Reading and Speaking and Listening: Why Do Authors Write Stories About the Sun and Moon? | EL Education CurriculumTEST2

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ELA G1:M2:U1:L2

Reading and Speaking and Listening: Why Do Authors Write Stories About the Sun and Moon?

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

Daily Learning Target

I can infer why authors write about the sun, moon, and stars using details from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky. (RL.1.1, W.1.8, SL.1.2)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time B, circulate and listen as students discuss the Unit 1 guiding question. Use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to document progress toward SL.1.2.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Introducing the Sun Movement Routine (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading Aloud: Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky (20 minutes)

B. Structured Discussion: Introducing the Unit 1 Guiding Question (10 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: Reflecting on the Unit 1 Guiding Question (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • Primary learners benefit from engaging with their whole bodies. During the Opening, students learn the first few steps of the Sun Movement routine, which is a series of steps inspired by dancers’ poses and stretches.
  • This lesson introduces the Unit 1 guiding question: “Why do authors write about the sun, moon, and stars?” This question invites students into the study of narrative texts and pushes them to build knowledge about the ways in which authors are inspired to write.
  • This lesson invites students to revisit the character, Elvin, to whom they were introduced in Lesson 1. The continuation of his story invites students to build upon what they notice and wonder about the sun, moon, and stars.
  • In Work Time A, students hear Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky read aloud. Primary learners need to hear many texts read aloud in order to build their word and world knowledge. Display the text when reading aloud. And when doing a first read-aloud, read fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • The text that is read aloud in this lesson is the first in a series of several narrative texts read aloud throughout the unit. Exposing students to a variety of narrative texts allows them to gain a greater understanding of narrative story elements such as character, setting, major events, and central message.
  • During Work Time B, students discuss their initial thoughts on the unit guiding question with a partner. They then have the opportunity to demonstrate their thinking in writing during Work Time C. Allowing students to orally process their ideas before writing supports their development as young writers.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson builds on the curiosity and excitement for the module topic generated in Lesson 1.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Some students may need extra support during Work Time C, as they independently write to capture their ideas about the unit’s guiding question. Support these students by encouraging them to draw their ideas and then add labels or by providing sentence frames such as: “I think this author wrote about the _________ because ____________.”

Down the road:

  • Students will revisit the text Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky in Lessons 12–13 to complete a more in-depth study of its characters, setting, major events, and central message.
  • In Lesson 3, students are introduced to the unit’s central text, Summer Sun Risin’, and will begin a series of close read-aloud sessions devoted to an in-depth study of this text.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Sun Movement and Moon Movement charts by copying them onto chart paper (see supporting materials).
    • Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart by writing the title, the guiding question, and the labeled table on chart paper.
  • Pre-determine pairs for Work Time A.
  • Pre-distribute materials for Work Time C at student workspaces to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Post: Learning target, Sun Movement chart, Moon Movement chart, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list). 

Tech and Multimedia

Technology 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 2 could be an email.
  • Opening A: Create the Sun Movement chart and the Moon Movement chart in an online format—for example, a Google Doc—to display and for families to access at home to reinforce these movements.
  • Work Time A: “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 3 could be an email.
  • Work Time B: Create the Unit 1 Guiding Question 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.B.5, and 1.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to engage with the topic through movement and to preview the key texts in the unit.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to understand and answer the guiding question about authors’ motivations for writing about the sun and moon, as it shifts the point of view from the characters in the story to the author. Throughout the reading, remind students that they will be thinking about the writer of the story. (Example: “I wonder why the author wrote about this.”) Guide students through a Mini Language Dive to support their understanding of the guiding question. See Meeting Students’ Needs column for details.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow students to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after students have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they struggle in order to target appropriate support.

For heavier support:

  • During the read-aloud in Work Time A, support students who need heavier support by encouraging them to act out parts of the story. Dictate lines for them to recite so that they practice using verbal language.
  • During Work Time C, before inviting students to work independently, prompt the class to brainstorm a few possible responses to the guiding question using the sentence frame: “I think the author wrote about the ______ because __________.” Record and display student responses. Invite students to use a class-generated response if they get stuck.
  • 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): Throughout this lesson, embed support for unfamiliar vocabulary by providing explanation and visual examples. This helps students make connections and support comprehension.
  • 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 students options for drawing utensils, writing tools, and scaffolds.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): In this lesson, the Sun Movement routine provides students with options for physical action. Some students may have difficulty estimating the amount of space they need in order to move their bodies safely during this routine. Consider minimizing threats and distractions by directing all students to pre-determined spots for movement. 

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • explain, infer (L)

Materials

  • “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 2 (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Sun Movement chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Moon Movement chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 3 (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Kitten’s First Full Moon (one to display)
  • Sun and Moon (one to display)
  • Summer Sun Risin’ (one to display)
  • Noticing and Wondering anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time C; see supporting materials)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Unit 1 Guiding Question response sheet (one per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Crayons (class set; variety of colors per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Introducing the Sun Movement Routine (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to the whole group area.
  • Remind them that in the previous lesson they listened to a story about a boy named Elvin.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did we learn about Elvin from the story?” (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.)

“What did Elvin share with us after we read his story in the last lesson?” (He shared that he saw a photographer and asked about the sun and moon, and the photographer gave him pictures. He shared those pictures with us.)

  • Tell students that today you have another short story about Elvin to share with them.
  • Display “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 2 and read the title aloud.
  • Say:

“As I read this story, I want you to think about the new notices and wonders Elvin has.”

  • While still displaying the text, read aloud the first paragraph, slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is Elvin wondering about now?” (He wonders if the sun and moon move. He wonders how the sun and moon move.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and continue reading the complete story.
  • Display the Sun Movement chart and the Moon Movement chart side by side.
  • Tell students they will now learn about these movements that the dancer shared with Elvin. Today, they will focus on the Sun Movement and in a later lesson they will learn about the Moon Movement.
  • Tell students that you will model the first few steps of the Sun Movement routine and then you will invite them to join you in doing the routine. Tell them that while you model you want them to pay close attention to what you are doing with your body.
  • Model the first five steps of the Sun Movement routine while referencing the Sun Movement chart:
  1. Point to the image next to Step 1 and read aloud the step: “Get ready to stretch. Take three deep breaths.” Model completing Step 1.
  2. Point to the image next to Step 2 and read aloud the step: “Crouch down. Hug your knees and relax.” Model completing Step 2.
  3. Point to the image next to Step 3 and read aloud the step: “Jump up and extend arms and legs out.” Model completing Step 3.
  4. Point to Step 4 and read it aloud: “Repeat Steps 2–3.” Model completing Step 4.
  5. Point to the image next to Step 5 and read it aloud: “Open feet and stretch arms down to the floor. Relax your neck and back.” Model completing Step 5.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did you notice about how my body moved while I did this routine?” (You moved in your own space. You moved safely and calmly. Your voice was off when you were moving.)

  • Invite students to stand up and spread out inside and around the edge of the whole group meeting area. As needed, remind students to move safely and make space for everyone.
  • Invite students to join you as you complete Steps 1–5.
  • Repeat one or two times as time permits.
  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their work learning a new movement routine. (Example: “I noticed that everyone took great care to make sure their bodies were safe as we learned the new movements.”)
  • Tell students that in the next few lessons they will learn the remaining steps to the Sun Movement routine.
  • After demonstrating the Sun Movement routine, support comprehension by asking students to share what they think the motions represent (the sun is moving up, the sun is moving down). (MMR)
  • Before asking students to complete the Sun Movement routine with you, minimize threats and distractions by directing students to pre-determined spots for movement. (Example: Use masking tape to mark a place on the floor for each student, ensuring that students will have enough space to move safely.) (MME)
  • For ELLs: Briefly review some of the verbal directives involved in the Sun Movement routine and how they correspond to the model and chart before beginning the routine. (Example: “This is how you crouch down. Can someone show me what it looks like to crouch?”)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Aloud: Why the Sun and The Moon Live in the Sky (20 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Offer specific, positive feedback on their work learning a new movement routine. (Example: “I noticed that everyone took great care to make sure their bodies were safe as we learned the new movement routine.”)
  • Tell students that today is an exciting day because not only did Elvin share the Sun Movement routine with them, but he also has something else to share with them.
  • Display “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 3.
  • Remind students that so far Elvin has wondered what the sun, moon, and stars look like; what shape and size the sun and moon might be; and if and how the sun and moon move.
  • Tell students that there are more things that Elvin wonders about and you are going to read the next part of the story so that students can find out more about what else Elvin wonders.
  • Read aloud “Elvin, the Boy Who Loved the Sky,” Part 3 and invite students to follow along as you track the print.
  • After reading the last line of Part 3, hold up the following texts, reading each title aloud as you do:
    • Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky
    • Kitten’s First Full Moon
    • Sun and Moon
    • Summer Sun Risin’
  • Tell students that just as Elvin wonders about the sun, moon, and stars, they also wonder about the sun, moon, and stars.
  • Remind students that yesterday as they viewed pictures and videos of the sun, moon, and stars, they thought about, discussed, and wrote down the things they noticed and wondered about the sun, moon, and stars.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted Noticing and Wondering anchor chart and review what is written on it.
  • Tell students that throughout this unit, they are going to read all of the stories that Elvin received from the storyteller. Share that today they will listen as you read Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky aloud.
  • Tell students that the story is a folk tale from Nigeria in West Africa. Locate Nigeria on a map, and invite any students to share if they are from, or have family in, West Africa. Invite students to share any stories about the sun and moon that they have learned from their families.
  • Display Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky and complete a first read of the text, reading slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What was this story mostly about?” (The sun wanted the water to visit his house. The water brought a lot of friends, and then the sun and moon got pushed out of the house and into the sky.)

“How did the author include the sun and moon in this story?” (The sun and moon were characters in the story. The story is about how the sun and moon got into the sky.)

  • Tell students that authors write stories about the sun, moon, and stars for all kinds of reasons. Tell them that now they will discuss why they think this author wrote this particular story about the sun and moon.
  • After reviewing the Noticing and Wondering anchor chart, maximize transfer of information by explicitly linking the stories Elvin received to the classroom study of the sky. Say: “As we read all the stories that Elvin received from the storyteller, we will be learning more about the sun, moon, and stars. We will be adding what we learn to this chart.” (MMR)
  • For ELLs: During the read-aloud, display the text on a document camera or an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page.

B. Structured Discussion: Introducing the Unit 1 Guiding Question (10 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart and read the question aloud:
    • “Why do authors write about the sun, moon, and stars?”
  • Point to the table below the guiding question and read the headings of each column. Tell students that throughout this unit they will study several stories about the sun, moon, and stars to learn more about why authors write stories about them. Tell them that now they will think about this question in light of the text they just listened to.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:
    • “I can infer why authors write about the sun, moon, and stars using details from Why the Sun the and Moon Live in the Sky.”
  • Point out the word infer and define it as making a guess based on facts and observations.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Think-Pair-Share protocol to discuss why Elphinstone Dayrell, the author of Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, wrote about the sun and moon. Remind them that they used this protocol in Module 1, and review as necessary using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of this protocol.)
  • Move students into pre-determined pairs and invite them to Think-Pair-Share:

“Why do authors write about the sun, moon, and stars?”

  • As students talk, circulate and listen in. Take note of the ideas students are sharing and target a few students to share out with the whole group. Consider documenting progress toward SL.1.2 using the Speaking and Listening Checklist.
  • Remind students to make a bridge with their arms after both partners have shared.
  • Refocus whole group and invite a few students to share with the whole group.
  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully:

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

Tell students that now they will use what they have discussed with their partner to help them independently reflect on the unit’s guiding question using pictures and words.

  • When reviewing the definition of infer, maximize comprehension by providing an example of another way to use this term. (Example: “When I see steam rising from my hot cocoa, I infer that the liquid is hot.”) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of the chunks from the guiding question: “I / can infer / why authors write about the sun, moon, and stars / using details from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky.” Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples:
      • “What does this sentence mean?” (Responses will vary)
    • Point to and read aloud the chunk: “I” and ask:
      • “Who is this sentence about?” (me; students)
    • Point to and read aloud the chunk: “can infer” and ask:
      • “What will you be able to do?” (infer; make a guess about something)
    • Point to and read aloud the chunk: “why authors write about the sun, moon, and stars” and ask:
      • “What will you be guessing about?” (the reason authors or writers write stories about the sun, moon, and stars)
    • Point to and read aloud the chunk: “using details from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky.” and ask:
      • “What will you use to help you infer?” (details, or important facts from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky)
      • “Now what do you think this sentence means?” (We can use things we learn from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky to guess why people write about the sun, moon, and stars.)

C. Independent Writing: Reflecting on the Unit 1 Guiding Question (15 minutes)

  • Invite students to stretch their hands up to the sky as if they are touching the sun as they transition back to their tables.
  • Once students are settled, direct their attention to the Unit 1 Guiding Question response sheet, pencils, and crayons already at their workspaces.
  • Review the guiding question by reading it aloud:
    • “Why do authors write stories about the sun, moon, and stars?”
  • Invite students to use the response sheet to capture their ideas about why this author wrote about the sun and moon. Tell students that they can use pictures and words to show their thinking.
  • As students write and draw, circulate to offer support and take note of their independent writing abilities. Prompt students by asking questions to focus their thinking:

“How did the author include the sun and moon in this story? Why do you think the author included the sun and moon in this way?”

“What is this story mostly about? Why do you think the author chose to write this story?”

  • Provide students with sentence frames as needed:
    • “I think the author wrote about the ______ because __________.”
  • When 5 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.
  • Refocus students whole group and invite a few to share out their ideas with the whole group.
  • As students share out, clarify and capture their response on the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart, making sure to frame the idea of why the author wrote the story about the sun and moon with the word explain.
  • Point out explain on the chart and tell students that this word means to give information about something so that another person can understand it. Tell them that in this case, Elphinstone Dayrell wanted readers to understand why the sun and moon live in the sky, so the story explains how they got there.
  • Remind students that in the next few lessons they will read more stories about the sun and moon and learn more about why authors write stories about the sun and moon.
  • 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)
  • For ELLs: Before inviting students to work independently, model and think aloud a response to the guiding question using the sentence frame: “I think the author wrote about the ______ because __________.” (Example: I think the author wrote about the sun because it is big.)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their writing and drawing in response to the unit’s guiding question as it relates to the text they read during this lesson. (Example: “I saw that Terrell and Curtis used what they understood about why the author wrote Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky as they completed their independent writing about the Unit 1 guiding question.”)
  • Redirect students’ attention to the learning target and read it aloud:
    • I can infer why authors write about the sun, moon, and stars using details from Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What is something you learned or did during this lesson that helped you meet the learning target?” (Responses will vary.)

  • As students talk, circulate and listen in. Take note of the ideas they are sharing and target a few students to share out with the whole group.
  • Refocus students whole group and invite two or three students to share out with the whole group.
  • Tell students that in the next lesson they will begin reading one of the other texts and will gather even more information to help them add to their thoughts about the unit’s guiding question.
  • For ELLs: Invite students to rephrase the learning target in their own words after gaining a deeper understanding of it. (Example: I can use the book to help me wonder why people like to write about the sun and moon.)

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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