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ELA GK:M1:U2:L4

Speaking and Listening: Describing and Sorting Toys

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • 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.5: With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.K.5a: Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
  • L.K.5c: Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).

Daily Learning Target

  • I can describe the attributes of a toy by telling about its color, size, shape, and texture. (SL.K.1, SL.K.4, L.K.5c)
  • I can sort toys into groups by the same attribute. (L.K.5a)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Throughout the lesson use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to track students’ progress toward the Speaking and Listening standards listed. 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 A, students should generate attributes used to describe a particular toy. Note those for whom this is particularly challenging.
  • During Work Time B, observe students to determine whether they are able to recognize the words on the color, size, shape, and texture cards.
  • During Work Time C, listen for students to use descriptive language when sorting toys.
  • During the Closing, listen for students to participate in the Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face protocol.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Toy Riddles, Pages 11–14 (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Shared Writing: Writing a Toy Riddle (10 minutes)

B. Engaging the Learner: Attributes I Spy Game (15 minutes)

C. Developing Language: Sorting Toys (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Sharing about Sorting (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • During Work Time C, students work collaboratively to sort classroom toys by creating their own categories. This activity provides teachers with the opportunity to observe students’ understanding of the concept of attributes (SL.K.4, L.K.5).
  • 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 narratives 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 Lessons 2 and 3, students co-created the Color Words, Size Words, Shape Words, and Texture Words anchor charts. In this lesson, the charts will support their work as they describe and sort classroom toys.
  • In Lessons 2 and 3, students played the I Spy Attributes game to practice identifying various attributes. In this lesson, they play a different version of the game in which multiple attributes are used to describe the object.
  • 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 as they explore sorting toys. Students may make groups of toys that are the same kind (e.g., trucks) without being able to describe the attributes that make them similar. Consider asking probing questions: “What is the same about the toys in this group?” “Which attribute is the same about the toys in this group?” “Do they have the same color/shape/size/texture?”

Down the road:

  • Throughout this unit, students use the Color Words, Size Words, Shape Words, and Texture Words anchor charts, created in Lessons 2 and 3, as a reference tool for describing and sorting toys.

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display Toy Riddles and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • In Work Time A, students will co-write a riddle using a classroom toy. If time is short, preselect a toy rather than allowing students to suggest a toy to use for the riddle. Create groups of toys that represent a variety of attributes (variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and textures) for students to sort in Work Time C. Each group should contain a quantity of toys that three or four students can explore and sort.
  • Gather a basket of classroom toys for teaching modeling during Work Time C.
  • Prepare classroom areas for students to explore and sort toys; set out toys and chart paper in those areas.
  • Strategically group students for group work in Work Time C.
  • Review the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets, “Learning Target” poem, riddle sentences frame, Color Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, Shape Words anchor chart, and Texture Words anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • 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 by in part by CA ELD Standards K.I.A.1, K.I.B.5, K.I.C.11, and K.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by providing opportunities for applying the sorting skill in an authentic context, through play.
  • Some ELLs may find sorting challenging, as the toys available may not lend themselves to clear, self-evident categories. Provide guidance by suggesting specific categories into which students can sort or by providing two preselected toys and asking students which attribute they have in common. Students may then continue to identify toys that share that attribute.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite advanced and intermediate proficiency students to help model and think aloud strategies students can employ as they begin to sort toys. (Example: “I can look at one toy and choose an attribute. What is one attribute of this toy? Yes, it is red! So what categories can I use to sort this? Yes, color!”)

For heavier support:

  • It may be challenging for some students to both determine categories and sort toys accordingly. To scaffold the skill, assign predetermined categories to some students and allow them to focus only on those categories. Example: Provide a group with two sticky notes, one depicting a red toy and one depicting a round toy. Instruct the group to collect red toys and round toys to sort.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): This lesson includes an opportunity for students to write a riddle as a class. Maximize transfer of skills by prompting students to apply what they learned from listening to riddles in the Toy Riddles book. Clarify the structure by reminding students that the attributes they suggest are clues about the toy.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Engagement (MMAE): In the Opening, support strategy development by prompting students to share approaches to solving riddles they remember from the previous lessons. (break the riddle into chunks; listen for clues)
  • Multiple Means of Expression (MME): During Work Time C, small groups of students are asked to sort a basket of toys. Differentiate the complexity of this task by asking students to first sort toys into two categories. You may challenge some groups to re-sort the toys into three categories or more.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • sort (L)

Materials

  • Document camera (optional)
  • Toy Riddles, Pages 11–14 (one for display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Color Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Size Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Shape Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)
  • Texture Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)
  • Chart paper (one for display, plus one for each small group to use when sorting toys)
  • Riddle sentences frame (written on chart paper; one to display)
  • Color cards (from Lesson 2)
  • Size cards (from Lesson 2)
  • Shape cards (from Lesson 3)
  • Texture cards (from Lesson 3)
  • Basket of toys (various for teacher modeling; see Teaching Notes)
  • Magnifying glass (one for teacher modeling)
  • Magnifying glasses (one per pair of students)
  • Classroom toys (class set of a variety of toys; enough for groups of three or four students to play/sort in each area; see Teaching Notes)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1)
  • Commitments for Playing Together (from Unit 1, Lesson 6)
  • Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Toy Riddles, pages 11–14 (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Remind students that for the past few days, they have solved riddles by thinking about the attributes of toys and guessing the toy in the riddle.
  • Using the document camera, display page 11 of Toy Riddles.
  • While still displaying the text, read page 11 aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Invite a few students to share their guesses to the riddle on page 11. (Responses will vary.)
  • Reveal the answer on page 12 by reading it aloud.
  • Display and read page 13 aloud.
  • Invite a few students to share their guesses to the riddle on page 13. (Responses will vary.)
  • Reveal the answer on page 14 by reading it aloud.
  • Prompt students to consider how they solved the riddles.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What attributes did you hear in the riddles?” (hard, wooden, high, have faces, have bodies)

  • Explain that soon, students will be able to add something to the end of this book: a toy riddle for their own classroom toy!
  • Before you read the riddle, support strategy development by prompting students to share approaches to solving riddles they remember from the previous lessons. (break the riddle into chunks, listen for clues) (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. As you read the first riddle, discuss the meaning of stack. Ask: “What does it mean to stack something?” Illustrate the meaning by demonstrating stacking books. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Shared Writing: Writing a Toy Riddle (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to push a button to turn on their brains so they are ready to hear the learning target.
  • Read the first learning target aloud:

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

  • Invite students to take out their magic bows and take aim at the target while you recite the “Learning Target” poem aloud.
  • Briefly review attributes using the Color Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, Shape Words anchor chart, and Texture Words anchor chart.
  • Introduce a new challenge: The class will now write a riddle for a toy in their own classroom!
  • Invite several students to suggest a classroom toy to use for the riddle, steering them away from those featured in Toy Riddles.
  • Select one classroom toy to use for the riddle.
  • Explain that now students will help to write a riddle by thinking about the attributes of the chosen toy.
  • Invite students to point to resources around the room that might help them to think about attributes. (Color Words, Size Words, Shape Words, and Texture Words anchor charts)
  • Ask:

“What colors do you see?” (Responses will vary but should describe the chosen toy.)

“What sizes do you see?” (Responses will vary but should describe the chosen toy.)

“What shapes do you see?” (Responses will vary but should describe the chosen toy.)

“What textures do you see?” (Responses will vary but should describe the chosen toy.)

  • Using a piece of blank chart paper, list the attributes named.
  • Display the riddle sentences frame.
  • Invite students to make suggestions for filling in the frame, guiding them toward attributes that accurately describe the toy.
  • When the riddle frame is filled in, read it aloud for students. Read it a second time, inviting students to join in as you read.
  • For ELLs: The language demands of inventing a riddle may be especially challenging for some students. Give a beginning proficiency student the chance to play an integral part of the process by inviting him or her to decide the toy that will be used for the riddle.
  • As you introduce the riddle sentences frame, maximize transfer of skills by prompting students to apply ideas from Toy Riddles as they write a class riddle. Clarify the structure by reminding students that the attributes they suggest are clues about the toy. (MMR)

B. Engaging the Learner: Attributes I Spy Game (15 minutes)

  • Show the color cards, size cards, shape cards, and texture cards.
  • Tell students that just like the Color Words, Shape Words, Size Words, and Texture Words anchor charts, these cards remind them of the many words they can use to describe attributes.
  • Review the directions for the Attributes I Spy game.
  • Explain that today, the game will be more challenging because all cards will be used, and there will be two cards in each round.
  • Tell students they are now going to Turn and Talk to play the game. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 1 for talking with a partner, and it works just like it sounds. When prompted, they will turn and talk to an elbow partner about a prompt or question you ask.
  • Ask students to turn and talk for a practice round of the game:

“What is blue and a circle?”

  • Refocus whole group and invite students to guess the object until someone guesses correctly.
  • Play several rounds of the game using Turn and Talk, as time allows. For an extra challenge, use three or four cards for a round.
  • For ELLs: For the Turn and Talk/Attribute I Spy game, provide options for communication by including sentence frames to guide partner interaction. Example: “Partner A: What is ___________ and __________? Partner B: Is it _________?” (MMAE)
  • 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 guiding the Turn and Talk process.
  • To help learners 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. (MME)

C. Developing Language: Sorting Toys (20 minutes)

  • Present a basket of toys to the students. Invite them to notice that the toys are mixed up and many different kinds are together.
  • Hold up a few toys and model describing their physical attributes. Example: “This ball is big and blue. This play dough is round and green. This Lego piece is tiny and smooth.”
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“In this basket, how could we sort the toys, or make groups of toys that have the same attributes?” (put all the toys that are the same color together; put all round toys together; make a group of big toys and a group of small toys)

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

“I can sort toys into groups by the same attribute.”

  • Explain that to sort means to make groups by putting things that are alike together.
  • Model sorting a sample of toys on a large piece of chart paper. Use a magnifying glass to notice details. Think aloud:

“I could put these two dolls together because they both are wearing flower patterns. Oh, wait, here are three white bears. So I have a group of flower toys and a group of white toys.”

  • Explain that students will work in small groups to explore the toys in one workspace and sort them. They can use a piece of large, white chart paper as a space to sort.
  • Divide students into groups of three or four and distribute two magnifying glasses to each group.
  • Call groups to go to their workspace to begin exploring and sorting the classroom toys in their space.
  • Give students 8–10 minutes to sort. As groups work, circulate and engage with students about their thinking. Consider prompting students:

“Tell me how you are sorting.”

“What attribute is the same about this group of toys?”

  • Consider using the Speaking and Listening Checklist as you observe.
  • As needed, remind students of the Commitments for Playing Together created in Unit 1.
  • Signal students to stop through the use of a designated sound such as a chime or whistle.
  • Instruct students to leave their toys on the chart paper and walk safely to the whole group gathering area.
  • For sorting toys, customize the display of information by using masking tape to create clear “categories” for grouping toys on the floor. Differentiate the degree of complexity by asking students to first sort toys into two categories. You may challenge some groups to re-sort the toys into three categories or more. (MMR, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face: Sharing about Sorting (10 minutes)

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

“I can sort toys into groups by the same attribute.”

  • Give students specific positive feedback on sorting the toys in their baskets by making groups of toys with the same attributes. (Example: “I saw one group putting all of the long, skinny toys together and all of the short, round toys together.”)
  • Tell students they are going to share how they sorted using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. Remind them that they used this protocol in Lesson 1. Review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Briefly review the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face anchor chart.
  • Have students find a partner and stand back-to-back with him or her, being respectful of space.
  • Ask the following question and give them 30 seconds to consider how they will respond:

“What attribute did you use to sort your toys?”

  • Provide a sentence frame for students to use when sharing their response:

“I used the attribute of _____ to sort my toys.”

  • Model sharing with the sentence frame:

“I used the attribute of size to sort my toys.”

  • Invite students to turn face-to-face to share their responses.
  • Repeat the process several times, inviting students to find a new partner each time.
  • Ask students to return to their space in the whole group area.
  • Prompt them to consider what they have learned about describing and sorting toys.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Why is it important to know how to describe toys? Why is it important to know how to sort toys?” (talk about toys you prefer; clean up toys neatly; tell the principal about what we learned in our response letter)

  • If productive, cue students to clarify the conversation by confirming what they mean:

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

  • Give students specific positive feedback on describing and sorting toys. (Example: “I heard you using words such as red, tall, round, and soft to describe toys, and then using those words to make groups of toys that have the same attributes.”)
  • As you review the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, invite student volunteers to demonstrate what this sharing protocol looks like and sounds like. (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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