Reading and Discussion: Describing the Color and Size of Toys | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:M1:U2:L2

Reading and Discussion: Describing the Color and Size of Toys

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.K.4: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • SL.K.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL.K.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • SL.K.1b: Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
  • SL.K.4: Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
  • L.K.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.K.1f: Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can describe the attributes of a toy by telling about its color and size. (SL.K.1, SL.K.4, L.K.1f)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Throughout the lesson, use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to track students’ progress toward the Speaking and Listening standards listed. Listen for students to use attributes words and contribute to the collaborative conversations.
  • During the Opening, listen for students to use the attributes listed in the riddle to correctly guess the toy name. As needed, guide them toward noticing these words.
  • During Work Time B, listen for students to suggest appropriate color and size attributes to add to the Color Words and Size Words anchor charts. Note students for whom this seems particularly challenging.
  • During Work Time C, listen for students to use color and size attributes to describe their toy.
  • During the Closing, observe students who have not yet shared ideas to add to the Color Words and Size Words anchor charts. Invite those students to share; support as needed.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Toy Riddles, Pages 1–6 (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading Aloud: Attributes of Toys, Pages 1–4 (10 minutes)

B. Engaging the Learner: Attributes Game and Charts (15 minutes)

C. Developing Language: Exploring and Describing Toys (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In the Opening, students engage in a playful text, Toy Riddles. Young learners enjoy guessing games, providing motivation to understand and use descriptive language well (SL.K.4).
  • In Work Time A, students listen to an informational text read aloud: Attributes of Toys. During this read-aloud, students are supported in discovering the meaning of unknown words by asking and answering questions (RI.K.4). The vocabulary in this text provides a basis for conversation about the attributes of color and size, supporting conversation and language used to describe toys (SL.K.1, SL.K.4).
  • To build strong language skills, students need opportunities to construct language in authentic, familiar contexts. In this lesson, students build their language skills by describing toys using specific attributes: color and size (SL.K.1, SL.K.4).
  • To allow for a volume of reading on the topic of toys and play for this module, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources document for this unit. 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 Reading Foundations Skills Block.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Lesson 1, students practiced describing toys orally using the describing sentence frame. In this lesson, they will begin to co-create the Color Words and Size Words anchor charts, resources that will support their descriptive language development throughout the unit, as well as in the unit assessment in Lessons 9–10.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Look for opportunities to support students who lack the vocabulary or syntax needed to describe a toy. Display the Toys and Play Word Wall and describing sentence frame in an area of the classroom where students can easily reference them.

Down the road:

  • Throughout this unit, students will continue to co-create anchor charts to use as reference tools when describing toys: Color Words, Size Words, Shape Words, and Texture Words anchor charts.

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display Toy Riddles, Attributes of Toys, and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare:
    • Color Word and Size Word cards to use during Work Time A.
    • Color Words and Size Words anchor charts on large chart paper to display during Work Time B.
    • Designate classroom areas for exploring and describing toys during Work Time C. Set up classroom toys in those areas.
    • Classroom toys will be needed throughout this unit for both play and exploration. Consider choosing toys similar to those used in Unit 1. The toys can be grouped by their kind (e.g., all puzzles together) for ease of organization and cleanup. Math manipulatives such as pattern blocks are also appropriate to use for this series of lessons. A sample set of toys might include:
  • Legos (or similar)
  • K’nex (or similar)
  • Dramatic play items (e.g., puppets, play food, dolls)
  • Pattern blocks
  • Stuffed animals
  • Wooden blocks
  • Puzzles
  • Play dough
  • Crayons and paper
  • Strategically pair students for partner work in Work Time C.
  • Post: Learning targets, “Learning Target” poem, Color Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, describing sentence frame.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Work Time B: Create Color Words and Size Words anchor charts in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and to share with families.
  • Work Time C: Record students as they work in small groups to listen to later to discuss strengths and what they could improve on, or to use as models for the group. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Play recording of students from Work Time C to analyze with the group.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.I.A.1, K.I.B.5, K.I.C.9–12, K.II.A.2, and K.II.B.5

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by explicitly teaching vocabulary in context, with strong visual support.
  • ELLs may find some of the guessing games, such as I Spy or riddles, to be challenging, especially if they are learning some of the attribute words for the first time. Take extra time to ensure that all students understand the objects and attributes being referenced during these activities. Refer to concrete examples whenever possible.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Prepare students for the breadth of what they will learn in the coming days. Be clear that they will follow similar procedures for each lesson. If possible, preview some of the work they will complete and some of the other attributes they will learn. Providing this context will make students more comfortable and confident, as they will know what to expect.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, throughout the read-aloud, stop often to check for comprehension. Ask students to summarize the ideas in the text. When necessary, paraphrase in more comprehensible language.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): This lesson provides repeated opportunities for students to practice identifying color and size attributes. Maximize transfer of skills by prompting students to apply ideas from one activity (e.g., Attributes of Toys) to another (e.g., Attributes I Spy game).
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During the Opening, students are presented with Toy Riddles. Students may need guidance in developing strategies for solving riddles. Teach them to break the riddle down into manageable chunks and to listen for clues.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): The Attributes I Spy game is an important collaborative opportunity to promote engagement. Before students begin guessing the toy you “spy,” encourage them to listen to each other and work together through the game.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • attribute, bold (L)
  • light, dark, pattern, gigantic, tiny (T)

Materials

  • Document camera (optional)
  • Toy Riddles (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Attributes of Toys (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Color cards (class set)
  • Size cards (class set)
  • Color Words anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B; see Teaching Notes)
  • Size Words anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B; see Teaching Notes)
  • Classroom toys (class set of a variety of toys; enough for groups of three or four students to play with together; see Teaching Notes)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1)
  • Describing sentence frame (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Sample toy (one for teacher modeling)
  • Magnifying glass (one for teacher modeling)
  • Magnifying glasses (one per pair of students)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Toy Riddles, Pages 1–6 (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Remind students that in Lesson 1, they heard a riddle in the Letter from the Principal, and today they will hear more riddles in a new book.
  • Using the document camera, display Toy Riddles and read the title aloud.
  • Explain that it will be important to think about the clues in the riddle to guess the name of each toy.
  • While still displaying the text, read pages 1–2 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Display and read page 3 aloud.
  • Invite a few students to share their guesses to the riddle on page 3. (Responses will vary.)
  • Reveal the answer to the riddle on page 4 by reading it aloud. Pause briefly for students to process the riddle answer.
  • Display and read page 5 aloud.
  • Invite a few students to share their guesses to the riddle on page 5. (Responses will vary.)
  • Reveal the answer on page 6 by reading it aloud.
  • Ask:

“What attributes did you hear that helped you to solve the riddle?” (brown, soft, colorful, small)

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

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

  • Invite a few students to share their ideas.
  • For ELLs: Briefly review adjectives necessary for understanding the riddles, using multiple examples and non-examples to help students identify the critical features of these terms. Example: “What is brown? Point to something in the room that is the color brown. Now point to something in the room that is not brown.” (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Allow sufficient wait time for students to process the riddle and think to themselves about possible answers. Explain that strategies for solving riddles include breaking the riddle down into manageable chunks and listening for clues. Model thinking aloud to guide the thought process. Example: “Hmmm. What is brown? Well, I know tree trunks are brown, but are they soft? So it can’t be that.…” (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Be aware that not all students may have the same experience with teddy bears. Supply background knowledge by displaying an example of a teddy bear and explain that many children like to play and pretend with them. They also like to hug them when they are feeling sad or to make them feel relaxed when it is time to rest. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Aloud: Attributes of Toys, Pages 1–4 (10 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

“I can describe the attributes of a toy by telling about its color and size.”

  • Briefly review the definition of describe (to tell about) and explain that attributes are the words we use to describe what a toy is like.
  • Invite students to take out their magic bows and take aim at the target while you recite the “Learning Target” poem aloud.
  • Using the document camera, display Attributes of Toys and read the title aloud.
  • While still displaying the text, read page 1 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Using a total participation technique, reread the last sentence on page 1 and invite responses from the group:

“What colors do you see?” (colors in the picture, such as red, pink, blue, gray, cream, yellow, green)

  • Invite several students to name the colors they see in the photo.
  • Re-read page 1. As you read the colors in the text, invite students to point to each color in the photo.
  • While still displaying the text, read page 2 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Ask:

“What do you notice about how some of the words are written?” (They are written using darker letters.)

  • Explain that the author wants us to really notice and understand those words.
  • Reread the bolded words: light, dark, pattern.
  • Explain that these are all words that can help us to describe colors.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What pattern do you see on the toys in the photo?” (stripes)

  • While still displaying the text, read page 3 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Reread the word in bold print: tiny.
  • Show the photo of the dollhouse on page 3 and invite students to look closely at it.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What tiny toys do you see inside the dollhouse?” (various pieces of furniture such as a couch, tub, table; dolls, lights)

  • After about 30 seconds, refocus the group.
  • While still displaying the text, read page 4 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does gigantic mean?” (very big, large, huge)

  • Tell students that there is more to learn about attributes in this book, but today they will read only about colors and sizes.
  • Transition students to the edge of the whole group gathering area for Work Time B.
  • For ELLs: Practice pronouncing the word attribute with the class, noting the shape of the mouth and positioning of the tongue. Have students repeat each syllable, noting the stressed vowel: “AT-rib-bute.”
  • For ELLs: When discussing size, make size relationships explicit by using expressive hand gestures. Example: Spread hands wide when introducing huge and pinch fingers when introducing tiny. (MMR)
  • Before you call on students to name attributes they see in the Attributes of Toys photos, guide information processing by asking students to study the photo silently before indicating they are ready to share. As students share attributes they see, invite classmates to respond with a silent signal to demonstrate if they also see that attribute. Example: “Lynisha sees the color blue. Show me a ‘me-too’ in American Sign Language if you also see the color blue in this photo.” (MMAE)

B. Engaging the Learner: Attributes Game and Charts (15 minutes)

  • Explain that color and size are both attributes that can be used to describe something.
  • Introduce color cards and size cards.
  • Show each color card, reading the name aloud.
  • Show each size card, reading the name aloud. Briefly explain that the ball changes size on each card, but the size of the child stays the same.  The size of the ball matches the size word on the card.
  • Explain that you will play a game with these cards called the Attributes I Spy game.
  • Post and review the directions, answering clarifying questions as necessary.

1. The teacher draws one card and “spies” a toy in the classroom that matches it. (Example: “I spy a toy that is red.”

2. Students guess the toy until someone guesses correctly.

3. The student who guesses correctly draws the next card and spies something else in the classroom that matches it.

4. Repeat steps 2–3 as time allows.

  • Complete a practice round using one color card or one size card.
  • For an additional challenge, choose two cards (one color and one size) and give those clues for guessing one toy. (Example: “I spy something that is yellow and tiny.”)
  • Direct students’ attention to the Color Words anchor chart.
  • Explain that this chart is a place to list color words just like the ones on the color cards.
  • Invite several students to suggest a color word to add to the Color Words anchor chart. Write the color word on the anchor chart as students suggest them. If needed, use the color cards for additional support.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Size Words anchor chart.
  • Explain that this chart is a place to list size words just like the ones on the size cards.
  • Invite several students to suggest a size word to add to the Size Words anchor chart. Write the size words on the anchor chart as students suggest them. If needed, use the size cards for additional support.
  • For ELLs: During the game, some students may struggle to refer to each toy by name. If students point or hesitate to speak, remind them of the name of the toy they intend to express. Ensure that they verbalize the name of the toy accurately and clearly before moving on.
  • As you explain the rules of Attributes I Spy, maximize transfer of skills by prompting students to apply ideas from Attributes of Toys as they study objects in the classroom. Example: “While we were reading, you all did a fabulous job noticing attributes like colors and size in the book’s photos! Now we are going to use those same observation skills to think about the colors and sizes of toys in our classroom.” (MMR)
  • Before students begin guessing the toy you “spy,” foster collaboration and facilitate coping skills by encouraging them to listen to each other and work together. Example: “This game is a chance for you to use your listening skills to work together as a class. When one of your classmates is guessing a toy, listen carefully. You can use each other’s guesses to help the group figure out what I spy.” (MME)

C. Developing Language: Exploring and Describing Toys (20 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

“I can describe the attributes of a toy by telling about its color and size.”

  • Remind students that in Lesson 1, they played with toys and then described their toy to a partner.
  • Explain that today students will play with and then describe two attributes of their toy to a partner: color and size.
  • Challenge students to look closely, while they are playing, at the colors and sizes of the toys in their play area.
  • Briefly review expectations for taking care of materials and others as needed.
  • Call students in groups of three or four to walk to designated areas and begin playing with the classroom toys.
  • Allow students 8–10 minutes to play. As they play, circulate and engage with students to help them notice the colors and sizes of the toys they are playing with. Consider prompting students by asking:

“What colors do you see?”

“What sizes do you see?”

  • Consider using the Speaking and Listening Checklist while observing the students.
  • Signal students to stop playing through the use of a designated sound such as a chime or whistle.
  • Refer to the posted describing sentence frame.
  • Explain that now students will need their play expert tools to look closely at the colors and sizes of toys.
  • Holding up a sample toy, model looking closely at its color using a magnifying glass.
  • Name and describe the toy using the describing sentence frame. (Example: “This is a firetruck. It is bright red with black and silver wheels. It is very big.”)
  • Instruct students to choose one toy from their play area to describe. Allow them to place that toy on their lap.
  • Distribute magnifying glasses to pairs of students.
  • Refocus the group and designate one student as partner A and one as partner B.
  • Ask students to consider the following as they use their magnifying glasses to examine their toy:

“What color is your toy?”

“What size is your toy?”

  • After 1 minute, prompt partner A to name and describe his or her toy to partner B. Remind students to use the describing sentence frame as a guide for sharing.
  • As students share, circulate and listen in on their descriptions. As needed, prompt and remodel using the describing sentence frame. Choose two students to model describing color and size for the whole group during the Closing.
  • Refocus the group and signal the B partners to begin sharing.
  • Signal all students to stop through the use of a designated sound.
  • Model cleanup procedures, keeping directions clear and brief.
  • Direct students to clean up their play area and then walk safely to the whole group gathering area. If using a designated cleanup song, remind students to clean up and walk safely to the whole group gathering area by the end of the song. Invite the two students you chose to model during the Closing to bring their toy with them to the whole group gathering area.
  • To help students anticipate and prepare for sharing their thinking with a partner, provide all students with index cards that designate whether they are partner A or B (numbers or colors could also be used). (MME)
  • For ELLs: Group beginning students in mixed proficiency groups, with at least one native speaker or advanced proficiency student. If possible, place students who speak the same home language together. Higher proficiency students can initiate discussions and observations about toys and demonstrate speaking and listening skills using the home language.
  • For ELLs: Provide multiple tools for expression by writing the describing sentence frame on sentence strips and placing it in a pocket chart. While modeling different toys, place the Word Wall card in the “This is a _________” field. Point to each word in the sentence frame while reading it aloud. Ask students which color card or size card should go in the “It is _____________” field. To check for comprehension, put the wrong card in the field and ask if it is correct. Invite a few students to place the correct adjective cards in each field while modeling using the frame for additional toys. (MMAE)
  • Before students choose a toy from the play area to place in their laps, support them to manage frustration by reminding them of strategies they can use if a peer selects a preferred toy. Examples:
    • “You and a classmate may both want to study the same toy. What can you do if a classmate picks the toy you want to study?”
    • “Think of a first and second choice toy that you can study. That way, if a classmate picks your first choice, you can still select your second choice without getting upset.” (MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

  • Invite the two students who will be sharing to bring their toys to the front of the whole group gathering area.
  • Ask the pair to take turns sharing the description of their toy for the whole group. Guide students toward using the describing sentence frame as they share.
  • As each student shares, prompt the other students to look carefully at the toy being described.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

“I can describe the attributes of a toy by telling about its color and size.”

  • Redirect students’ attention to the Color Words anchor chart.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What color words could we add to the list?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Students may suggest patterns, and these could be added to the chart in a particular area designated with a special symbol such as a star.
  • Redirect students’ attention to the posted Size Words anchor chart and repeat this process.
  • Give students specific positive feedback on their ability to describe the colors and sizes of toys. (Example: “I heard you use the words purple and small to describe your toy.”)
  • For ELLs: As new color and size words are added to the anchor chart, ask questions about each word to reinforce its meaning. Use multiple examples and non-examples to help students identify the critical features of these terms. Example: “Harrison suggested we add tiny to the chart. What is something in the room that is tiny? What is something in the room that is not tiny?” (MMR)

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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