Reading Workshop: Following Characters into Meaning Building Theories, Gathering Evidence



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Reading Workshop: Following Characters into Meaning Building Theories, Gathering Evidence

Following Characters into Meaning



Going from Envisionment, Prediction, and Inference

to

Building Theories and Gathering Evidence
Character Study

Day 6 – Day 10


Objectives
Students will…

R.NT.05.01 analyze how characters and communities reflect life (in positive and

negative ways) in classic, multicultural, and contemporary literature recognized for quality and literary merit.



R.NT.05.03 analyze how characters’ traits and setting define plot, climax, the role of dialogue, and how problems are resolved.

R.NT.05.04 explain how authors use literary devices including exaggeration and metaphors to develop characters, themes, plot, and functions of heroes, anti-heroes, and narrators.

Day 6

Warm Up (3-5 mins) Students are seated on the carpet with a partner. Students will be expected to turn and talk with this partner during guided practice. Yesterday, we learned about how minor characters can affect major characters. Can someone remind me what the word affect means? Take student responses. Remind students a synonym for affect is change. Today we will learn that characters are also affected by the setting that they are in. This means that a character may act differently in different locations.


Instruction (3-5 mins) Today we will learn that a setting can affect a character. For example, I am confident when I am at school because I am familiar with the school building and working here. But if I were to have to go to a new school and teach a class I would be really nervous and unsure of myself because I wasn’t familiar with the setting. Or when we read scary Halloween stories that start with a dark and spooky night often the characters are scared or frightened.

Modeling (10-15 mins) Read aloud from a text. Use stories with a strong setting in the first page. Readers, I noticed that (Character) seems to act a certain way when he/she is at (Setting). (Character) does this, which shows he/she feels this way at (Setting). I think (Character) may be acting like this because he/she is (Feeling) about (Setting). Let’s keep reading and see if (Character) changes in different settings.

Guided Practice (5-10 mins) Teacher reads aloud until a new setting is introduced. In this story (Character) acts very differently at (Setting). Readers now we see (Character) in a different setting. He/She is now at the (Setting). Turn and tell a partner and describe how (Character) acts in this new setting.

Readers, you are all correct. (Character) is (Feeling) in the (Setting). What clues, like thoughts, actions, or emotions told you (Character) acts differently in (Setting)? Do you notice how different (Character) is when he/she is in different settings?

As readers it is important to realize that just like us, characters act differently based on the setting. As you continue reading at your seats today pay attention to how characters in your book act in different settings.

Independent Practice (15-20 mins) Students return to their seats and complete their own character chart. Students should read independently in their "just right" books and fill out the chart using details from their own book. Students work independently for approximately 15 minutes.


Conferring (During IDR) Monitor students making sure that they are noticing setting changes, and jotting down notes of how their characters act differently in each setting. They should start with the emotions of each setting, then jot down their actions, especially based on their emotions.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins) Students submit the character/setting chart for evaluation.

Reflection: This is a fun lesson because the students can really connect to how they act differently in different settings, especially between school and home.

Day 7


Warm Up (3-5 mins) Students are seated on the carpet with a partner. Students will be expected to turn and talk with this partner during guided practice. Readers, a few days ago we talked about character traits and how they can affect a character’s actions and thoughts. Today, we will begin to predict character actions based on what we know about that character. You should be very skilled at this, because this is a strategy we talked about during our prediction unit.

Instruction (3-5 mins) Remember character traits tell or show you how the characters in a story look, feel, and act. A prediction is thinking about what happens next in the story based on what you already know. The more we know about a character’s traits the easier it becomes to understand their actions which helps us predict how a character is thinking or feeling.

Modeling/Guided Practice (10-15 mins) Teacher reads aloud. Readers, that chapter told me so much about (Character). I noticed that (Character) is described as (character traits). I will add these to our classroom chart under character traits that describe (character). Now that I know that about (character) and I can make a prediction about how he/she will act in the next chapter based on his/her traits. I noticed that (character) likes to (action) so I predict that (character) will (action).

Now it’s your turn to try. As I read aloud the next chapter, think about what character traits we can write to describe (another character). Teacher reads aloud from next chapter. Turn and talk to a partner to share any character traits you noticed about (character). Teacher writes student selections on the classroom chart. You all did such a great job describing (character) using character traits. Now predict using what you know about (character), what action he/she will take. Turn and tell your partner what you predict. Teacher charts student predictions.


Independent Practice (15-20 mins) Students return to their seats and complete their own character trait/action chart. Students should read independently in their "just right" books and fill out the chart using details from their own book. Students work independently for approximately 15 minutes. Students who struggle with determining their own character traits may use the list of character traits previously distributed. Teacher should circulate and conference with students during this time.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins) Students complete the character chart as an exit slip to ensure all students mastered the objective for the lesson. Teacher should review the chart to determine which students did not master the skill.

Reflection Students may struggle with this lesson at first. Scaffold your questioning on the carpet based on what you know about a student. The transition from the guided practice to independent work is difficult for students. Rather than students working in their independent reading books, students should complete the chart using another story that the teacher reads aloud. The teacher could read aloud from the text then stop to allow students to fill in their chart before moving on. Students can also determine if their predictions are correct as an extension activity.

Day 8


Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we reviewed that readers make predictions about their characters’ actions based on studying their traits. This is an example of how readers use strategies to help them understand and connect with a story. Today, we are going to learn how to relate to what we're reading and use our own experiences to make inferences about what we're reading.

Teach (10-15 mins): Inference is a lot like prediction. It is when we use what we already know, maybe about a character or the real world, to make a guess about what will happen in a story. Watch me as I make inferences. We will read from (Book). I chose it for our lesson today because I think there are a lot of different parts of the story and different characters that we can relate to that will help us make guesses about what will happen in the story.

Teacher reads aloud. While I was reading, I related to many different parts of the story. The (Event or Character) reminded me of (Memory). I know how I used to feel or act when this happened to me. I can guess that maybe these characters will act or feel the same way.

Readers, did you see how I used my background knowledge or what I already know to connect to the character. Then with what I know about the character I made an inference about the story. Let's try together.

Read some more and make more inferences. What do you think is going to happen to (Character) when he/she (Action)? Turn and talk with a partner. Talk about a time when you practiced really hard for something and what happened as a result. Then use that information to make a guess about what will happen to (character).

Readers, let's come back together. I heard some really great conversation about the story while I was listening to you. Have some students share their conversations.

Today and everyday when we're reading, you can use your own life experiences to connect to the story. Then you can use those connections to help you make inferences about what will happen next, or what will happen later in the story.


Independent Practice (15-20 mins): Students read in their "just right" books for independent reading time. During this time students should be writing in their reader's notebooks how they connect to the character and listing inferences they make. Students may use the inference chart to record their thoughts.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins): Teacher collects student inferences/chart to ensure students are making connections and appropriate inferences from those connections.

Reflection: This lesson combines many different skills. Students have to reflect on background knowledge and connect to a character before they can even begin making an inference in this lesson. However, with the detailed modeling many students are able to complete the steps. The chart will be helpful for many students because it reminds them of the steps they must take in order to make an appropriate inference.

Day 9


Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we practiced inference by using our background knowledge to guess how our characters would act and how the story would go. Today, we will identify the five elements of a story; setting, characters, problem, resolution, and solution by using a reading strategy acronym. If a story was missing even one of these elements, we probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much, and it may not even be able to exist as a story.

Teach (5-10 mins):

Students are seated on the carpet with a partner. Students will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson. When we read it is important to think about the five elements of a story in order to help us understand what we are reading. Teacher reveals class chart with STORY acronym.

STORY:

-Setting- Where the story is taking place


-Talking Character- characters in the story
-Oops a Problem!- problem in the story (something went wrong)
-Resolve the problem- the characters trying to solve the problem
-Yes! The problem is solved- how the problem was solved in the story

Model (5-10 mins):
Teacher reads aloud story. I noticed the story takes place on (setting) so far. I will add that to our STORY chart. I also noticed that the characters that talked in the story so far are (characters), I will add them to the chart as well. So far I think the problem in the story is that (problem). There are smaller problems as well, but we will just name the main problem. We have read a few ways that they characters are trying to solve the problem, so let’s add a few of those. We haven’t finished the book yet so I can’t add the entire R or Y to our story acronym yet. Let’s keep reading.
S-
T-
O-
R-
Y-

Teacher reads aloud the rest of the story. Now that we have finished the story we can go back and add to our R and Y in the STORY chart. Turn and tell a partner what we should add to the resolution part of our chart. Have a student share out response and add to chart. You all had great answers. Now turn and tell a partner the solution to (character’s) problem in this story. Teacher takes student responses and adds to class chart.



Active Engagement (15 mins):

Now that you have practiced identifying our STORY elements I want to give you a turn to read your own “just right” books and complete a story chart. Also, as you complete your reading response letters and Wikitastic Book Reviews, keep these elements in mind. On your Wikitastic rubric, your link to review is graded based on how well you portray the story. If you demonstrate these story elements in your link to review, you will most likely be graded highly! Students return to their seats to read independently.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins): During independent reading time, students should be filling in the elements of their story in a graphic organizer. This organizer will be collected to determine which students need more practice with the skill.

Reflection: The acronym, STORY used in this lesson is helpful in reminding students of the elements of plot. Later in the unit or year students will return to the acronym for help with story elements. You can create a poster to hang in the classroom with this acronym that remains up all year long as a reminder. It is also important to make sure students are reading fiction books at this point in the unit. Often students will have books at their desks that are a variety of genres. It then becomes difficult for students to complete the exit slip if the story does not have a clear plot or is a different genre.

Day 10


Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we used an acronym to find the five elements of story. Today, we will identify the problem and solution of a story to help us better understand the important information in a story.

Teach (5-10 mins): Students are seated on the carpet with a partner. Students will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson. When we read it is important to think about the problem and solution in a story. A problem is an issue that needs to be solved and the solution is how the problem is solved. For example, if I locked my keys in the car that would be a problem because I need to drive to work. One solution to that problem is to call a locksmith and have my car unlocked. As readers, we need to pay close attention to problems and solutions in stories so we can focus in on the main elements of a story.


Model (5-10 mins): Teacher reads aloud story. Teacher reads aloud first half of book. While I was reading, I noticed that (character) has a problem, he is (blank). I will add that (character) is (problem) to our chart (refer to worksheet).

I notice that the first event after the problem is introduced is that (major event 1). I will add this to the events part of our chart. Let’s keep reading to see how (character) solves his/her problem.



Teacher finishes reading until the end of the book. Talk about what is noticed and record any other major events that happen to work towards solving the problem. Finish with discussion of the solution to the problem. Discuss whether or not there is always a solution to the problem in a story and how sometimes the solution may not be what we expected.

Active Engagement (15 mins): Now that you have practiced identifying the problem and solution in a story you are ready to try on your own. Students will return to their seats to read and complete the graphic organizer. If you wish to work with small groups, read The Crow and the Pebble (attached). Students will complete a graphic organizer to turn in as an exit slip during this time. To differentiate this lesson the teacher can read aloud the story for struggling readers.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins): During independent reading time, students should be filling in the problem/solution graphic organizer. This organizer will be collected to determine which students need more practice with the skill.

Reflection: This is a good lesson to bridge the gap between finding the problem and solution in a story on their own. The use of the graphic organizer helps students feel confident that they didn't miss part of the story and also gives them an aid to help with reading. The Crow and the Pebbel is a very simple problem and solution story that is a good starting place for future lessons with more difficult texts.








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