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ELA G1:M1:U2:L7

Focused Read-aloud, Session 1: Introducing the Characters in The Little Red Pen

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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.
  • RL.1.3: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • RL.1.4: Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
  • RL.1.7: Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can identify a character's feelings using evidence from the illustrations and the text (RL.1.4, RL.1.7)
  • I can describe a character or important events in the story. (RL.1.3, RL.1.7) 

Ongoing Assessment

  • Use the Unit 2 Assessment RL.1.1/RL.1.3 Checklist to track students' progress toward both standards (see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1).
  • During Work Time B, students discuss a text-based question. Prompt students still struggling with speaking and listening behaviors to use the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart displayed in the room. 

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #4 (15 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Focused Read-aloud Session 1: The Little Red Pen, Pages 1–22 (25 minutes)

B. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Doing Work with Habits of Character (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes) 

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • In Work Time A, students are introduced to a new book, The Little Red Pen. Over the next couple of lessons, students complete focused read-alouds, answering text-dependent questions about the text after hearing it read aloud. These questions are found directly in the body of the lesson; they have a skill-based focus for reading and include fewer questions per lesson than a close read-aloud.
  • Students will use the work done around habits of character in The Most Magnificent Thing and apply it to new characters and situations in The Little Red Pen in order to check for understanding. During application of their knowledge, students will also be taught new literacy skills in order to master RL.1.3 and RL.1.4.
  • In this lesson, students are assessed on their progress with RL.1.3 and RL.1.1, using the Unit 2 Assessment Checklist.
  • Students practice finding words that show a feeling by listening to the story and thinking about which feelings are being shown in the plot. Students learn this skill as a class and then work on it in later lessons in pairs. (RL.1.4).
  • The pages of The Little Red Pen are not numbered. For instructional purposes, the page that begins with "Let's get to work" should be considered page 1 and all pages thereafter numbered accordingly.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Lessons 1–6, students learned about habits of character. In this lesson, students use that knowledge to identify habits of character shown by characters in The Little Red Pen. While the previous lessons focused on students gaining content knowledge around the habits of character, this lesson begins a set of lessons that require students to apply that content knowledge to a new text while also gaining literacy skills around standards RL.1.3 and RL.1.4.
  • This lesson continues to give students opportunities to use their speaking and listening behaviors while discussing the habits of character they see characters show in the book.
  • In the Closing, students revisit the self-assessment protocol Sit, Kneel, Stand introduced in Lesson 5 of Unit 1. This protocol encourages students to continuing building capacity to self-assess their learning.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • In Work Time A, students work with partners to discuss their answers and may need help using the behaviors learned from the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart. Support students with using the nonverbal signals that the class came up with for each behavior, or model showing the behavior with a partner.
  • In Work Time B, students learn and participate in a new protocol: Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face. Some students may need additional support remembering the steps. Consider teaching and practicing this protocol in advance of this lesson.

Down the road:

  • This is the first of four lessons with opportunities to collect data on students' progress toward RL.1.1 and RL.1.3 through the focused read-alouds.
  • In Lessons 8–10, students will repeat the same lesson steps, moving toward more independence. 

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to read Mission Letter #4 and to show other documents throughout the lesson (optional). If not using a document camera, copy the mission letter onto chart paper.
  • Preview Mission Letter #4 and the Opening in order to practice when to stop reading the letter aloud.
  • Prepare:
    • A sealed envelope labeled "Mission #4," containing the Mission Letter #4
    • Words That Show Feelings anchor chart.
    • Session 1, Feeling Words chart.
    • Back-to Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart.
  • Number the pages in The Little Red Pen.
  • Consider placing sticky notes throughout The Little Red Pen to mark stopping points for questions.
  • Review the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol (introduced in this lesson) and the Sit, Stand, Kneel protocol (introduced in Unit 1). (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.) 
  • Post: Learning targets, Learning Target Song (from Lesson 2), Words that Show Feelings anchor chart, Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart, Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A: The Mission Letter #4 could be an email.
  • Opening A: If you recorded students singing the "Learning Target" song in Lesson 2, play this recording for them to join in with.
  • Work Time A: Use an Ebook version of The Little Red Pen to display.
  • Work Time A: Create the Words That Show Feelings anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display. Use emoticons for the faces.
  • Work Time B: Video record students participating in the protocol to show to students when they need a reminder of what to do later on. Post it 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.B.6–8

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs through the use of visual support for vocabulary and the opportunity to use oral language in a structured way.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to connect feeling words they know with synonyms that may appear in the text. Additionally, frown is identified as a feeling word, but it is a verb, not an adjective to describe feelings. Make these distinctions in a developmentally appropriate way. Connect each word to synonyms that students might recognize. (Example: "Another word for exhausted is tired. There are lots of feeling words we can use!")
  • The Little Red Pen includes allusions to popular fairy tales that may be unfamiliar to some cultures, such as The Little Red Hen and Chicken Little. The allusions are not critical for comprehension of the story, but be aware that some students may understand these allusions while others may not. Consider reading a brief version of The Little Red Hen or Chicken Little to prime students for the focused read-aloud.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • The Little Red Pen has a character that speaks in Spanish. Point out that the dialogue is in a different language. If some students speak Spanish, invite them to translate the dialogue for the class. Discuss how lucky the class is to have students who can help everyone understand the text.
  • Encourage students to use Conversation Cues with other students to promote productive and equitable conversation and enhance language development.

For heavier support:

  • Before beginning to read The Little Red Pen, do a Picture Walk, ask questions, and provide context for the book. Students will be able to better focus on the read-aloud targets if they are clear about the events in the story. (Example: "This is a story about some tools that can talk! They need to get a job done. Let's look at the pictures. How do you think they will get the work done?")
  • Throughout the reading for gist, stop often to check for comprehension. Ask students to summarize the events and ideas in the text. When necessary, paraphrase the events in more comprehensible language. 

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students are invited to assess the class's progress toward the learning targets. When displaying the learning targets, present these key concepts with images. These images can highlight big ideas and will help students more accurately evaluate class progress toward the learning targets.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During the focused read-aloud, students are asked to identify character feelings based on feeling words. As an option for students to express the feeling words they hear in the book, provide white boards and dry-erase markers. Students can follow along by drawing the corresponding facial expression on their dry-erase board.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): This lesson introduces students to the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, a new way to share with a partner. 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. Each time students turn face-to-face, make it clear which partner (A or B) will share first. 

Vocabulary

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

  • describe, evidence, identify, reviewing (L)
  • exhausted, frowned (T)

Materials

  • Mission Envelope #4 (one; for Mission Letter #4; see Teaching Notes)
    • Mission Letter #4 (one to display)
    • The Little Red Pen (book; one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Document camera (optional)
  • "Learning Target" song (from Lesson 2; one to display)
  • Words That Show Feelings anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Session 1, Feeling Words chart (one to display)
  • Session 1, Feeling Words chart (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Unit 2 Assessment RL.1.1/RL1.3 Checklist (see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Unit 1)
  • Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #4 (15 minutes) 

  • Gather students together whole group.
  • With excitement, tell students that the class has received another big envelope with the word "Mission" written on it!
  • Slowly open the Mission Envelope #4 and take out Mission Letter #4 and The Little Red Pen.
  • Using a document camera, display Mission Letter #4.
  • Invite students to listen closely as you read the letter aloud slowly, fluently, and with expression until you get to the first face.
  • Stop. Pretend to be confused and ask students:

“What do you think that face means?” (happy, excited, thrilled)

“What is the translation of excited in our home languages?” (emocionada in Spanish) Call on student volunteers to share. Ask other students to choose one translation to quietly repeat. Invite students to say their chosen translation out loud when you give the signal. Choral repeat the translations and the word in English. Invite self- and peer-correction of the pronunciation of the translations and the English.

  • Point out that there are more faces on the letter. Ask students to turn and talk:

“What should you do when you get to a face?” (You should use a word that matches the face’s feeling.)

  • Tell students there are many words that help to show a feeling, and sometimes many words to show the same feeling. Encourage students to help you think of a few words that show each face's feeling as you continue to read the letter.
  • If time permits, write students' suggestions on the mission letter next to each face.
  • Tell students you are going to reread the letter. This time, they should listen for any words that seem important to their mission.
  • While still displaying Mission Letter #4, focus students on the second paragraph. Ask:

“What words are important to completing the mission?” (practice, find, habits of character, looking, listening, evidence)

  • Guide students to include the word evidence. Explain that evidence is proof or facts that show something is true.
  • Invite students to turn and talk:

“What did the letter say would be different about reading this new book?” (using our learning about habits of character in a new book)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted "Learning Target" song and invite them to sing it along with you.
  • Focus students' attention on the posted learning targets, and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can identify a character’s feelings using evidence from the illustrations and the text.”
  • Encourage students to whisper an important word from the learning target into their hand. (identify, feelings, evidence)
  • Circle these words on the posted learning target. If support is needed for identify, mime pointing at something while exclaiming, "I've found it!" Have students repeat the motion.
  • Focus students' attention on the posted learning targets, and read the second one aloud:
    • “I can describe a character or important events in the story.”
  • Underline the word describe, and invite students to turn and talk:

“What does describe mean?” (identify characteristics, tell about)

  • With excitement, remind students that headquarters is waiting to hear about their progress, so they'd better begin!
  • As you introduce Mission Envelope #4, facilitate students' self-regulation skills by modeling socially appropriate ways to express enthusiasm/excitement about this new mission (examples: silent cheer, give yourself a hug, take a deep breath and smile). (MME)
  • To vary methods for response, invite students to generate ideas for physical movements that express particular phrases in "Learning Target" song (examples: "grow your mind"; "do your best"; "hooray"). Invite students to join you in doing the movements as you sing the song together. (MMAE)
  • When you display the learning targets, present these key concepts with images. The images can highlight big ideas and will help students accurately evaluate class progress toward these learning targets during the Closing and Assessment section later. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: If some students do not know the words for the emotions, encourage them to participate by sharing the words in their home languages, or imitating the emotions on their own faces.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Focused Read-aloud Session 1: The Little Red Pen, Pages 1–22 (25 minutes) 

  • Tell students that before you get started, you have some questions about this book. Say: "Let's review our question words so we can ask good questions. I am going to say a couple of words. If you hear a question word, stand up in your spot. If it is not a question word, kneel in your spot."
  • Slowly say the list of words, allowing time for students to stand or kneel.
    • What, why, from, where, go, how, when, try, which (this one may be tricky)
  • Invite students to sit in their spot. Display The Little Red Pen and model looking at its cover.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“Why do these tools have faces?” (because they are characters)

  • Explain that the book doesn't have faces in it like the mission letter, but it does have words thatshow feelings like the faces. Students will use both charts to practice identifying feelings.
  • While still display the text, read pages 1–12 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, while pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Turn back to page 12. Read the first sentence on this page and stop. Tell students that there is a word in this sentence that shows you how the Little Red Pen is feeling.
  • Direct students' attention to the Words That Show Feelings anchor chart and the Session 1, Feeling Words chart.
  • Point to and reread the sentence from page 12.
  • Think aloud: "I heard frowned. When I make a frown face, it reminds me of being sad or disappointed. I will circle the sad face because I think the pen is sad. When I look for evidence, I know the word frowned tells me she is sad, so I will circle that word."
  • Invite students to frown.
  • Ask students to turn and talk:

“Which face matches the word frowned on the Words That Show Feelings anchor chart?” (the sad face)

  • Write the word frowned next to the sad face, leaving space for more words to be added. Refer to Session 1, Feeling Words chart (answers, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • While still displaying the text, continuing reading pages 12–14 until the sentence "Then she fell over, exhausted."
  • Model identifying feeling words again. Tell students that there is a word in that sentence that shows you how the Little Red Pen is feeling. Draw students' attention to the Session 1, Feeling Words chart and point to the sentence from page 14.
  • Reread the sentence and ask students to show you an expression that shows how the Little Red Pen is feeling. Call on a student showing a tired expression to share with the class the reason he or she thinks the Little Red Pen is tired. Circle the tired face on the Session 1, Feeling Words chart.
  • Encourage students to point to each word in the sentence from their seats as you reread it. Then have students put an air circle around the word that shows the feeling tired.
  • Circle the word exhausted on the Session 1, Feeling Words chart and write "exhausted" next to the tired face on the Words That Show Feelings chart.
  • Draw students' attention back to the text and continuing reading aloud pages 14–20.
  • Stop reading after page 20. Say: "Choose a character from these pages. Describe to your partner how that character tried to mark the papers."
  • Give students 1 minute to think. Then invite them to turn and talk.
  • Circulate as students share to collect information on the Unit 2 Assessment RL.1.1/RL.1.3 Checklist.
  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Draw students' attention back to the text and continuing reading aloud pages 21–22.
  • Stop reading after page 22. Invite students to turn and talk:

“What is the problem in this story? Are they solving their problem?” (The problem is that the papers need to be graded but the Little Red Pen isn’t around and it might be the end of the world. They are not solving their problem because they are fighting.)

  • Circulate as students share to collect information on the Unit 2 Assessment RL.1.1/RL1.3 Checklist.
  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by giving an example:

“Can you give an example?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Invite students to make an expression to show how well the characters are doing with their work. Tell them you can't wait to hear what they have to say about what the characters need to do to get their work done. 
  • Before you begin reading, provide white boards and white board markers as an option for students to express the feeling words they hear in the book. As you model circling the faces from the Words That Show Feelings anchor chart, students can follow along by drawing the corresponding facial expression on their dry-erase board. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Buy or ask for large paint chips from a local hardware or paint store, or print them online. Write the words tired, exhausted, and fatigued, each on a different shade of paint chip. Place them on the wall and discuss the shades of meaning in relation to the characters' feelings. 

B. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Doing Work with Habits of Character (15 minutes) 

  • Draw students' attention to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is a discussion norm you should follow while talking?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Create a signal with students that will help them remember each norm. Example: Point to your eyes for eye contact.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart. Tell students that, using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, they are going to share their learning about how characters in the book get work done.
    • Have students find a partner and stand back-to-back with each other, being respectful of space.
    • Ask students the following question and give them 30 seconds to consider how they will respond:

“What will help the characters in the book get their work done?”

    • Invite students to turn face-to-face to share their responses.
    • Repeat Steps 3–5 as time allows with another question.

“Why isn’t the work getting done?”

  • Encourage students to give a kind handshake to their partner before returning to their workspace.
  • To help students anticipate and prepare for sharing their thinking with a partner during the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, provide all students with index cards that designate whether they are partner A or B. Each time students turn face-to-face, make it clear which partner (A or B) will share first. (MME)
  • For ELLs: As students interact, notice instances in which students omit using the articles a and the. Identify the error and recast the sentence correctly. Invite students to repeat. (Example: "You said the Little Red Pen can 'take break.' I think you meant to say, 'take a break.' Now you say it!")
  • For ELLs: Use sentence frames to prompt discussion and to model standard syntax. Model using the sentence frames and invite students to use them during the Back-to-Back-Face-to-Face protocol. (Example: "I think _____ will help the characters get the work done.")

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Remind students that the best leaarning happens when learners check to see how well they are doing and what they can do to be even better.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets. Tell them you are going to read them aloud, and as you do, they should silently think about how the class did with the learning targets in this lesson.
    • “I can identify a character’s feelings using evidence from the illustrations and the text.”
    • “I can describe a character or important events in the story.”
  • Tell students they are going to participate in the Sit, Kneel, Stand protocol to share their thoughts. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 1. Review as necessary. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Invite students to participate in the protocol for each of the learning targets.
  • Comment on how the class has rated themselves. (Example: "I notice that about half the class thinks ...")
  • Have students sit, and cold call a student to share his/her thoughts.
  • Prompt students to clarify and justify their thinking with questions such as:

“Why do you think the class did some of these really well?”

“What can our class do a little better next time?”

  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by saying more:

“Can you say more about that?” (Responses will vary.)

  • After a student is done sharing, invite him or her to call on another student to share that person's thinking.
  • Encourage students to remember how they did so they can do an even better job in the next lesson. 
  • After the Sit, Kneel, Stand protocol, increase mastery-oriented feedback by recording students͛ideas related to learning targets (i.e., what they did well or could do better) on the board or chart paper. (MME) 

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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