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ELA G1:M2:U1:L1

Noticing and Wondering: Observing and Asking Questions about the Sun, Moon, and Stars

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.1.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • 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.1.2: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can describe what I observe in pictures and videos of the sun, moon, and stars. (W.1.8, SL.1.1a, SL.1.2)
  • I can ask questions about what I notice in pictures and videos of the sun, moon, and stars. (SL.1.1a, SL.1.2)

Ongoing Assessment

  • As students engage in the protocols included in this lesson (e.g., Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face and Picture Tea Party), use the Speaking and Listening checklist to note whether students are following conversation norms and the types of questions they are asking. (SL.1.1a, SL.1.2)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reading Aloud: "Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky," Part 1 (10 minutes)

B. Picture Tea Party: Noticing and Wondering (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Engaging the Learner: Reviewing Effective Learners Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

B. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Engaging the Scientist (10 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: Noticing and Wondering about the Sun, Moon, and Stars (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Shared Writing: Noticing and Wondering about the Sun, Moon, and Stars (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson introduces the module topic (sun, moon, and stars) through a narrative about a young boy named Elvin. The story about Elvin invites students into the study of the sun, moon, and stars. Students learn what Elvin notices, observes, and wonders about the sky. Throughout the unit, encourage students to engage with this imaginary character and his adventures as a way to foster their curiosity and imagination.
  • In Work Time B, students watch two short videos to elicit wonder and curiosity about the sun, moon, and stars. As an alternative to the videos provided, consider gathering photographs of the sun, moon, and stars in varying shapes, sizes, colors, and positions.
  • In almost all lessons in this unit, students hear complex texts read aloud. Primary learners need to hear many texts read aloud in order to build their word and world knowledge. When possible, display the text when reading aloud. And when doing a first read-aloud of a given text, read fluently, with expression, and without interruption. Refer to the module overview for additional information.
  • To allow for a volume of reading on the topic of weather for this module, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources list. Ensure that students have a variety of informational and narrative 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 on previously introduced speaking and listening routines such as the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol and introduces new instructional routines such as the Picture Tea Party protocol and independent writing.
  • Throughout Module 1, students were introduced to Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. Continue using Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues in this way, considering suggestions within lessons. Refer to the Module 1 Appendix for additional information on Conversation Cues.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • The Picture Tea Party protocol is new for students. Students may need extra scaffolding or modeling to transition from Round 1 to Round 2 groups. Also, based on students’ prior experiences, they may need more structure to determine the order in which they share.
  • Some students may need extra support during Work Time C, as they independently write to capture their notices and wonders about the sun, moon, and stars. Support these students by encouraging them to draw their ideas and then add labels or by providing sentence frames such as: “I notice ________ about the sun” and “I wonder if the sun _________.”

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 2, students will be introduced to the Unit 1 guiding question: “Why do authors write about the sun, moon, and stars?” They will develop answers to this question as they engage in close read-aloud sessions of Summer Sun Risin’ in Lessons 3–7 and focused read-aloud sessions of a number of other narrative texts in Lessons 8–13.
  • In Unit 1, the focus is on supporting students’ growing understanding of narrative texts and narrative story elements such as character, setting, major events, and the central message. In Unit 2, students deepen their understanding of observable patterns of the sun, moon, and stars as they read nonfiction texts and take part in scientific experiences. In Unit 3, students will use this knowledge, coupled with a deepened understanding of scientific concepts gained from Unit 2, to develop their own narrative texts.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • For the Picture Tea Party protocol in Opening B by copying the Picture Tea Party Protocol anchor chart onto chart paper, pre-determining groups of three to four students for the first round of the Picture Tea Party protocol, and organizing the mystery sky photos.
    • Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall cards for the words sun, moon, and stars. Write or type the word on a card and create or find a visual to accompany each word.
    • Technology necessary to play the “Observe Sunrise and Sunset,” “Moonrise,” and “Time-lapse of Starry Night Sky” videos.
    • Noticing and Wondering anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Pre-distribute materials for Work Time C at student workspaces to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Review the Picture Tea Party protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of this protocol.)
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A: “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 1 could be an email.
  • Opening A: Create a slideshow of the mystery sky photos.
  • Opening B: Create the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall in an online format such as Padlet (https://padlet.com/) to share vocabulary words with families.
  • Work Time B: Consider showing students a sun time-lapse video now: “Observe Sunrise and Sunset.” PBS Learning Media. 2016. Accessed on 18 July, 2016. 
  • Work Time B: Consider showing students two moon and star time-lapse videos now:
  • Closing A: Create the Noticing and Wondering anchor chart in an online format—for example, a Google Doc—to display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.A.1, 1.I.A.3, 1.I.B.6, 1.I.C.10, and 1.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to build schema about the topic of the module with videos, structured discussions, and graphic organizers.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to process the abundance of information about the new topic in order to articulate things that they both notice and wonder. Frequently remind students of the meanings of notice and wonder. Frequently think aloud the cognitive process of making observations and asking questions about the observations. See Meeting Students’ Needs column for further suggestions.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • If students have been strategically paired with a partner of a more advanced proficiency level throughout Module 1, consider placing students in pairs of similar proficiency for this lesson. This will foster independence while providing the opportunity to assess progress in speaking and listening.

For heavier support:

  • During Opening B, work closely with a group of students who need heavier support. Dictate the sentence frames “I see _____, so I predict we might learn about ______.” and “I see _____, so I wonder _____.” Support students in making predictions and wonders.
  • During Work Time C, work closely with a group of students who need heavier support. Consider completing the task as a shared writing experience.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students review the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. Some students may benefit from context-specific visual cues to remember the meaning of each habit of character (initiative, collaboration, perseverance, and responsibility) on this chart. Consider printing and displaying photographs of students demonstrating each habit of character to connect these terms to concrete shared experiences.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): Students have a range of fine motor abilities and writing needs. During independent writing, vary methods for fine motor responses by offering options for drawing utensils, writing tools, and scaffolds.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): When reading “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” some students may need explicit prompts to relate to this text. Optimize relevance by pausing at several places, asking students to share connections to the text based on their own lives.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • sun, moon, stars (L)

Review:

  • observe, effective (L)

Materials

  • “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 1 (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Mystery sky photos (one per student)
  • Picture Tea Party protocol anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall (new; teacher-created; see Teaching Notes)
  • Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall cards (new; teacher-created; three)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)“Observe Sunrise and Sunset” (video; play in entirety; see Teaching Notes)
  • Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • “Moonrise” (video; play in entirety; see Teaching Notes)
  • “Time-lapse of Starry Night Sky” (video; play in entirety; see Teaching Notes)
  • Noticing and Wondering response sheet (one per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Crayons (class set; variety of colors per student)
  • Noticing and Wondering anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Closing; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Aloud: “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 1 (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to the whole group area.
  • Tell them that today is a very exciting day because they get to listen to a brand-new story.
  • Display “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 1 and read the title aloud.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Based on the title of the story, what do you think this story will be about?” (a little boy who likes things in the sky; a little boy who likes the clouds; a little boy who likes to look at the sky)

  • Say:

“As I read this story, I want you to think hard about all of the things Elvin wonders about and all of the questions he has.”

  • Invite students to quietly push the imaginary button on their brains to show they are ready to think hard. Model the gesture if necessary.
  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read aloud the first paragraph slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is one thing we know about Elvin?” (He loves to look at the sky, he wonders about the sun and the moon, and he likes to lie down in the grass to look at the sky.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read aloud the second paragraph.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does Elvin observe about the sun?” (He sees it in different places in the sky, he sees that sometimes it is bright and sometimes it is pale, and sometimes he can’t see it at all because they sky is full of clouds.)

“What does Elvin wonder about the sun?” (He wonders how it moves, he wonders about its size, and he wonders about its different colors.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read aloud the third paragraph. Ask:

“What does Elvin observe about the moon?” (He sees that the moon is sometimes small and sometimes large, he sees that sometimes it rises from behind buildings, and sometimes he doesn’t see it at all.”)

“What does Elvin wonder about the moon?” (He wonders why it is different sizes and why the shape of the moon sometimes changes.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read the final paragraph.
  • Display a selection of the mystery sky photos and tell students that they are each going to get a chance to look closely at one of the photos that the photographer gave to Elvin.
  • As you discuss each paragraph of “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” optimize relevance by asking students to share connections to the text based on their own lives. (Example: After reading the first paragraph, say: “Give a thumbs-up if you have lain on the grass to look at the sky.”) (MME)
  • After reading and discussing “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” support comprehension and provide options for expression by inviting three students to each illustrate one of the paragraphs in the story. Display the story with illustrations in an accessible place for students to refer to throughout the unit during subsequent readings. (MMR, MMAE)

B. Picture Tea Party: Noticing and Wondering (10 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can describe what I observe in pictures and videos of the sun, moon, and stars.”
  • Remind students that observe means to look closely at something.
  • Share that today, they are going to talk about the pictures from Elvin and the photographer in a new way. They will use the Picture Tea Party protocol to share their ideas in a small group.
  • Move students into pre-determined groups and invite them to label themselves A, B, C, etc.
  • Referring to the Picture Tea Party Protocol anchor chart, explain the steps:
  1. Point to the image of the person looking at the picture. Tell students that you will give them a picture. When they get their picture, they should look at it closely. Have students put on their imaginary glasses to indicate looking closely.
  2. Point to the image of the people facing each other with speech bubbles. Tell students that once everyone has looked closely at their picture, you will signal them to share with their small group using the sentence frame “In my picture, I see_______.” Group member A should share first.
  3. Point to the image of the people raising their hands. Once every group member has shared, they should raise their hands to show they have finished talking and listening.
  4. Point to the image of the people walking. Tell students that once all groups have their hands in the air, you will signal them to calmly and quietly walk around the room to form a new group of three to four students. Once in their new groups, they should relabel themselves A, B, C, etc.
  5. Point to the image of people sitting. Tell students that once they have formed a new group, they should sit with their group.
  6. Point to the image of the people facing each other with speech bubbles. Tell students that this time, they will share a prediction about what they might learn or a question about their picture, using a sentence frame. Group member A should share first. Review the definition of prediction as necessary (a statement about something the might happen or is expected to happen). Post the following sentence frames:
  • "I see _____, so I predict we might learn about ______.”

  • “I see _____, so I wonder _____.”

  • Point to the image of the people raising their hands. Once every group member has shared, they should again raise their hands to show they have finished talking and listening.
    • Direct students’ attention to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart and quickly review their jobs as speakers and listeners.
    • Distribute the mystery sky photos and guide students through the Picture Tea Party protocol using the Picture Tea Party Protocol anchor chart.
    • Circulate to support students as they discuss. Consider using the Speaking and Listening Checklist to gather data on students’ progress toward SL.1.1a and SL.1.2.
    • Give students specific, positive feedback on their work during the Picture Tea Party protocol. (Example: “I noticed Sarah looking closely at her picture for details to share with her group.”)
    • Introduce the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall. Say:

    “Remember how we had a special place in the room to collect our tools and work words? We will also have a special spot for our sun, moon, and star words, too. Let’s add our first important word—sun!”

    • Show students the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall card for sun.
    • Ask students to repeat the word aloud with an accompanying hand gesture.
    • Define the word for students: “It is the star that is closest to the earth. The earth receives heat and light from the sun and travels around it.”
    • Say:

    “What is the translation of sun in our home languages?” (e.g., sol in Spanish, jua in Swahili) Call on a student volunteer 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.

    • Provide an example of the word in a sentence: “The sun shines through my window in the morning.”
    • Place the Word Wall card and picture for sun on the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall.
    • As you review the meaning of observe, offer an alternative to auditory information by introducing a physical gesture indicating the word’s meaning. (Example: Form a circle with one hand and place it over an eye as if you are looking closely through a magnifying glass.) (MMR)
    • For ELLs: Invite a small group of volunteers to briefly fish bowl or model the Picture Tea Party protocol for the group. As they model, cold call students to repeat or add to what the volunteers have said, using the sentence frames. This will provide an opportunity to check for comprehension while giving some students practice using the sentence frames before the protocol begins.
    • For ELLs: It may take longer for some students to process language and follow the conversation during the Picture Tea Party protocol. Encourage students to speak up when they would like to hear something repeated. Empower them with questions they can ask to regulate the pace of the conversation. (Examples: “Can you please repeat what you said?” “Can you please speak more slowly?”)
    • Have student volunteers model the Picture Tea Party protocol for the class, and then provide the entire class with the opportunity to practice grouping up with three to four students a few times before asking them to discuss the photos with their group. (MMR)

    Work Time

    Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

    A. Engaging the Learner: Reviewing Effective Learners Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

    • Refocus students whole group.
    • Remind students that in the previous module they learned a lot about habits that help them learn. Remind them they spent a lot of time practicing those habits and reflecting on their work to show those habits.
    • Direct students’ attention to the posted Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and read it aloud:
      • “Initiative: I notice what needs to be done and I do it.”
      • “Collaboration: I can work well with others to get something done.”
      • “Perseverance: I challenge myself. When something is hard, I keep trying and ask for help if I need it.”
      • “Responsibility: I take ownership of my work, my actions, and my space.”
    • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

    “Which of these habits of character did you focus on using and learning more about during the last module? How did you show that you were using it?” (Responses will vary.)

    “What is one of these habits of character that you would like to continue to focus on as we start this new module?” (Responses will vary.)

    • Refocus whole group and invite a few students to share out.
    • Tell students that they will use all of their hard work from the previous module as they begin this new study because it will be important to use their habits that help them learn as they read, write, notice, and wonder about the sun, moon, and stars.

    Meeting Students’ Needs

    • Activate background knowledge by linking each habit of character (initiative, collaboration, perseverance, and responsibility) to printed photographs of students demonstrating each habit of character. (MMR)
    • For ELLs: Annotate the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart with synonyms for each habit of character (Examples: do it; work together; keep trying; take care of my own work, behavior, and things.) To refresh their memories, invite students to use the sentence frame “I showed ______, when I _____.” (I showed collaboration when I helped make my magnificent thing).
    • For ELLs: Watch the sky, sun, and moon videos twice. Students will be able to absorb and process more information during their second viewing. Before the second viewing, ask: “What is one thing you noticed about the sun in the video?”

    B. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Engaging the Scientist (10 minutes)

    • Tell students there are a few videos of the sky, sun, moon, and stars to see, and that as they watch the videos they should look carefully to see what they notice about the sky and what they observe about the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky in each of the videos. Tell students they should also think about the questions they have as they watch the videos.
    • Play the ‘Observe Sunrise and Sunset’ video.
    • Tell students that they will now have a chance to share their thinking with a partner using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. Remind them that they used this protocol in Module 1, and review as necessary using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of this protocol.)
    • Guide students through the protocol using the following question and sentence frame:
      • “What is one thing you noticed about the sun in the video?”
      • “I noticed that the sun __________.”
    • As students share, circulate and continue to use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to assess their progress toward the learning target.
    • Refocus students whole group and play the “Moonrise” and “Time-lapse of Starry Night Sky” videos.
    • Guide students through the protocol using the following question and sentence frames:
      • “What is one thing you noticed or wondered about the moon or the stars in this video?”
      • “I noticed that the moon/stars __________.”
      • “One thing I wonder about the moon/stars is ____________.”
    • As students share, circulate and continue to use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to assess students’ progress toward the learning target.
    • Invite students to quickly and quietly return to their seats.
    • Tell them that because they watched a video and discussed the moon and stars, they are going to add those words to the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall.
    • Show students the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall card for moon and follow the same routine established in the Opening: Provide its definition, use it in a sentence with an accompanying gesture, and place the Word Wall card and picture for it on the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall.
    • Show students the Sun, Moon, and Stars Word Wall card for star and follow the same routine as above.
    • As you circulate and listen in during the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, scaffold partner conversations as needed. Some students may benefit from explicit prompting or a structured choice. (Example: “Jarrod, did you notice the sun rise or rotate? Tell Maddie what you saw.”) (MMAE)
    • For ELLs: Model and think aloud writing a wonder. Point out that a question word usually follows the phrase I wonder. (Example: “Hmm … I wonder if the moon is always so big. I also wonder how the moon stays in the sky. What do you wonder? What are some question words you can use to write your wonder?”)

    C. Independent Writing: Noticing and Wondering about the Sun, Moon, and Stars (15 minutes)

    • Give students specific, positive feedback on their discussions during the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. (Example: “I noticed that Yavuz and Makayla watched both videos closely so they had several wonders and notices to share with their partners.”)
    • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:
      • “I can ask questions about what I notice in pictures and videos of the sun, moon, and stars.”
    • Tell students that now that they have shared what they noticed and wondered about the sun, moon, and stars with their classmates, they are going to write down and draw what they notice and wonder.
    • Direct students’ attention to the Noticing and Wondering response sheet, pencils, and crayons already at their workspace.
    • Invite students to use the response sheet to capture the things they noticed and wondered about the sun, moon, and stars. Tell them that they can use pictures and words to show what they notice and what they wonder.
    • As students write and draw, circulate to offer support. Prompt students by referencing the mystery sky photos and asking students to articulate what they shared with their partners during the Picture Tea Party protocol or the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. Remind students that they can draw and write to show what they notice and wonder.
    • Provide students with sentence frames as needed:
      • “I notice _____________.”
      • “I wonder ___________.”
    • When 3 minutes remain, prompt students to complete the drawing or sentence they are working on and begin cleaning up by placing pencils and crayons back on the tables where they found them.
    • As students begin independent writing, vary methods for fine motor responses by offering options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (e.g., fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)
    • Before the transition to clean up, support self-regulation and independence during the transition by providing a clear routine for what to do with unfinished work and using a visual timer. (MME)

    Closing & Assessments

    ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

    A. Shared Writing: Noticing and Wondering about the Sun, Moon, and Stars (10 minutes)

    • Invite students bring their response sheets and return to the whole group area.
    • Once students are settled, remind them of the work they did today viewing and videos of the sky, sun, moon, and stars, and thinking about what they noticed and wondered.
    • Direct students’ attention to the Noticing and Wondering anchor chart.
    • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

    “What did you notice about the sky, the sun, the moon, or the stars?” (Responses will vary.)

    • If productive, cue students to listen carefully:

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

    • As students share out, capture and clarify their responses on the Noticing and Wondering anchor chart.
    • Tell students that in the next few lessons they will continue to learn more about the sun, moon, and stars and add to the Noticing and Wondering anchor chart.
    • As students discuss what they learned about the sun, moon, and stars promote self-reflection by revisiting the four habits of character (initiative, collaboration, perseverance, and responsibility) on the Working to Be Effective Learners Anchor Chart. Ask students to Think-Pair-Share one way they demonstrated a habit of character during today’s lesson. (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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