Close Read-Aloud, Session 1: Introducing The Most Magnificent Thing | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M1:U2:L2

Close Read-Aloud, Session 1: Introducing The Most Magnificent Thing

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.1.1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • SL.1.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can listen and respond to my classmates' ideas during a read-aloud. (SL.1.1)
  • I can answer questions about key details from the book The Most Magnificent Thing. (RL.1.1

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Close Read-aloud Session 1 in Work Time A, use the RL Formative Assessment Sheet to track students' progress toward the RL standards listed for this lesson (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • During Work Time A, observe students following the classroom discussion norms. Prompt students as needed.
  • During Work Time B, observe students drawing and writing. Collect their writing at the end of the lesson and to determine areas students may need support with informational writing tasks in up coming lessons. Note: Informational Writing is formally assessed in Unit 3.
  • During the Closing, students engage in the Pinky Partners protocol. Monitor students as they listen and respond to a classmate's idea. Prompt students to attend to the discussion norms, and provide question and sentence stems if necessary.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: Introducing the "Learning Target" Song (5 minutes)

B. Engaging the Reader: Introducing the Guiding Question (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Close Read-aloud Session 1: The Most Magnificent Thing (20 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Writing about Magnificent Things (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Pinky Partners: Sharing Examples of Magnificent Things (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson is the first in a series of five lessons in which students engage in a close read-aloud of The Most Magnificent Thing. As students engage in the close read-aloud, they will be prompted to attend to classroom discussion norms (SL.1.1) as they answer questions about the text (RL.1.1).
  • A close read-aloud is an instructional practice that gives beginning readers an opportunity to study a complex text with teacher support, for the purpose of deep comprehension. A close read-aloud of a particular text occurs in a series of short sessions (approximately 20–25 minutes each) across multiple lessons. In the first session, students hear the entire text read aloud by the teacher, without interruption. In subsequent sessions, the teacher poses a focusing question to set a purpose for deeper analysis and facilitates deeper comprehension by rereading excerpts of the text with this question in mind. In each session, the teacher lifts students' understanding of the text through purposeful text-dependent questions, interactive discussion, and other activities that support comprehension. In the final session, students synthesize their learning by answering the focusing question through a culminating writing or speaking task.
  • Close read-alouds are meant to support a deep understanding of a worthy text, support students' mastery of the CCSS reading informational or literature standards, and engage students with discussion, movement, and dramatic expression. Monitor both students' understanding and their engagement; adjust the practice as necessary to support each.
  • For every close read-aloud, there is a Close Read-aloud Guide (see supporting materials). This material lays out the entire sequence of sessions. Before launching the first session with a given text, review the entire guide to have the big picture of the work students will do with that text across multiple lessons. Keep this guide in hand across the multiple lessons.
  • Close read-alouds are distinct from, and do not replace, more typical daily read-alouds. Daily read-alouds are essential so students experience the volume of reading needed to build their world knowledge and vocabulary. For suggestions of texts (related to the module topic) to use in more typical read-alouds, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources list. These texts canbe purchased; many of them can also be found in local libraries. To enhance this list, consider bringing in other texts you know of that relate to the module topic.
  • As a part of the close read-aloud in Work Time A, students study the word magnificent through the use of a Frayer Model. Because this word is important to understanding the story, students take the time to deeply study this word using a graphic organizer, a sharing and sorting activity, and a writing prompt. Do not define the word during the Opening. For this module, to allow for a volume of reading on the topic of tools and work, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources for Module 1. Ensure that students have a variety of informational and narratives texts below, on, and above grade level for this topic available during independent reading in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block. 

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson builds upon the habits of character discussed in Lesson 1. In Opening B, students are introduced to the Unit 2 guiding question, "How do habits of character help us do work?"
  • After listening to The Most Magnificent Thing read-aloud, students begin to think about the girl in the story and how she does her work. Throughout the close read-alouds and as a culminating task, students respond to a contextualized form of the guiding question, called a focusing question: "How was the girl able to make such a magnificent thing?"
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Down the road:

  • Each close read-aloud in Lessons 3–6 will provide rich opportunities to connect the habits of character to the actions of the main character in The Most Magnificent Thing. Preview the entire Close Read-aloud Guide (all sessions) in order to fully understand the "arc" of these four lessons and to see how the learning and skills build from one lesson to the next.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Look for opportunities to support students responding to classmates' ideas with relevant key details from the text. Prompt these students with sentence stems and probing questions.

Down the road:

  • Throughout this unit, students repeatedly return to the habits of character defined in Lesson 1. In Lessons 3-6, students study these habits of character with a series of close read-alouds of The Most Magnificent Thing. Lessons 7-10 build upon this understanding and students study the same habits of character in a series of focused read-alouds of The Little Red Pen.

In Advance

  • A new protocol, Pinky Partners, is introduced in the closing of this lesson. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.) Consider practicing this protocol with students in advance to provide further support for students.
  • Set up a document camera to read The Most Magnificent Thing and to show other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare "Learning Target" song on a large piece of chart paper (see supporting materials).
  • Determine partnerships for the Think-Pair-Share protocol.
  • Determine seating and tables for Work Time B and distribute Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording forms. Designate student seats and tables for Work Time B.
  • Preview the Close Read-aloud Guide: The Most Magnificent Thing in order to familiarize yourself with what will be required of students. Note that the guide is broken into sessions. Complete only Session 1 in this lesson, as students will complete the remaining sessions in Lessons 3–6.
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share and Pinky Partners protocols. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Post: "Learning Target" song, guiding question, learning targets, Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart, and Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive white board or document camera to display lesson materials. 

  • Opening A: Record the whole group singing the "Learning Target" song and post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to listen to at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Work Time A: Use an Ebook version of The Most Magnificent Thing to display.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Video record students sharing with a partner to watch with students to evaluate strengths and areas for improvement. Post good examples on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to watch at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.A.1, 1.I.A.3, 1.I.B.5, and 1.I.B.6

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by providing visual models, by reading The Most Magnificent Thing without interruption for context, and by providing opportunities for practicing oral language.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to listen to The Most Magnificent Thing without stopping, especially if they do not understand some of the language used in the text. Remind students that they will read everything again during the unit. If they do not understand everything, it is okay. Encourage them to use the pictures to help understand what is happening in the story.
  • Be aware that people coming from diverse cultures and backgrounds may have different ideas about what is and is not magnificent. Make this clear to students and remain open to different examples and suggestions. If a student offers a suggestion of something that does not seem magnificent on the surface, ask him or her why instead of negating the idea.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Encourage students to use Conversation Cues with other students to promote productive and equitable conversation and to enhance language development.

For heavier support:

  • The Frayer Model may be difficult to understand at first. To demonstrate its significance, apply the model to a word with which most students are already familiar. (Example: "Let's look at the word car and put it in the Frayer Model. What is the definition, or meaning, of car?")
  • Habits of character may be an abstract concept for some students. Frequent reminders about what they are and why they are useful will help students. Make sure students understand that the word character in this context is different from a character in a story.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students revisit the habits of character introduced in the previous lesson. Help activate students' background knowledge by referring to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart throughout the lesson.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): This lesson includes time for students to write and draw about something they think is magnificent. To help students express their ideas, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers or colored pencils), writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards), and scaffolds (e.g., dictation, sentence starters, writing prompts).
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): This lesson introduces a new protocol (Pinky Partners) for class discussion. Students might need help anticipating frustration or confusion that arises inthis protocol. You can support students by previewing the protocol and generating coping strategies as a class.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • character, definition, example, focusing question, guiding question, non-example, respond, visual (L)
  • magnificent (T) 

Materials

  • "Learning Target" song (one to display)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Unit 1)
  • Unit 2 Guiding Question anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Document camera (optional)
  • The Most Magnificent Thing (book; one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Close Read-aloud Guide: The Most Magnificent Thing (Session 1; for teacher reference)
  • RL Formative Assessment Sheet (see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1)
  • Frayer Model (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • Picture Sort Cards (one set for teacher)
  • Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording form (one per student and one to display)
  • Pinky Partners anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: Introducing the "Learning Target" Song (5 minutes) 

  • Gather students together in the whole group area.
  • Designate "A" and "B" partners for the partner discussions in this lesson.
  • Tell students that you have a fun song about learning targets to share with them. Today they are going to hear the song twice. The first time, they will listen; the second time, they can join in and sing along.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted "Learning Target" song and sing it as students listen.
  • Invite students to sing along with you as you sing the song again.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets, and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can listen and respond to my classmates’ ideas during a read-aloud.”
  • Refer students to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart and share with students that today they will continue practicing these behaviors during a new read-aloud.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does it mean to respond?” (to ask questions, to say something back)

  • Tell students that today they are going to practice responding to a classmate's ideas and that they can respond by asking questions or saying something about their classmate's idea.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets, and read the second one aloud:
    • “I can answer questions about key details from the book The Most Magnificent Thing.”
  • Share with students that the book they will be listening to and answering questions about is called The Most Magnificent Thing.
  • Designating partner roles provides a structure for students to discuss and share their thinking.
  • To help students anticipate and prepare for sharing their thinking with a partner, provide all students with index cards that designate whether they are partner A or B (numbers or colors could also be used). (MME)
  • To support students' comprehension of the first learning target (listen and respond), use two puppets to dramatize examples of how classmates might listen and respond to one another. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Use hand gestures to illustrate listen and respond. Example: Cup hand over ear for listen; move hand away from mouth for respond.
  • For ELLs: Tell students you will sing the "Learning Target" song as a "listening and responding" song today. Sing the first line while students listen. Invite students to respond by singing the second line. Repeat the process for the third and fourth line. Alternatively, have students repeat each line verbatim as their response.

B. Engaging the Reader: Introducing the Guiding Question (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted Unit 2 Guiding Question anchor chart. Tell students that a guiding question is a question that will guide, direct, and lead the thinking they do in this unit.
  • Read the guiding question aloud: "How do habits of character help us do work?"
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did we use and learn about in the last unit that helped us do a job?” (tools)

  • If productive, cue students to clarify the conversation by confirming what they mean:

“So, do you mean _____?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Explain that tools are one way to get the job done. Habits of character also can help to do the work better. For the next few weeks, they will be learning a lot about habits of character and how they help us do work. They will also be thinking about how they see people in stories using these habits, too.
  • Using a document camera, display The Most Magnificent Thing.
  • Explain to students that they will be reading this book to help them learn more about habits of character, and to answer the focusing question, "How was the little girl able to make such a magnificent thing?"
  • Tell students that a focusing question helps them know what to think about as they read a text. 
  • As you explain that habits of character can "help us do the work better," activate students' background knowledge by revisiting the habits of character, definitions, and illustrations on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (introduced in the previous lesson). (MMR)
  • For ELLs: To check for comprehension, ask students to rephrase the guiding question. Ask:

“Can you put the guiding question in your own words?”

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Close Read-aloud Session 1: The Most Magnificent Thing (20 minutes) 

  • Guide students through the close read-aloud for The Most Magnificent Thing using the Close Read-aloud Guide: The Most Magnificent Thing (Session 1; for teacher reference). Considerusing the RL Formative Assessment Sheet during the close read-aloud (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Before reading The Most Magnificent Thing, circulate and listen as students share their story predictions in pairs. To support individual students in generating ideas, ask additional questions to focus thinking. (Example: "Let's look back at the cover. What do you think the girl will do in the story? What do you think the dog will do?") (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Provide a sentence frame for predicting what might happen in the story. Example: "I think the little girl will ______." "I think the story will be about ______."
  • After you read, optimize relevance of a magnificent thing by inviting students to share their experiences with or opinions about scooters. Examples:
    • Give a thumbs-up if you have seen a scooter before. Put your hands on your shoulders if you have ridden a scooter before."
    • "Where might you go if you had a scooter like this one?"
    • "How would you feel if you made a scooter all by yourself? Whisper that feeling to your shoulder partner." (MME)

B. Independent Writing: Writing about Magnificent Things (20 minutes) 

  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on determining the meaning of the word magnificent.
  • Tell them that now they are going to get the chance to draw and write about something they think is magnificent.
  • Display the Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording form. Briefly model for students as you draw and write about something that is magnificent.
  • Using the flowers as an example, tell students that you are going to draw what you see. For example:
    • Closely examine the picture of the flowers by noticing the shapes and lines you see. Say:  

“I notice there are three flowers and they each have a line for the stem. I notice there are two leaves on each stem. I notice the flower petals have a circle in the center with curvy petals around the outside. I’m going to draw the flowers I see.”

    • Draw the flowers and their respective shapes and lines on the on the Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording form. 
    • Model writing about the magnificent thing. Say:  

“I want to write about my drawing so when people look at it they know why it is magnificent. I’m going to use the Frayer Model to help me spell the word magnificent."

  • Transition students to their tables.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner about what they are going to draw and write about.
  • Direct students to the Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording forms in the center of their tables. Let students know that it may help them as writers to draw before they write.
  • Invite students to begin working.
  • Circulate and support students as necessary. Encourage them to use classroom resources (Word Walls, high-frequency word lists, and alphabet or letter sound combination charts).
  • To vary methods for fine motor response, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)
  • To help students express ideas in their writing, offer sentence starters. Example: "I think ______ is magnificent because _______." (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Brainstorm with the class three or four things that are magnificent. Write students' ideas on the board with thumbnail illustrations. Explain that students can choose to draw one of those options or they may work on their own ideas.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Pinky Partners: Sharing Examples of Magnificent Things (10 minutes) 

  • Ask students to bring their Examples of a Magnificent Thing recording forms to the whole group meeting area.
  • Tell students that now they are going to share their drawing and writing with another student by using a new protocol: Pinky Partners.
  • Describe the protocol to students using the Pinky Partners anchor chart. They are going to find a new partner to talk to by first waving a pinky in the air. When they find a partner, link pinkies in the air and share.
  • Refer students again to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (listen with care, stay on topic, and respond to their classmates' ideas by asking questions or saying something) as necessary.
  • Tell students that one partner is going to share his or her drawing and writing about a magnificent thing. The other partner should listen and ask questions or say something about the magnificent thing. Encourage students to find a partner with whom they have not shared yet.
  • Invite students to begin.
  • Circulate and listen for students to attend to discussion norms. Prompt students to build on each other͛s drawing and writing about the magnificent thing.
  • After several minutes, signal for students to stop talking and invite the other partner to share.
  • Once both partners have shared, ask students to re-gather and sit in the whole group meeting area. Give specific and kind feedback on the discussion norms you saw students attending to as they listened to and responded to their partner͛s ideas. (Example: "I noticed that partners listened carefully to the partner who was talking.")
  • Tell students that tomorrow they will closely read another part of the book The Most Magnificent Thing. 
  • After you describe the Pinky Partners protocol, invite a few student volunteers to help you model what this might look like/sound like. As you do so, help students generate strategies for how to deal with potential frustration or confusion. Examples:
    • "What can I do if the friend I wanted to talk to already has a partner?"
    • What should I do if I don't have a partner?"
    • "How will I know if someone else doesn't have a partner?" (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: Model or fish bowl the partner sharing process for each step before students do so on their own.
  • For ELLs: If some beginning students are still unable or too uncomfortable to demonstrate their knowledge through speech, allow them to identify key concepts by pointing to their work. (Example: "Is that a mountain? Point to the mountain. Can you say, 'Mountains are magnificent'?")

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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