Estimated Lesson Time Five sessions of 30–45 minutes;
Upon completion, spend 5–10 minutes each day for sharing student's adventure story
Overview This lesson provides a model of reflection for students as they listen to stories, begin to read stories, and develop their own written stories. The lesson can be used with any story; however in this case, the story of Corduroy allows for a personal connection by having students interact with a stuffed bear and write about their own adventures with Corduroy.
From Theory to Practice Wollman-Bonilla, J.E., & Werchadlo, B. (1999). Teacher and peer roles in scaffolding first graders' response to literature. The Reading Teacher, 52, 598-607.
Literature response journals can help children to think about and respond to literature in new ways, thus guiding them to a deeper understanding of the communication of ideas through writing.
Teacher instruction shifts in response to students' developing capabilities and peers can influence the learning experience by sharing personal responses to literature.
Encourage children to trust their own voices and express their thoughts clearly in writing.
Student Objectives Students will
Listen to a story and respond orally and in writing
A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman (Penguin Putnam Inc), and a selection of other Corduroy titles
Backpack or canvas bag to hold the stuffed bear
Folder to take home assignment including writing paper
Stuffed bear resembling Corduroy
Instructional Plan Preparation
Gather the Corduroy books that you will be using for this lesson, along with a stuffed bear to use when students are ready to begin writing their own adventure story.
For your reference, a sample integrated unit using the Corduroy books can be found on the website, CIMC Integrated Units: Corduroy.
Read the Don Freeman biography to learn more about the author of the Corduroy books.
Instruction and Activities
Begin by reading A Pocket for Corduroy. While reading, ask questions such as:
What do you think will happen next?
Why did the little girl look for Corduroy?
Who was Corduroy?
How did the little girl feel?
How would you feel?
Would you do the same thing? Why?
After reading and discussing the story together, distribute the Corduroy Favorites handout and model how the sentences can be completed. Ask students to complete the handout. Then invite students to share the parts they liked in the story, the reasons why they liked those parts, and their drawings.
Reread the story the next day and distribute the Corduroy Characters handout for modeling new questions and answers.
For the next three days read a different Corduroy book and discuss it in class. The same handouts can be used for each book. To further engage students, you may ask them which Corduroy story they would like you to read on each day.
Tell students that they will each be taking Corduroy home for one night. You will be the first one to take Corduroy home and write an adventure story. The next day, share your story and drawing with the class as a model.
Establish a schedule for each child to take the bear home with a folder of writing paper. The folder should also contain a letter explaining the project to parents. A sample letter is provided:
During the day Corduroy lives in our classroom. Each night he travels home with a different student for a new adventure. On the piece of paper provided, please help your child write a two- to three-sentence adventure story about Corduroy's stay at your home. Your child can also draw a picture to illustrate the story.
Please have Corduroy and his adventure return to class tomorrow. After your child shares his or her adventure and drawing with the class, we will work together on creating a class book including all of Corduroy's adventures. Thank you and have fun with Corduroy and your child!
Begin each day by having the child tell or read his or her story about Corduroy's adventure. During this activity, have students sit in a circle. This will minimize any anxiety over speaking in front of the class. After the child shares his or her story, ask questions such as:
What would you do if you were Corduroy?
What did Corduroy think?
Model how dialogue can be used in the story to enable Corduroy to speak and interact.
E-mail other classes also participating in this activity and ask about what Corduroy is doing in their class.
Enlist the help of older students to work with younger students who may need help in reflecting and writing.
Make a class book of students' adventures with Corduroy. Use a word processor to type each story and then donate the book to the school library.
Use the lesson Word Wizards: Students Making Words and the interactive Word Wizard to engage students in a hands-on word study activity related to the story of Corduroy.
Review student journals
Evaluate students' contributions to the classroom book
Observe while students discuss the stories they have written
Use a rubric or ask students to assess their own accomplishments during the lesson by answering "yes" or "no" to the following statements:
1. I drew a picture of Corduroy's adventure at my house
____ Yes _____ No
2. I have 2 or more sentences about what Corduroy did at my house.
____ Yes _____ No
3. I rewrote my Corduroy adventure on the computer.
____ Yes _____ No
4. My Corduroy adventure is in the class book.
____ Yes _____ No
4 - Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
5 - Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
11 - Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
12 - Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).