Writing and Drawing: Describing Classroom Toys | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:M1:U2:L6

Writing and Drawing: Describing Classroom Toys

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.K.1: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • RI.K.4: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • W.K.2: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • L.K.5: With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.K.5c: Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).
  • L.K.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can use details from the text to describe the ways we can play with toys. (RI.K.1, RI.K.4)
  • I can use pictures and words to describe a classroom toy. (W.K.2, L.K.5c, L.K.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, listen for students to identify words that describe toys and the actions that toys make. Document progress on the Speaking and Listening Checklist in the Assessment Overview and Resources.
  • During Work Time C, circulate and observe students individually drawing and writing about a classroom toy. Collect student drawing and writing samples to assess progress toward W.K.2 and L.K.6 on the Informational/Explanatory Writing Checklist in the Assessment Overview and Resources. Use the information collected to adjust instruction during Work Time C in Lesson 7.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Would You Prefer? (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Focused Read-aloud: Toys Galore, Pages 1–11 (15 minutes)

B. Modeling: Examining and Drawing Toys (10 minutes)

C. Independent Practice: Examining and Drawing Toys (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Think-Pair-Share: Sharing Drawings (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson is the first in a series of focused read-aloud sessions using Toys Galore. These sessions support students as they acquire vocabulary to help describe the ways toys are played with. Focused read-aloud sessions differ from close read-aloud sessions in that they do not dive as deeply into a text, yet still carry a clear, standards-based purpose for examining the text.
  • During Work Time C, students draw and describe a classroom toy, using the rich vocabulary they have learned by way of the various attribute anchor charts. This activity presents teachers with an informal assessment of students’ descriptive language skills to this point (W.K.2, L.K.5c, L.K.6).

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson builds upon students’ knowledge and understanding of the attributes of various classroom toys. During Work Time C, as students draw classroom toys and label those drawings, they rely on their growing vocabulary of descriptive language.
  • 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 describe their preference during the Opening. Provide additional support to those who lack the vocabulary or syntax needed to discuss their preference. Encourage the use of sentence frames.
  • During Work Time C, look for opportunities to support students as they draw and label classroom toys. Consider seating those who have yet to master descriptive language and vocabulary near the attributes anchor charts.

Down the road:

  • In Lessons 7–8, students will listen to the remaining sections of Toys Galore, learning vocabulary to describe the actions we can take with toys and adding those words to the Toys and Play Word Wall. Students will use their growing understanding and vocabulary as they make detailed drawings of classroom toys.
  • In Lesson 9, students will complete the unit assessment, which assesses the standards and learning targets from this lesson. Consider previewing the unit assessment before teaching this lesson to better understand what is expected of students and therefore determine which students might need additional support and prompting.

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display Toys Galore and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare:
    • Would You Prefer? index cards: Write two choices on index cards, using one index card for each choice. Label one choice as “A” and one choice as “B.” See supporting materials from Lesson 5 and include new choices in this lesson.
    • Toys and Play Word Wall cards for the words stretch, stack, build, sculpt, squeeze, and squish. Write or type the words in large print on a card and create or find a visual to accompany each word.
    • Baskets of various classroom toys, such as 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. Place one basket on each table for Work Time C.
  • Distribute materials for Work Time C at student tables.
  • Review the Turn and Talk and Think-Pair-Share protocols. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets, Shape Words anchor chart, Classroom Toys chart, Color Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, and Texture Words anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Closing and Assessment A: Record students as they discuss in pairs 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.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.1.A.1, K.1.B.5, and K.1.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by devoting ample time to modeling and thinking aloud the tasks students are expected to complete.
  • Some ELLs may find Toys Galore challenging, as it contains a lot of new vocabulary. The design of the lesson includes plenty of opportunities for comprehension through movement. It may benefit some students to return to these opportunities for movement as they interact with realia.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During Closing and Assessment A, before providing sentence frames or additional support, observe student interaction as they share with one another 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 to target appropriate support.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time B, complete part of the model drawing as an interactive class experience. Call on students to help label the drawing using the anchor charts in the room for assistance. This will provide students with more hands-on practice before attempting the task independently.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Students may benefit from visual guidance in organizing the drawing/writing task. During Work Time B, explicitly highlight each step of the task, writing a simple checklist with illustrations on chart paper. Provide individual copies of this checklist for students as they go out to complete the writing and drawing task during Work Time C.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): To help students express their ideas in the drawing and writing task, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers, colored pencils), writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards), and scaffolds (examples: picture cues, shared writing).
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): As you review the directions for the Would You Prefer? game, create an accepting classroom climate by prompting students to reflect on what it means to have differing perspectives.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • stretch, stack, build, sculpt, squeeze, squish (T)

Review:

  • text, prefer, details, describe (L)

Materials

  • Would You Prefer? index cards (from Lesson 5; class set)
  • Document camera (optional)
  • Toys Galore (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Toys and Play Word Wall (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Word Wall cards (teacher-created; six; see Teaching Notes)
  • Toys baskets (one per table, see Teaching Notes)
  • Drawing and Labeling Toys: Teacher Model (one to display)
  • Shape Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)
  • Classroom Toys chart (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Drawing and Labeling Toys: Student Response Sheet (one per student)
  • Color Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Size Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Texture Words anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Would You Prefer? (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Remind students that they played a game in the previous lesson called Would You Prefer? in which they decided what they preferred when given a few choices.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does the word prefer mean? What does it mean to prefer something?” (to like one thing more than something else)

  • If necessary, provide an example: “I prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla ice cream.”
  • Tell students that today they are going to play the Would You Prefer? game again.
  • Briefly review the directions for the game and expectations for safe and courteous movement in the classroom. Remind students which side of the room they should travel to for “A” preferences, which side of the room they should travel to for “B” preferences and that they should stay in their spots if they prefer neither choice.
  • Read the first set of choices from the Would You Prefer? index cards and instruct students to pick their preference and move to the designated spot in the room.
  • Once students have moved, elicit their thoughts as to the reasons for their preferences.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Why do you prefer______?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Encourage students to use a sentence frame: “I prefer _______ because ______” or “I like ______ best because ______.”
  • Repeat with subsequent sets of choices for as long as time permits.
  • For ELLs: Remind students of previous learning by displaying a practice drawing from Lesson 5, preferably by a beginning proficiency student. Example: “Look at what Xin Tao did! He drew a toy that he prefers! Today we are going to create more drawings about toys we prefer.”
  • For ELLs: Introduce a physical activity to illustrate the action of choosing. Example: Hold up the preference cards for chocolate and vanilla. Invite a student to the board to choose one. The student may take the card she chooses, but only after she says, “I prefer _______.”
  • As you review the directions for the Would You Prefer? game, create an accepting classroom climate by prompting students to reflect on what it means to have differing perspectives. Example: “Some students might prefer chocolate ice cream, and some students might prefer vanilla ice cream. What might you tell someone who is worried that their friend does not like the same kind of ice cream as they do?” (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Focused Read-aloud: Toys Galore, Pages 1–11 (15 minutes)

  • Using the document camera, display Toys Galore.
  • Say:

“We have read lots of texts about toys. Today we are going to read Toys Galore again, but this time we are going to find some special words and phrases to help us become even more knowledgeable play experts.”

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

“I can use details from the text to describe the ways we can play with toys.”

  • Briefly remind students that a text is something they read, and details from the text are the words and pictures in the text.
  • Invite students to take out their imaginary bows and take aim at the learning target as they recite the “Learning Target” poem with you.
  • Tell students that there are a lot of ways we can play with toys and that in Toys Galore, the author uses lots of interesting words and phrases to show ways we can play with toys. Tell students that to build their play expertise, they will find words that describe the ways we can play with toys. Explain that it will be their job to listen for these words as you read Toys Galore. Tell them you will stop from time to time to let them share the words they hear.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Toys and Play Word Wall. Tell them that to help keep track of all the great words and phrases they find, you are going to record them on the Word Wall.
  • While still displaying the text, begin reading pages 1–4 of Toys Galore aloud slowly, fluently, and with expression, pointing to each word as you read it.
  • Stop after reading page 4.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What kinds of toys do you see the author writing about on these pages? What do the words and pictures tell us about how we can play with those toys?” (The author writes about balls, goo, and wind-up toys. The pictures show kids winding up toys, bouncing balls, and stretching goo.)

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

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

  • While still displaying the text, reread page 4. Point to the pictures of the ball and the goo and say:

“Here, the author writes about bouncing a ball and stretching goo. I can see the pictures show someone bouncing the ball on the ground and someone stretching goo out into long and thin pieces.”

  • Remind students that bounce is already on the Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • Explain that stretch means to pull something and make it longer and thinner. Place the Word Wall card and picture for stretch on the Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • Invite students to stretch an imaginary piece of goo.
  • While still displaying the text, continue reading through page 7.
  • Reread the first sentence and invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What details do you see showing what you can do with the blocks? Where do you see those details?” (stacking, building)

  • Explain that stack means to put one thing on top of another. Place the Word Wall cards and pictures for stack and build on the Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • While still displaying the text, continue reading through page 11.
  • Direct students’ attention to the word sculpt and say:

“The word sculpt means to make something out of clay.”

  • Reread page 11 and ask:

“What are some other words and phrases that author uses to show how we can play with clay? What do the details in the pictures show us about playing with clay?” (squeeze, mold, sculpt, squish)

  • Invite students to sculpt or squish an imaginary piece of clay. Call on a few students to share what they imagined they were sculpting their clay into.
  • Place the Word Wall cards and pictures for sculpt, squeeze, and squish on the Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • Offer students specific positive feedback for their hard work on searching for special words in the text. (Example: “You found a lot of new words to describe the ways we can play with toys, such as squeeze and sculpt, and now we have added those to the Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • Tell students that they will listen to another section of the text in the next lesson and keep searching for words that show the ways we play with toys.
  • For ELLs: To scaffold active listening for key details, distribute word/picture cards for the Word Wall to a few students before the read-aloud. Tell them to listen for these special words and to raise their hands when they recognize them in the text. Allow students to help place the words on the Toys and Play Word Wall as each arises in the text. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Collect toys that share some of the attributes discussed in Toys Galore. Offer alternatives to visual and auditory information by inviting students to physically manipulate these examples of toys as you reread sections of the text. Example: As you read and discuss the blocks on page 7, distribute a few blocks and invite students to stack them. (MMR)

B. Modeling: Examining and Drawing Toys (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they have done a lot of reading and discussing to learn ways to describe the toys in the classroom and that they will now use that knowledge to help them make drawings of classroom toys.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can use pictures and words to describe a classroom toy.”

  • Point out the word describe.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does the word describe mean? When the word describe is in our learning target, what is it asking us to do?” (to tell about something)

  • Invite students to take out their imaginary bows and take aim at the learning target.
  • Tell them that over the next several lessons, they are going to practice using words and pictures to describe classroom toys. Tell them that to describe a classroom toy, they need to include a lot of details, which will require closely examining the toys.
  • Model selecting a toy from a toys basket and closely examining it.
  • As you closely examine the toy, think aloud about its attributes, focusing specifically on shape, and then draw what you see. For example:

1. Select a block.

2. Closely examine the block by turning it over several times in your hand.

3. Say:

“I notice this block has several sides that are squares. I’m going to draw squares on my paper.”

4. Draw a square on the posted Drawing and Labeling Toys: Teacher Model.

5. Model using the Shape Words anchor chart to locate the word square and label the squares on the drawing.

6. Model labeling the toy using the Classroom Toys chart. Say:

“I want to label my drawing so when people look at it they know it’s a block. I’m going to use the Classroom Toys chart to help me spell the word block.”

  • Invite students to share observations of your modeling and drawing. Ask:

“What did you notice me do as I drew the block?” (closely examining the block; using the anchor charts for spelling help; adding a lot of details)

  • Tell students that now it is their turn to use what they have learned as play experts to practice making detailed classroom toy drawings.
  • Invite students to bounce like balls back to their tables.
  • As you model describing the block with drawing and writing, guide organization by explicitly highlighting each step of the task. Do this by writing a simple checklist with illustrations on chart paper, such as:
    • Examine (picture of magnifying glass)
    • Draw (picture of marker and paper)
    • Label (picture of pencil and “ABC”) (MMR)

C. Independent Practice: Examining and Drawing Toys (20 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the toy baskets at their tables.
  • Allow students 5 minutes of free play and exploration time with the toys in the basket.
  • After 5 minutes, direct students’ attention to the Drawing and Labeling Toys: Student Response Sheet at their tables.
  • Briefly review the directions for the task:

1. Select a toy.

2. Closely examine the toy.

3. Draw the toy, paying close attention to what you observed when you closely examined it.

4. Use the Shape Words anchor chart, Color Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, and Toys and Play Word Wall to help with your drawings and labels.

  • Invite students to select a toy from the basket and begin.
  • As students draw, circulate and provide support as needed. Remind them to closely examine the toys to make sure their descriptions and drawings include a lot of details. Point out the resources in the room that students may use to assist them: the attributes anchor charts, Classroom Toys chart, and Toys and Play Word Wall.
  • If students are stuck, ask them to share their idea with you. Help them problem-solve by discussing how they might show their idea with a simple picture. Conversely, if a student finishes quickly, ask how he or she might add some details to the picture.
  • Give students time reminders and encouragement as they draw.
  • For ELLs: For students who may need additional support beginning their drawings, help them choose a toy or remind them about the toy they chose the day before. Assist them in drawing the outline of the toy and invite them to add detail.
  • For ELLs: For students who may need additional support describing toys in English, allow them to practice in their home languages. Example: “This task may be very difficult. To make it easier, you can take two minutes to describe toys with a partner who shares your home language. Then we can share in English.”
  • Provide options for executive functions to help students describe the block by offering individual checklists with words and pictures that include:
    • Examine
    • Draw
    • Label (MMAE)
  • To help students express their ideas in the drawing and writing task, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers, colored pencils), writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards), and scaffolds (examples: picture cues, shared writing). (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Think-Pair-Share: Sharing Drawings (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to bring their drawings and transition back to the whole group area by tables.
  • Tell them that they will now have a chance to share their drawing with a classmate using the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Remind students that they used this protocol in previous lessons. Review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Consider modeling what students might say when they share:

“I drew a block and included the square shapes I see on the block. I labeled my drawing with the word block.”

  • Give students 1 minute to think about what they will say when they share with their partner.
  • Ask students to pair up with their conversation partner. Explain that partner B should go first this time. Remind them to make a bridge with their arms to signal when both partners have shared.
  • Invite students to begin sharing their drawings.
  • Circulate and listen as students share.
  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by saying more:

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

  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their drawings. (Example: “I noticed you all worked very hard to closely examine your toys and make sure your drawings included lots of details you observed on those toys.”
  • For ELLs: Use sentence frames to prompt and scaffold discussion with partners. Model using the sentence frames and invite students to use them during the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Examples: “I drew _______.” “I labeled _______.” “One detail I drew is _______.” (MMAE)

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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