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ELA G2:M1:U1:L4

Focused Read-aloud, Session 1: The Dot

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.2.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.7: Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • W.2.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • SL.2.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL2.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • L.2.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can speak one at a time when I participate in conversations with my classmates. (SL.2.1, SL.2.1a)
  • I can describe how Vashti was feeling at the beginning and at the end of the book The Dot. (RL.2.1, RL.2.7, W.2.8)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, use the Reading Literature Checklist (RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.7) to track students’ progress toward these reading standards (see Assessment Overview and Resources).

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: “What Is School?” Song (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Focused Read-aloud, Session 1: The Dot (20 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: What Is School? Notebook (20 minutes)

3. Closing

A. Sharing Our Work (5 minutes)

B. Song and Movement: “What Is School?” Song (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In Work Time A, students are introduced to a new book, The Dot. Over the next two 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 than a close read-aloud.
  • In this lesson, the primarily goal in reading The Dot is to ensure that students understand the important events in the text, as well as how Vashti’s feelings change throughout the text. It is important that students understand the text at this level so they can make larger connections to the module’s guiding question in Lesson 5 (RL.2.1, RL.2.7).
  • Students are asked to answer questions using key details from the text during discussions with their classmates during Work Time A and while they independently write in Work Time B (RL.2.1).
  • This lesson is the second in a series of three that include built-out instruction for the use of Goal 1 Conversation Cues 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). As the modules progress, Goal 2, 3, and 4 Conversation Cues will be gradually introduced. Goal 1 Conversation Cues encourage all students to talk and be understood. Consider providing students with a thinking journal or scrap paper.
  • During the focused read-aloud, students are introduced to the Role Play protocol. This protocol asks them to dramatize parts of the story with a partner. It is a way for primary students to engage with the text and understand it more deeply by acting out key moments.
  • The pages of The Dot are not numbered. For instructional purposes, the page that begins with “Art class was over …” should be considered page 1 and all pages thereafter numbered accordingly.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Lessons 2–3, students read a nonfiction text about schools and deepened their thinking about the module guiding question: “What is school, and why are schools important?” This is the first of two lessons dedicated to reading The Dot, and through discussions of this text, students will continue to work on answering the guiding question.
  • Continue to reinforce routines established in Lessons 1–2, specifically the Think-Pair-Share protocol.
  • Building on Lessons 2–3, students continue to practice their speaking and listening skills through text-based discussions (SL.2.1a).

Down the road:

  • In this lesson, students listen to The Dot read aloud to understand the events in the story, as well as Vashti’s feelings. In Session 2 of the focused read-aloud in Lesson 5, students will be asked to determine the central message of the text.
  • This is the first of two lessons with opportunities to collect data on students’ progress toward RL.2.1 and RL.2.7 through the focused read-alouds.
  • During the close read-aloud later in this unit, students will engage in more text-based discussions (RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.7).

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Role Play Protocol anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • How Was Vashti Feeling at the Beginning of the Book? anchor chart (see supporting materials).
  • Sentence strip chunks for use during the focused read-aloud (see supporting materials).
  • Set up a document camera to display the The Dot and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Distribute pencils and the What Is School? notebook at students’ workspaces. Doing this in advance helps ensure a smooth transition during Work Time B.
  • Review the Role Play protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
    • Ask a student to help you model the Role Play protocol during Work Time A.
    • Be aware that partnering with the opposite gender during the Role Play protocol may be uncomfortable and inappropriate for some students. If necessary, seek alternative arrangements for these students according to their cultural traditions.
  • Post: Learning targets, Role Play Protocol anchor chart, How Was Vashti Feeling at the Beginning of the Book? anchor chart. 

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A or Closing B: Record the whole group singing “What is School?” song and post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to listen to at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software. Play both versions (the version from Unit 1 and this version) to students to emphasize how singing at an appropriate speed makes the words easier to understand.
  • Work Time B: Students complete the What is School? notebooks using a word processing tool, for example a Google Doc.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1, 2.I.B.6, and 2.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to read literature closely to determine the main idea and the feelings of characters. This provides students with valuable experience reading and interpreting complex text, which will foster English language development by exposing them to academic vocabulary and syntax.
  • Some ELLs may find the independent writing activity challenging, as most of their prior work was heavily supported. If necessary, use additional prompting such as sentence frames and scribing. See below and the Meeting Students’ Needs column for further suggestions.
  • In Work Time A, ELLs are invited to participate in a Language Dive conversation (optional). This conversation guides them through expanding the meaning of a key sentence from The Dot. It also provides students with further practice using a language structure from the read-aloud. Students may draw on this sentence when writing about the character’s feelings during Work Time C. A consistent Language Dive routine is critical in helping all students learn how to decipher complex sentences and write their own. In addition, Language Dive conversations hasten overall English language development for ELLs. Preview the Language Dive Guide and consider how to invite conversation among students to address the questions and goals suggested under each sentence strip chunk (see supporting materials). Select from the questions and goals provided to best meet your students' needs. Consider providing students with a Language Dive log inside a folder to track Language Dive sentences and structures and collate Language Dive note-catchers.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow them to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after students have grappled with the task.

For heavier support:

  • During the focused read-aloud, support beginning proficiency students by encouraging them to participate in the role play modeling. Dictate lines for them to recite so that they practice using verbal language.
  • During Work Time C, distribute a partially filled-in copy of page 4 from the What Is School? notebook. This provides students with models for the kind of writing expected and reduces the volume of writing required.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In the Role Play protocol, students are invited to act like characters in the book The Dot. Highlight and define the literary term character, connecting this term to other characters in familiar classroom library books.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): As students practice singing the “What Is School?” song with motions, provide options for expression by singing the song several times in different voices.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): During Closing B, students will have to read and interpret written questions in their notebooks. Foster collaboration and community by providing prompts that guide students in knowing when and how to ask classmates or teachers for help in reading these questions.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • fiction, role play, beginning, ending, frustrated (L)
  • blank, sign, (T)

Review:

  • participate, important (L)

Materials

  • “What Is School?” song (from Lesson 2; one to display)
  • The Dot (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Module Guiding Question anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Role Play Protocol anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Reading Literature Checklist (RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.7) (for teacher reference, see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Important Events from The Dot anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • Important Events from The Dot anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • How Was Vashti Feeling at the Beginning of the Book? anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • What Is School? notebook (from Lesson 1; page 4; one per student and one to display)
  • Language Dive Guide (optional; for ELLs; for teacher reference; see supporting materials)
    • Sentence strip chunks (for ELLs; one to display)
    • Language Dive note-catcher (for ELLs; one per student and one to display)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: “What Is School?” Song (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Display the “What Is School?” song.
  • Remind students that they learned this song in Lesson 1 and tell them that they are going to practice singing it again today.
  • Invite students to sing the song together with you once without stopping.
  • Tell students that they are now going to come up with motions for certain parts of the song.
  • Work with them to come up with motions for the following phrases:
    • “Think and work and play” (think: index fingers pointing to head; work: palms open and put together like an open book; play: pointing to smile on face)
    • “New ways” (index finger in the air pointing to the sky)
    • “Believing in ourselves” (hands on hips)
    • “Make a difference each day” (thumbs-up)
    • “Appreciating qualities of others too” (hand on a partner’s shoulder)
    • “Learning from each other” (point to a classmate)
    • “Discovering new interests” (index fingers pointing to head)
  • If possible, draw images next to the word/phrase to help students remember the motions.
  • Give students specific, positive feedback for thinking of fun and engaging motions that go with the song. (Example: “It was a great idea to put our hand on a partner’s shoulder to show we appreciate the qualities of others.”)
  • Invite students to sing the song with you one more time, adding in the motions. 
  • For ELLs: For each phrase of the song for which students generate motions, check for comprehension about the meanings. Example: “When we appreciate qualities of others, what does that mean?” (We like different things our friends do and say.)
  • As students practice the song with motions, provide options for expression by singing the song several times in different voices. Invite students to try singing the song in a whisper voice, in a giant voice, and/or in an opera voice. (MMAE)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Focused Read-aloud, Session 1: The Dot (20 minutes)

  • With excitement, tell students to put their wings on again because they are going to a new place! Invite them to spread their arms out like wings and pretend they are flying.
  • Display The Dot and tell students they have arrived at their new destination.
  • Introduce the book by showing it to students and reading the title and author: The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Module Guiding Question anchor chart and focus them on the guiding question:
    • “What is school, and why are schools important?”
  • Tell students that this book is going to help them think more about the guiding question.
  • Explain that students will follow a process similar to the one used for What Does School Mean to You? You will read the text aloud and stop at certain points to ask them questions. They will silently reflect, turn and talk with a partner, or Think-Pair-Share to answer the questions.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart and review the norms:
    • “Listen with care.”
    • “Speak one at a time.”
  • Remind students that in the previous lesson they practiced speaking one at a time and tell them they are going to do the same today.
  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and read the first one aloud:

“I can speak one at a time when I participate in conversations with my classmates.”

  • Remind students that one at a time means the class should only ever hear one person speaking. If we have something to say, we need to wait our turn. To illustrate this, invite students to model two examples, one of speaking one at a time and a non-example of speaking two or three at a time.
  • Remind students that to participate means to take part in an activity—in this case, a conversation with their classmates. Remind students that a learning target is a goal for them to reach.
  • Display and direct students’ attention to the “Learning Target” poem.
  • Invite students to take out their “magic bows” and take aim at the target while chorally reciting the poem.
  • Display The Dot and invite students to look closely at the cover.
  • Tell students you are going to hear from some students using Cold Call. Remind them that cold calling means that you will choose a couple of students to share their thinking.
  • Use cold call and ask:

“What do you think this book is going to be about?” (Response will vary, but may include a girl who paints a dot.)

  • Explain that this text is different from the text they read in Lessons 2–3 because it is fictional.
  • Ask:

“What does it mean for a book to be fiction?” (It is writing that tells a story from an author’s imagination. It is a story that has characters and a setting. It is a story with a beginning, middle, and end.)

“What kinds of pictures do fiction books usually have?” (drawings and illustrations)

“What kinds of pictures do nonfiction books usually have?” (photographs)

  • If necessary, guide students to the understanding that a fictional book is a book with characters, a setting, and a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • While still displaying the text, read pages 1–2 aloud slowly, fluently, and without interruption.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“Where does this story take place?” (at a school in an art classroom)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 3–4.
  • Invite students to whisper their response in their hands and ask:

“What do you notice about Vashti’s paper?” (It is empty. It is blank. There is nothing on it.)

  • Tell students that a blank paper and an empty paper mean the same thing: There is nothing on the paper that we can see.
  • Ask:

“What does Vashti say when her teacher tells her that she thinks her blank paper is a polar bear in a snowstorm?” (She says she can’t draw.)

“Why did Vashti say she can’t draw?” (It is hard for her. She thinks she is bad at drawing.)

  • Tell students they are going to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner. Remind them that they participated in this protocol in the last few lessons and review as necessary using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Guide students through the protocol using this question:

“Can you think of a time when you told someone that you couldn’t do something because it was too hard?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Circulate to support students as they share their thinking. Refer to the Reading Literature Checklist (RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL2.7) as necessary. Refocus whole group.
  • Explain that one strategy readers use to understand a fiction text is to act out parts of the book, or role-play parts of the book like actors in a movie or television show. Tell students that today they will do this to help them understand Vashti’s feelings in the book. Explain that when people role-play, they are pretending to be the characters in a story and act out what these characters say and do. Invite students to give a thumbs-up if they have ever acted out or role-played parts of a text.
  • Tell students they are going to act out part of The Dot using the Role Play protocol.
  • Referring to the Role Play Protocol anchor chart, explain the steps:
    • Point to the image of the book. Tell students they will read a certain part of the text again with their partner. In this instance, they will reread page 4.
    • Point to the image of the person. Tell students they will decide with their partner which character they would like to be.
    • Point to the image of the two people talking. Tell students they will think and talk about what each character is saying and doing.
    • Point to the image of the clapperboard. Tell students this is where they will take on the role of their character and act out that part of the text.
    • Point to the image of the check mark. Tell students they should safely make a tent with their arms when they are done role-playing.
  • Model completing the steps of the protocol with a student volunteer. Answer clarifying questions.
  • Ask students to give you and the volunteer silent applause for taking a risk and participating in the Role Play protocol in front of the class.
  • Guide students through the Role Play protocol using the Role Play Protocol anchor chart.
  • Give students specific, positive feedback on participating in the Role Play protocol. (Example: “You collaborated to decide which character you will each be.”)
  • Remind students that acting out parts of stories can help them to understand the story better.
  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read page 4 again.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“How is Vashti feeling in this part of the text? Why?” (She is feeling mad because she thinks she can’t draw.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 5–8.
  • Invite students to look closely at page 8 and ask:

“What is Vashti writing on her paper?” (her name)

  • Tell students that to sign means to write your name on a piece of artwork.
  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 11–12.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“What did Vashti’s teacher do?” (She put a frame around Vashti’s dot. She hung Vashti’s drawing above her desk.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read page 13. Invite students to practice being Vashti with an elbow partner. Explain that they can take turns being Vashti. (“I can make a dot better than THAT!”)
  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 13–18.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“What kinds of dots did Vashti make?” (She made different colored dots. She mixed blue and yellow paint to make a green dot. She made little dots and big dots.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 19–20.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“What do you notice about the school art show?” (Vashti has drawn lots of dots, so many of her pieces are part of the school’s art show.)

“How is Vashti feeling in this part of the text? How do you know?” (She is feeling proud of the artwork she has done, and that people have come to see it. She is feeling excited because she has drawn so many dots, and they are hanging up at the art show.)

  • Draw students’ attention back to the text and read pages 21–28.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“Why does Vashti ask the boy to sign the line he drew?” (Note that responses will vary here. Listen in for the central message, but it is okay if students do not answer this question correctly. This will be addressed in the next lesson.)

  • If productive, use a Goal 1 Conversation Cue to encourage students to clarify the conversation about The Dot:

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

  • Invite students to give silent applause in honor of the story.
  • Explain that one strategy readers use to make sure they understand a book is to retell the most important events from the story. Tell students that you would like their help in retelling this book now.
  • Display the Important Events from The Dot anchor chart.
  • Engage students in a whole group discussion. Prompt them to retell the important events from The Dot by asking questions such as:

“What did Vashti say to her teacher when she saw her drawing?”

“What did Vashti’s teacher tell her after Vashti said she couldn’t draw?”

“What does Vashti draw?”

“What did Vashti’s teacher ask Vashti to do when she saw her dot?”

“What did Vashti’s teacher do with her artwork?”

“After Vashti saw her dot hanging, what did she decide to do?”

“What did Vashti do with all her paintings?”

“What did the boy say to Vashti after seeing her artwork?”

“What did Vashti ask the boy to do?”

  • If students need additional prompting, display illustrations and invite them to recall and describe the corresponding events.
  • As students share out, capture their responses on the Important Events from The Dot anchor chart. Refer to the Important Events from The Dot anchor chart (for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • For ELLs: Display some examples of other fiction books to support understanding of the genre. If possible, display texts in students’ home languages as well. (MMR)
  • 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. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: During the focused read-aloud, provide sentence frames for the Think-Pair-Share protocol. (Example: “Vashti said she couldn’t draw because _____.”) (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: During the focused read-aloud, display the text on a document camera or display an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page. (MMR)
  • When introducing the Role Play protocol, highlight and define the literary term character. (Example: “A character is a person or animal that the story is about. We have a lot of books in our class library about a character named Amelia Bedelia. This story is about Vashti and her teacher—they are two characters.”) (MMR)

B. Independent Writing: What Is School? Notebook (20 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can describe how Vashti was feeling at the beginning and at the end of the book The Dot.”

  • Invite students to take their “magic bow” and take aim at the learning target.
  • Point out the words beginning and ending to students and ask:

“What does the beginning of a book mean? What does the end of a book mean?” (The beginning is the first part of the book. The ending is the last part of the book.)

  • Tell students that before they think about what they learned about school from this book, they are going to make sure they understand what happened to Vashti in the book.
  • Tell students that as a class, they will describe how Vashti is feeling at the beginning of the book, and then they will have a chance to work more independently at their seats to describe how Vashti was feeling at the end of the book.
  • Display the How Was Vashti Feeling at the Beginning of the Book? anchor chart and point out the different parts of the anchor chart, including the learning target, “Face that describes how Vashti was feeling,” “Word that describes how Vashti was feeling,” and “Why was she feeling that way?”
  • Display and reread page 4 of The Dot.
  • Tell students that another thing actors do when they are role-playing is to think about what their face should look like.
  • Invite students to act out with their face how Vashti is feeling at the beginning of the book.
  • Invite students to whisper in their hands a word that describes how Vashti is feeling. (angry, mad, frustrated)
  • Tell students that you heard some students say that Vashti is frustrated. If necessary, guide students to the understanding that frustrated means feeling angry or upset at not being able to do something.
  • Tell students you are going to draw a frustrated face in the box where it says “Face that describes how Vashti is feeling,” and you would like to see what their faces are doing to know how to draw that.
  • Invite students to act out a frustrated face again.
  • In the box titled “Face that describes how Vashti is feeling,” model how to draw a frustrated face: a face with a squiggly line for a mouth, angry eyebrows, etc.
  • In the box titled “Word that describes how Vashti is feeling,” model how to write the word frustrated.
  • Ask:

“Why was Vashti feeling frustrated at the beginning of the book?” (She was frustrated because she thinks she doesn’t know how to draw.)

  • Under the question “Why was Vashti feeling frustrated at the beginning of the book?” write:
    • “Vashti is frustrated because she thinks she draws badly.”
  • Display the What Is School? notebook and open it to page 4. Focus students on this question:
    • “How is Vashti feeling at the end of the book?”
  • Point out how similar this page is to the chart they just worked on together.
  • Display and reread page 22 of The Dot.
  • Invite students to to turn to an elbow partner and act out with their face how Vashti is feeling at the end of the book.
  • Invite students to turn to their elbow partner and take turns whispering a word that describes how Vashti is feeling. (proud, excited)
  • Tell students that they are going to take turns acting out a face again with their partner, and this time they should pay close attention to how their partner’s face looks. This will help them draw that face in the box on their response sheet.
  • Invite students to act out a face again.
  • Ask:

“Why was Vashti feeling that way at the end of the book?” (She was proud because she felt good about the dots she had drawn.)

  • Tell students that their notebooks are already at their workspaces.
  • Remind students how to transition back to their seats for independent work:
  1.  Walk quietly, quickly, and safely to your seat.
  2.  Sit in your chairs.
  3. Get a pencil from the bin and begin working right away.
  • Invite one or two students to use their wings to model flying safely, quietly, and quickly back to their seats.
  • Invite all students to use their wings to fly back to their seats and begin working.
  • Circulate and support students as they write. Give frequent time reminders and encouragement. Prompt students with questions such as:

“How was Vashti feeling at the end of the book? Let me show you that feeling with my face.”

“What does my face look like? What is my mouth doing? What are my eyes doing?”

“What words will you write to match your drawing?”

  • If students need additional support thinking about what to write, ask them about the idea that they shared with their partner at the meeting area. Help them problem-solve by discussing how they might show their idea with a simple picture and words.
  • If students need additional support spelling words, remind them to use the High Frequency Interactive Word Wall or stretch out the words and listen for all the sounds they hear.
  • As students are working, ask a student if you can share his or her work from page 4 of the What Is School? notebook during the Closing.
  • As students finish, invite them to add details to their drawing(s) and words.
  • For ELLs: Buy or ask for large paint chips from a local hardware or paint store or print them online. Write the words frustrated, discouraged, upset, and exasperated, each on a different shade of the paint chip. Place them on the wall and discuss the shades of meaning in relation to Vashti’s feelings.
  • For ELLs: Display sentence frames to support students’ writing as they complete their notebooks. (Example: “Vashti is feeling ______ because she ________________.”) (MMAE)
  • Facilitate students’ self-regulation skills before they act out Vashti’s feelings by modeling how to manage feelings of excitement or silliness during this activity. Example: “Sometimes when I am making faces, it can make me feel a little silly. It’s okay that I feel that way, but I need to remember that we are acting out Vashti’s facial expressions to help us understand the book. If I get too silly, it might be hard for my classmates and me to understand the story. What are some strategies I can use if I start to feel silly during this activity?” (give myself a hug, press my palms together, take a deep breath) (MME)
  • When introducing the independent writing task, foster collaboration and community by providing prompts that guide students in knowing when and how to ask classmates or teachers for help. (Example: “While you are writing today, you might forget what the writing directions are in your notebook. That is okay! First, try your best to sound out the words in the question. If you are still stuck, there are many people in the room to help you. You can ask a classmate or raise your hand for a teacher to help you read the directions.”) (MME) 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Sharing Our Work (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to bring their What Is School? notebook and return to the whole group gathering area.
  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can describe how Vashti was feeling at the end of the book.”

  • Display one student’s piece of work. Invite the student to read aloud his or her work, or read it aloud to students.
  • Based on the emotion that the student has chosen, ask students:

“How do you know that Vashti is feeling _____ in this picture?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Point out how this student used evidence from the text to answer the question: “Why was Vashti feeling that way?”
  • Invite students to give a cheer for this student’s hard work and ideas in his or her notebook.
  • Tell students that you are going to ask them a question now and it might be tricky, but you want them to try their best as they share their thinking with their partner.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

“What can this book teach us about why school is important?” (Responses will vary.)

  • If productive, use a Goal 1 Conversation Cue to encourage students to expand the conversation about The Dot:

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

  • Tell students that if that question was hard to answer, that is okay! Tell them that tomorrow they will reread parts of The Dot and think about what it teaches us about why school is important. 
  • For ELLs: Encourage extended and productive conversation via Goal 1 Conversation Cues. Examples:
    • “So, do you mean _____? I’ll give you some time to think and write or sketch.”
    • “Can you say more about that? I’ll give you some time to think and write or sketch.”
    • “Can you give an example? I’ll give you 30 seconds to think and write or sketch.”
  • Before displaying a student’s piece of work, create an accepting and supportive classroom environment by encouraging students to respect others’ work and willingness to take a risk by sharing it with the whole class. (Example: “Jamil has agreed to share what he was working on in his What Is School? notebook. Sharing a piece of your own work with the whole class can feel a little risky, so we want to be respectful of his efforts. We are going to try to notice things that Jamil did well in his drawing and writing.”) (MME) 

B. Song and Movement: “What Is School?” Song (5 minutes)

  • Remind students of the motions they came up with at the beginning of the lesson to go with the “What Is School?” song.
  • Invite students to sing the song one or two times with you to practice the motions.

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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