Speaking and Listening: Starting the Plan to Create a Magnificent Thing | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M1:U3:L1

Speaking and Listening: Starting the Plan to Create a Magnificent Thing

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.1.3: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • 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.
  • SL.1.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • SL.1.1b: Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
  • SL.1.1c: Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can describe steps used in The Most Magnificent Thing to build a magnificent thing. (RL.1.3)
  • I can participate in a discussion with my classmates about the needs of the classroom. (SL1.1, SL.1.1a, SL.1.1b, SL.1.1c

Ongoing Assessment

  • Use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to track students’ progress toward the lesson’s standards (SL.1.1a, SL.1.1b, and SL.1.1c) (see Assessment Overview and Resources). 

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #5 (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading Aloud: The Most Magnificent Thing, Pages 1–29 (15 minutes)

B. Developing Language: Using Pictures (10 minutes) 

C. Pinky Partners: Brainstorm Classroom Needs (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Structured Discussion: Deciding What to Build (10 minutes) 

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson launches Unit 3, in which students begin the process of creating a "magnificent thing" for the classroom. Students use the process the girl went through in the book The Most Magnificent Thing as a model for the process on how to build something. They then brainstorm ideas about what they might create.
  • Students continue to build their knowledge about tools and habits of character. To allow for a volume of reading on the topic of tools and work, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources list. Ensure that a variety of informational and narrative texts below, on, and above grade level for this topic are available during independent reading in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block.
  • This is the first lesson within the unit that gives students opportunities to demonstrate progress on 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. Use the Speaking and Listening Checklist during the Think-Pair-Share protocol to collect data on every student.
  • This lesson is the first in a series of three that include built-out instruction for the use of Goal 2 Conversation Cues. Conversation Cues are questions teachers can ask students to promote productive and equitable conversation (adapted from Michaels, Sarah and O’Connor, Cathy. Talk Science Primer. Cambridge, MA: TERC, 2012. Based on Chapin, S., O’Connor, C., and Anderson, N. [2009]. Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn, Grades K–6. Second Edition. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications). Goal 2 Conversation Cues encourage students to listen carefully to one another and seek to understand. Continue drawing on Goal 1 Conversation Cues, introduced in Unit 1, Lesson 3, and add Goal 2 Conversation Cues to more strategically promote productive and equitable conversation. As the modules progress, Goal 3 and 4 Conversation Cues are also introduced. See the Tools page for additional information on Conversation Cues. Consider providing students with a thinking journal or scrap paper. Examples of the Goal 2 Conversation Cues you will see in this unit and Module 2, Unit 1 are (with expected responses):
    • To help students listen carefully to one another and seek to understand:

      “Who can repeat what your classmate said?”

“She said _____.”

“Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?”

“He was saying that _____.”

  • This lesson reviews the module guiding question—"What will we need to make magnificent things?"—in Work Time B. Students will revisit their thinking on this question again in future lessons. Prompt students to think about everything they’ve learned in order to answer the question.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This is the first of many lessons in Unit 3 that ask students to apply their knowledge of tools (from Unit 1) and habits of character (from Unit 2) to the process of working together in small groups to create their own magnificent thing.
  • Having read The Little Red Pen in Unit 2, students should have a clear understanding of habits of character. Students now apply their own habits of character as they work in small groups.
  • Students revisit the little girl in The Most Magnificent Thing as a model for how to build a magnificent thing in the classroom.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • This lesson requires students to do a lot of speaking and listening. Display the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart for students to refer to throughout the lesson.
  • In Work Time C, students think of magnificent things to create for the classroom. For students who may need additional support, offer ideas listed in the Brainstorm List anchor chart (see supporting materials).
  • In the Closing, students narrow down their ideas to a set of items they will actually create. For students who may need additional support, assist them in thinking through the tools and materials needed for each item in order to choose items that can be completed in the time given.

Down the road:

  • For the performance task, students will create a magnificent thing. To complete the task over several lessons, students will need materials and classroom tools. Consider beginning a materials drive (with teachers and parents) to ask for basic materials such as tape, string, shoe boxes, cardboard, and paper towel tubes.
  • In Work Time C, students discuss what they might create for the classroom. Suggestions for projects can be found in Lessons 2 and 3 supporting materials with pictures of models for the Brainstorm List anchor chart. To take advantage of prepared materials, interest students in those suggestions through conversations during the work time.
  • This is one of seven lessons that lead students through the building process to create the first half of their performance task: a magnificent thing for the classroom. In order to complete the work within this time period, consider using the item suggestions listed on the Brainstorm List anchor chart in the suggested materials section or think about items that may not need too many materials to create.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • A sealed envelope labeled Mission #5, containing Mission Letter #5.
    • How to Make a Magnificent Thing anchor chart, using the pictures provided in the supporting materials. Post the pictures in the first column as indicated, but leave the other columns blank to fill in with students during Work Time B.
  • Set up a document camera to read Mission Letter #5 and to show other documents throughout the lesson (optional). If not using a document camera, copy the mission letter onto chart paper.
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share and Pinky Partners protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Post: Learning targets, "Learning Target" song, How to Make a Magnificent Thing anchor chart, module guiding question, Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart, Pinky Partners protocol, and Brainstorm List anchor chart.
  • Follow the guide in the supporting materials section to make a chart-sized version of the Brainstorm List. The magnificent things listed on the example chart include: center signs, mailbox, classwork display sign, homework bin, bathroom passes, mobile for sight words, and pencil holder. 

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A: The Mission Letter #5 could be an email.
  • Work Time A: If you recorded students singing the "Learning Target" song in Unit 2, play this recording for them to join in with.

Supporting English Language Learners

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

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs through the use of familiar illustrations to reinforce habits of character. Students will benefit from the rereading of The Most Magnificent Thing as they prepare to apply their knowledge of tools to create an original object.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to brainstorm hypothetical objects needed for the classroom. Make these ideas concrete by using the environment to illustrate their necessity. (Example: Scatter mail and important papers on the teacher’s desk and exclaim in frustration that there is no place to put them in an organized fashion.)

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During the Mini Language Dive, challenge students to generate questions about the sentence before asking the prepared questions. Example: "What questions can we ask about this sentence? Let’s see if we can answer them together."
  • Encourage students to use Conversation Cues with other students to promote productive and equitable conversation and to enhance language development.

For heavier support:

  • Remind students of the meaning of magnificent. Display the Frayer Model that was created in Unit 1. Review the definitions, examples, and non-examples.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Throughout this lesson, embed support for unfamiliar vocabulary by providing explanation and visual examples. This will help students make connections and support comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During Work Time B, students are asked to share ideas with the whole group. As students share out, provide options for expression and communication by using sentence frames.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): During Work Time C, students are invited to find multiple partners for sharing during the Pinky Partners protocol. Before students begin the protocol, create an accepting and supportive classroom climate by helping students to brainstorm strategies for how to find a new partner. 

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

New:

  • plan, revise, steps (L)
  • displayed (T)

Review:

  • initiative (L)
  • magnificent (T)

Materials

  • Mission Envelope (one; for Mission Letter #5; see Teaching Notes)
    • Mission Letter #5 (one to display)
  • "Learning Target" song (from Unit 2, Lesson 2; one to display)
  • Document camera (optional)
  • The Most Magnificent Thing (book; one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • How to Make a Magnificent Thing anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B; see supporting materials)
  • Module guiding question (one to display)
  • Pinky Partners anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 2)
  • Brainstorm List anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time C; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #5 (10 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 and take out Mission Letter #5. Act surprised when nothing else comes out of the envelope as it had previously.
  • Invite students to listen closely as you read the letter aloud slowly, fluently, and with expression.
  • Read the first paragraph. Then stop to give students specific positive praise on the work they’ve done to reach this point. (Example: "I’ve noticed everyone working together to get these challenges done.")
  • Read the second paragraph.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What will be important to remember as we make a magnificent thing for the classroom?” (choosing a tool that is best for the job; using perseverance through tough times)

  • Read the third paragraph.
  • Tell students that you will now reread the third paragraph, and that they should listen for important clues about how to get started.
  • Reread the third paragraph.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How should we begin making our magnificent thing?” (think about what we need for our classroom)

  • Continue reading the mission letter, reading each question slowly so students can process the questions.
  • Pause after reading, "Are there papers or work that need to be displayed?"
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does displayed mean?” (to be hung up and shown for everyone to see)

  • Finish reading each question and eliciting responses from the group.
  • Say: 

“From the sounds of it, this might be really hard.”

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What book might we look at for ideas on how to get started?” (The Most Magnificent Thing)

  • For ELLs: As you read Mission Letter #5, activate background knowledge by displaying examples of work students have completed up to this point as the class celebrates the completion of prior missions. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: While discussing the meaning of display, embed visual support for this vocabulary word by pointing to work and charts around the room that are on display. Ask: "Look around you. What are some things that I have displayed for the class to see?" (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Ask students about the sentence from Mission Letter #5: "You will need to use tools and habits of character while building your magnificent thing for the classroom." Examples:
    • "What does this sentence mean?" (Responses will vary.)
    • "This sentence tells us about something we need to do. Does anybody know how to say need in any of our home languages?" (necesitar in Spanish) Invite all students to repeat the translation in a different home language.
    • "The sentence says that you will need to use tools. When we see the word will, when is the sentence talking about?" (soon, in the future)
    • "This says we need to use tools. Can somebody come and circle the word tools?"
    • What are some tools we know how to use?" (Responses will vary.)
    • "Are we only going to use tools? Or something else too? Which word tells us there is more?" (We are also using habits of character. And tells us there is more.)
    • "What are some habits of character?" (Responses will vary.)
    • "Where will we use this magnificent thing that we are making with tools and habits of character? How do you know? Can somebody underline the part of the sentence that tells us?" (The classroom. It says for the classroom in the sentence.)
    • "Can you put this learning target in your own words?" (Responses will vary.) (MMR)
    • Throughout this module, students have had multiple opportunities to open a mission letter. As you open Mission Letter #5, facilitate students’ self-regulation skills by inviting students to sharesocially appropriate ways to express enthusiasm/excitement about this new mission (e.g., silent cheer, give yourself a hug, take a deep breath and smile). (MME) 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Aloud: The Most Magnificent Thing, Pages 1–29 (15 minutes) 

  • Remind students that they have a great model for how to make a magnificent thing—the little girl from The Most Magnificent Thing.
  • Invite students to sing the "Learning Target" song. Review as necessary.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can describe steps used in The Most Magnificent Thing to build a magnificent thing.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What does the word steps mean in this learning target?” (Steps are used in a process; they are the actions we need to get done to make a magnificent thing.)

  • Point to the word used in the target.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite response from the group:

“When it says that steps were used,who used the steps? (The girl used steps to make the magnificent thing.)

  • Tell students that they will work together to notice the steps the little girl takes in order to help them create their own magnificent thing.
  • Using a document camera, display The Most Magnificent Thing. While still displaying the text, read it aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 1 and review as necessary, using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“What makes something magnificent?” (Magnificent things can be ordinary and not perfect but special in a different way.)

  • As students share, remind them to use the norms listed on the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart as they take turns listening and talking. Circulate to collect data on the Speaking and Listening Checklist and prompt students by asking questions like:
    • "What makes you think that?"
    • "Would you like to add to that idea?"
  • Bring the conversation to a close and direct students’ attention to the posted How to Make a Magnificent Thing anchor chart. Tell them they will start their magnificent thing by looking at what the girl does in the story.
  • For ELLs: Some students may not understand or remember the purpose of the magnificent thing in the story. Activate or supply background knowledge by asking questions to clarify exactly what it is. Example: "What is the magnificent thing she made? Why did she need it?" (It is a car for her dog to ride next to her. She needed it because she was going too fast on her scooter for her dog to stay beside her.) (MMR)
  • As you discuss new vocabulary words in the learning target (e.g., steps, used), optimize relevance by helping students make connections to their own lives. (Example: "What are some activities you do at home that need to be done in steps? Getting ready for bed?" or "One thing I do in steps is dinner. The first step is cooking. The next step is setting the table. The third step is eating. And the final step is washing the dishes!") (MME)

B. Developing Language: Using Pictures (10 minutes) 

  • Using the document camera, display page 3 from The Most Magnificent Thing.
  • Invite students to stand up.
  • Tell students that you are going to reread page 3, and as you do, they should pretend to do the actions from that page.
  • Invite students to return to a seated position.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is the girl doing in the picture on page 3?” (thinking of ideas; sketching)

  • As students share out, capture their ideas in the second column of the How to Make a Magnificent thing anchor chart.
  • Tell students you want to label, or name, this step to help class members begin to make their own magnificent thing. Invite students to whisper into their hands the name of this step.
  • Label the first step on the chart "Planning."
  • Repeat this process with the picture from page 7 (working) and the picture from page 8 (revising). 
  • Draw students’ attention to the posted module guiding question and read it aloud:
    • "What do we need to make magnificent things?"
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“Based on what we’ve learned from The Most Magnificent Thing, what will we need to make magnificent things?” (tools and habits of character)

  • If productive, use a Goal 2 Conversation Cue to encourage students to listen carefully:

“Who can repeat what your classmate said?” (Responses will vary.)

  • For ELLs: As students share out, provide options for expression and communication by utilizing sentence frames: "The girl is ______-ing." Model using the sentence frame with -ing. (Examples: "The girl is thinking. The girl is writing. What else is she doing? Think about the habits of character.") (MMAE)
  • As you label the steps (planning, working, revising) on the chart, clarify vocabulary by asking students to generate definitions for each of these words. If students do not come up with an accurate definition, explicitly state their meaning. (MMR, MMAE)

C. Pinky Partners: Brainstorm Classroom Needs (15 minutes) 

  • Focus students’ attention on the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:
    • “I can participate in a discussion with my classmates about the needs of the classroom.”
  • Ask for students to tap their head if they know what they are doing next. If a majority of students require clarification, offer a student who does understand the opportunity to explain the target in his or her own words.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart and remind students that you will be listening and looking for them to be using the norms.
  • Using the document camera, display Mission Letter #5.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Pinky Partners protocol to discuss each question in the letter and figure out what to make. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 2 and review as necessary, using the Pinky Partners anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Invite students to begin the protocol and discuss the first question with their partner:

“Is there any material that needs to be more organized?”

  • Repeat the protocol for each of the remaining questions in the mission letter, each time finding a new partner.
  • Circulate as students participate in the protocol and listen for ideas to write on the Brainstorm List anchor chart for the class to talk about in the Closing.
  • If the following items are not mentioned, add them to the Brainstorm List anchor chart: work sign, pencil holder, homework bin, sight word mobile, center signs, bathroom passes, mailbox.
  • Ask students to return to the whole group area with one of the good ideas they heard locked in their brain.
  • For ELLs: To check for comprehension, cold call an ELL and ask what the class will be doing next. If the student seems unsure, ask other students and clarify as needed.
  • For ELLs: Pair students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The partner with greater language proficiency can serve as a model in the pair, initiating discussions and providing implicit sentence frames.
  • For ELLs: While adding items to the list, briefly clarify the purpose of each item. Display a photograph or illustration of each item to allow students to conceptualize them without relying solely on language. (MMR)
  • Before students begin the protocol, create an accepting and supportive classroom climate by asking students to brainstorm strategies for finding a new partner. (Example: "When it’s time to change partners I might be worried about partnering with someone new. What are some things I can do or say to help me find a new partner?") (MME) 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Structured Discussion: Deciding What to Build (10 minutes) 

  • Focus students’ attention on the Brainstorm List anchor chart and provide students with specific positive praise on their ability to generate so many ideas.
  • Explain that although the list is full of fantastic ideas, not all of them can be made for the project.
    • Some ideas will take much longer to build.
    • Some ideas will need machines or tools that are not safe for the classroom.
    • Some ideas may need to be changed a little for them to work.
  • Read the first suggestion on the Brainstorm List anchor chart aloud.
  • Say:  

“A lamp is a great idea, but I think we might need to use a saw to make it and that may not be safe for the classroom.”

  • Continue leading students through the list by thinking aloud about the feasibility of each item. Narrow the list down to five choices that work best for the classroom.
  • Read the final list with excitement. Tell students that you will have pictures of these magnificent things for them to look at when they begin working on their own magnificent things tomorrow. 

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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