples of their bubble maps:
My students need much practice with acquiring academic language. I give them plenty of focused talking opportunities. In this case, they are Pair Sharing using their bubble maps to share about our second research question: what their insect looks like.
Now, it is time to gather on the carpet and have a few of the students share with the whole group about their insects. I like to keep students moving, and this kind of transition is one way I do so. It keeps them alert and engaged in the process.
Here are the students who share:
I use the following method to give students a structure for providing the speakers with feedback on their work.
For feedback to be effective, it must immediate and specific. When the students are given the opportunity to give each other feedback it can be very powerful if done in a respectful way.
To begin the reading of the chapter, "Uncle," I am having my students predict. At this juncture of the story, we are at the County Fair. Uncle Zuckerman is a prominent character and so I am curious as to how their Predictions will be.
To help them write their predictions, I have a chart for them to reference. They can choose how to begin their sentences:
Here are some examples of their predictions:
To help them be accountable and to give them the opportunity to hear their peers I give some of them the opportunity to share out loud their Predictions.
Now we venture into the chapter. Since I had the students researching their insects in this lesson, I am not asking many questions. And today, I am also having the author, E.B. White, read part of the chapter through a youtube video.
I read pages 130 to the top of 133 with them. I ask these questions:
On page 133, with the paragraph that starts, "While Wilbur was being unloaded..." I let E.B. White take over the reading:
Before confirming their predictions, I take a few moments to clarify Who is Uncle because, knowing my students, I believe some of them will confuse Uncle the hog with Mr. Zuckerman. It is important to know one's students and anticipate their possible confusions.
Here are their confirmations of the predictions:
By confirming their predictions, I am asking my students to hone in on what really happened in the text. This helps students stay accountable to their predictions and clarifies any misconceptions.
To help my students deepen their understanding of the plot and the characters I have created some more questions for them to answer. Some students will be answering them independently while I will work with a group of students.
In answering these questions, my students need to reread and dig into the text. That is my intention. I am also helping them to build reading stamina, something my students need.
Here I am guiding my small group with understanding the first question:
This group needs redirection as to where the information can be located. Here are some of their work samples:
How did my students do with the literary response? They did ok. I wished for more details in their answers. For example, Chapter17: Uncle9, shows some good details. He explains how there is music being heard and the ferris wheel and more games. But he doesn't describe the games. The answers to questions 3 and 4 are very simple. In the last question, he agrees with Mr. Arable about the fair being good place to grow up since according to this student, Avery and Fern need to learn to take care of themselves.
Moving on, Chapter17: Uncle7, this students uses words as fun, excited, awesome to describe the fair and also lists ferris whee, merry-go-around, and the ice cream cone stand. I wished this student would have combined both sentences to something like this: "The fair is an exciting place because there is a ferris wheel ..." I will work with this student to develop more sophisticated sentence structures so that the depth of comprehension can be mirrored in the work. Lastly, this writer believes the fair is not a place for Avery and Fern to grow up since they may get lost and not find their parents because of the size of the fair. It is a good point, and I can tell it's a deep connection to prior knowledge for this student.
When I work with a group and I take notice of how my students are working, as on this Literary Response, I hope they are doing their best, since I need to invest some uninterrupted with my small group. And, for the most part they do a good job. In fact, Chapter17: Uncle6 shows commitment to the task. Now, he did misunderstand question 3. He answers what Avery and Fern buy instead of what he could buy with that money today. I will need to circle back with him about this issue.