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ELA GK:M2:U1:L2

Reading, Speaking, and Listening: Close Read-aloud, Session 1 and Observing Weather

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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.2: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • RI.K.4: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RI.K.5: Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • RI.K.6: Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information 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.5: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can ask and answer questions about weather using Weather Words and What They Mean. (RI.K.1, RI.K.2, RI.K.4)
  • I can use words and pictures to describe what I observe about the weather. (SL.K.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the close read-aloud in Work Time A, use the Reading Informational Text Checklist to track students’ progress toward RI.K.1, RI.K.2, RI.K.4, RI.K.5, and RI.K.6 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • During Work Time B, circulate and observe as students briefly discuss with a partner and then draw and label what they observed about weather. Consider using the Speaking and Listening Checklist to document progress toward SL.K.1 and SL.K.5 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: “What Makes Weather?” Song (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Weather Words and What They Mean, Pages 1–15 (10 minutes)

B. Engaging the Scientist: Being a Meteorologist (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Interactive Writing: Class Weather Journal (10 minutes)

B. Structured Discussion: What Is Responsibility? (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • Nurturing an inquiry-rich classroom environment begins with asking questions and cultivating curiosity. This lesson invites students to ask questions and wonder about weather as they closely read an informational text and engage in an outdoor activity observing the weather.
  • As noted in Module 1, a close read-aloud is an instructional practice that gives beginning readers an opportunity to study a complex text with teacher support for the purpose of deep comprehension. A close read-aloud of a particular text occurs in a series of short sessions (approximately 20–25 minutes each) across multiple lessons. In this lesson and Lesson 3, students engage in the first two sessions, during which they will hear the entire text of Weather Words and What They Mean read aloud by the teacher, without interruption. In subsequent sessions, the teacher poses a focus question to set a purpose for deeper analysis and facilitates deeper comprehension by rereading excerpts of the text with this question in mind. In each session, the teacher lifts students’ understanding of the text through purposeful text-dependent questions, interactive discussion, and other activities that support comprehension. In the final session, students synthesize their learning by answering the focus question through a culminating writing or speaking task. (RI.K.1, RI.K.2, RI.K.4, RI.K.5, and RI.K.6)
  • For every close read-aloud, there is a Close Read-aloud Guide (see supporting materials). This material lays out the entire sequence of sessions. Before launching the first session with a given text, review the entire guide to have the big picture of the work students will do with that text across multiple lessons. Keep this guide in hand across the lessons. (RI.K.1, RI.K.2, RI.K.4, RI.K.5, and RI.K.6)
  • The pages of Weather Words and What They Mean are not numbered. For instructional purposes, the page that begins with “The weather changes from day to day …” should be considered page 2 and all pages thereafter numbered accordingly.
  • During Work Time B, students go outside to engage in a weather observation activity during which they look closely at the weather, briefly discuss what they observe with a partner, and then draw and label what they observe. These drawings are intended to be a quick sketch to support students’ understanding of the various weather components they might observe. Providing students with an opportunity to discuss their observations first supports the development of the thinking and language needed to draw and label. (SL.K.5)
  • If it is not possible to take students outside, consider allowing them access to an alternative means to view the weather, such as viewing videos, looking out a window, or accessing pictures.
  • In the Closing, students are introduced to the habit of character that is a particular focus for this unit: Responsibility. In this lesson, students learn the definition of responsibility and the ways in which it can be applied to their learning and work. Throughout the unit, students will have opportunities to reflect on how they and their classmates are showing responsibility (see Unit 1 Overview).

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Lesson 1, students were introduced to the words and concepts weather and meteorologist. This lesson allows for a more in-depth study of both concepts as students begin a series of close read-aloud sessions of Weather Words and What They Mean and engage in a weather observation activity.
  • During Lesson 1, students practiced reporting on the weather as they completed the class weather journal. In this lesson, they further refine these skills by engaging in an interactive writing session to complete the class weather journal.
  • Continue to use Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • During Closing A, students are introduced to the interactive writing instructional practice as part of the class weather journal routine. In Part 3 of the class weather journal, students share the pen with the teacher as they complete the sentence using one of six predetermined weather words to describe the day’s weather. When determining for which parts of words they will share the pen, consider your students’ letter-sound relationship knowledge.

Down the road:

  • Students participate in a close read-aloud of Weather Words and What They Mean and then engage in an interactive weather activity across Lessons 2–7. Preview the entire Close Read-aloud Guide (all sessions) to fully understand the arc of these lessons and to see how the learning and skills build from one lesson to the next.
  • In this lesson, students are introduced to the Meteorologist’s notebook, which contains various pages to be used throughout the unit. The entire notebook is compiled in the supporting materials of this lesson. Consider separating the pages in advance to distribute as they are used based on the needs of your students.
  • This lesson is the first of five with opportunities to collect data on students’ progress toward SL.K.5.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    •  Weather Word Wall cards for component and responsibility. Write or type the word on a card and create or find a visual to accompany it.
    •  Class weather journal template by writing it on chart paper.
    •  Responsibility anchor chart by writing it on chart paper.
  • Preview the Close Read-aloud Guide: Weather Words and What They Mean to familiarize yourself with what will be required of students. Note that the Close Read-aloud Guide is divided into sessions. Complete only Session 1 in this lesson; students will complete the remaining sessions in Lessons 3–7.
  • Post: Learning targets, “What Makes Weather?” song, Class Weather Journal template, and Responsibility anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Record the whole group singing the first verse of the “What Makes Weather?” song and post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app such as Seesaw for students to listen to at home with families. Most devices (cellphones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Record students as they complete the class weather journal to listen to later as models for the group. Most devices (cellphones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Complete the class weather journal using a word-processing tool, such as a Google Doc, for display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.
  • Students use drawing apps or software, such as Kids Doodle plug-in for Google or app for Apple products, to draw their response in their Meteorologist’s notebook.
  • Create the Responsibility anchor chart in an online format, such as a Google Doc, for display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.1.A.1, K.1.B.5, and K.I.B.6

Important points in the lesson itself:

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to go outside and participate in a concrete experience that supports academic knowledge.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to listen to Weather Words and What They Mean without stopping, especially if they do not understand some of the language used in the text. Encourage students to use the pictures to help them understand what is happening in the story. Tell them that if they do not understand everything right now, it is okay. Remind them that they will read it again during the unit.

Levels of support:

For lighter support:

  • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time B, observe student interaction and allow them 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.
  • During Closing and Assessment, A, consider providing students with personal white boards or their own copies of the class weather journal so they can complete their own writing along with the class. This will allow all students to practice, to remain engaged throughout the activity, and to provide real-time assessment data.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time B, as students draw and label their observations, give struggling writers index cards with illustrations for key words. They can use the index cards as guides.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In the Closing, the class weather journal template includes several vocabulary words that are closely related (e.g., cold vs. chilly, hot vs. warm). Support students to complete the template by distinguishing between these words with examples and images.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During Work Time B, students go outside and observe three aspects of the weather. Remembering to make observations about all three aspects may be difficult for students. When planning instruction, consider chunking your directions into three steps, introducing each focus question one at a time once you are outside.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): In this lesson, students are introduced to the term responsibility. Consider personalizing instruction by asking students to generate examples of responsibility from out-of-school contexts.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • component, responsibility (L)

Review:

  • weather, text, meteorologist, observe (L)

Materials

  • “What Makes Weather?” song (one to display)
  • Weather Word Wall cards (new; teacher-created; two)
  • Weather Word Wall (begun in Lesson 1; added to during the Opening; see Teaching Notes)
  • Close Read-aloud Guide: Weather Words and What They Mean (Session 1; for teacher reference)
    •  Weather Words and What They Mean (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
    •  Reading Informational Text Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Meteorologist’s notebook (one per student)
    •  Observing Weather (page 1 of Meteorologist’s notebook)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Class weather journal template (blank; from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Responsibility anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: “What Makes Weather?” Song (5 minutes)

  • Gather whole group.
  • Tell students that you have a new song to share with and teach them. They will learn the first verse today and the rest of the song in the next lessons.
  • Briefly explain that this song will give them a clue about something they will read more about in today’s lesson.
  • Display the “What Makes Weather?” song.
  • Tell students that before you sing the song, you want to focus them on a few key words. Direct their attention to the word component in the first line of the song, read it aloud, and tell them that this word is important for them to know to understand the song.
  • Show students the Weather Word Wall card for component and follow the same process established in Lesson 1: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture for component on the Weather Word Wall.
  • Tell students that you will sing the song first on your own as they listen, and then they will join in. Invite students to think of hand gestures, motions, or actions that could go along with the song as you sing it the first time through.
  • Sing just the first verse of the song, tracking the print as you sing.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

 “What are some hand gestures, motions, or actions that could go along with this verse of the song?” (Responses will vary, but may include: showing four fingers for the word four and clasping hands together to show parts coming together for components.)

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

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

  • Invite students to join you in singing the first verse of the song, using their own chosen hand gestures and actions. Repeat as time permits.
  • For ELLs: Before introducing the word component, create a supportive learning environment by pointing out that it is okay if there are other words in the “What Makes Weather?” song that students do not know yet. (Example: “This song includes some words that you will know, and some you might not know yet! If you don’t know what some of the weather words in the song mean, that’s okay. That is why we are studying weather—because we have more to learn! There are clues in the song that can help you understand these words, and the more we practice the song, the better you will understand them!”) (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Weather Words and What They Mean, Pages 1–15 (10 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    •  “I can ask and answer questions about weather using Weather Words and What They Mean.”
  • Remind students that a text is something they read.
  • Display Weather Words and What They Mean.
  • Briefly review the definition of weather. (Weather concerns such things as temperature, rain, snow, sun, and other factors; the conditions outside.)
  • Guide students through the close read-aloud for Weather Words and What They Mean using the Close Read-aloud Guide: Weather Words and What They Mean (Session 1; for teacher reference). Consider using the Reading Informational Text Checklist during the close read-aloud (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Before the close read-aloud, support students in organizing information by encouraging them to discuss a question they already have about weather through a Think-Pair-Share. Write some of students’ initial questions on chart paper or a white board. Tell students that as you read the book, they can see if their question is answered. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: During the 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)

B. Engaging the Scientist: Being a Meteorologist (30 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their engagement during the close read-aloud. (Example: “I noticed that all of you were actively listening while the text was being read aloud.”)
  • Remind students that in the previous lesson, they learned about meteorologists and the job they do.
  • Briefly review the definition of meteorologist with students (scientist who studies the earth’s weather and climate).
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is something you learned about meteorologists and the job that they do?” (Meteorologists observe the weather, give weather reports, take the temperature, and predict what the weather will be like.)

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

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

  • Explain that today students will get a chance to act like meteorologists and go outside and observe the weather.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:
    •  “I can use words and pictures to describe what I observe about the weather.”
  • Briefly review the definition of observe (to watch with care). Model how you would observe the weather and sky when outside.
  • Invite students to show you how they would observe the sky and the weather when outside.
  • Inform students that in just a minute, they are going to go outside as a class and carefully observe the weather. There are a few questions they should keep in mind to help them observe the weather:
  1. Is it sunny or cloudy or a little bit of both?
  2. If there are clouds, what do they look like?
  3. Is it raining or snowing? What does that look like?
  • Invite students to generate any additional questions they might have as they wonder about the weather.
  • Tell them that after they observe outside, they will have a chance to talk about what they observed with a partner and then make a drawing with labels to show what they observed.
  • Invite students to line up to go outside.
  • Once outside, refocus whole group and remind students of the questions they should keep in mind as they carefully observe the weather.
  • Allow students 10 minutes of observation and exploration time. As students observe, circulate and prompt them with questions as necessary.
  • Refocus whole group and lead them back inside to return to their tables.
  • Tell students that now they will get a chance to talk with a partner about what they observed about the weather. Using a student volunteer, model using a sentence frame to describe what you observed about the weather:
    •  “When I looked up at the sky, I observed ___________________. It looked like ___________.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What did you observe about the weather?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Circulate and listen as students discuss, prompting them with the sentence frame and with the observation questions as necessary.
  • Distribute Meteorologist’s notebooks and focus students on the Observing Weather page. Point out the pencils at their tables.
  • Post and review the following directions with students. Answer clarifying questions:
  1. Think about what you noticed and observed about the weather when you were outside.
  2. Draw a picture showing what you observed.
  3. Add labels to your picture.
  • Invite students to begin drawing and labeling.
  • Circulate to support students as necessary. If they are stuck, prompt them with questions such as:

 “What ideas can you share with me?”

 “How might you show your idea in a simple picture with labels?"

  • Conversely, if some students finish quickly, ask them how they might add some details to their picture.
  • Prompt students to use the Weather Word Wall to support their labeling and remind them that they are making a quick sketch of what they observed.
  • Collect student drawings with labels and use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to document progress toward SL.K.5.
  • For ELLs: After reviewing the definition of meteorologist, provide options for communication by inviting students to physically act out one thing a meteorologist might do. (Examples: Use one hand to shade your eyes as you pretend to detect the weather; use two hands to pretend holding and pointing to an imaginary weather map; pretend to hold a microphone to give the weather report; pretend to hold a tube thermometer to identify air temperature.) (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Invite students to recall when, in the previous lesson, they used pictures to describe the weather. Display the interactive writing and photographs from Lesson 1 to jog their memory. Tell them that this time they will draw their own pictures.
  • For ELLs: When planning instruction, support student planning by “chunking” directions into three steps. Introduce each focus question for the weather observation one at a time once you are outside. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs: While outside, take a picture of the sky with a digital camera or electronic device. Display the photograph on a projector or document camera and use it as a reference when discussing and modeling work in the Meteorologist’s notebook. This will give students a visual reminder of their experience outdoors and a reference point for their work.
  • For ELLs: While modeling using the sentence frame to discuss observations, record and display a few options with illustrations. As students discuss with their elbow partners, encourage them to use their own ideas and invite them to use one of the recorded options if they are stuck. (Example: “When I looked up in the sky, I observed clouds. It looks like a cloudy day.”)
  • For ELLs: For students who may need heavier support writing labels, ask them to dictate their work while circulating. Write labels under their drawings with a highlighter. Encourage students to trace the highlighter in pencil or pen. (Example: “I’m going to write sun with this highlighter. I’m looking at the Weather Word Wall to help me remember how to spell it. S-U-N. Now you can trace it with a pencil. I bet you can do it by yourself next time!”)
  • After you read the directions to students, provide options for expression by modeling two or three ways to draw a picture based on observation. (Example: “You can use different strategies to help you draw what you observed. To draw the clouds, I am going to picture the shape in my mind and do my best to outline that shape with my pencil. When I draw my observation of the sun, I’m going to try to remember how warm I felt.”) (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Interactive Writing: Class Weather Journal (10 minutes)

  • Gather whole group.
  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their work observing and documenting weather. (Example: “When we were outside observing weather, I saw all of you looking closely and taking note of all the details about the weather that you saw.”)
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted class weather journal template and remind them that because they are becoming weather experts, they are going to practice being meteorologists and report on the weather.
  • Remind students that in the previous lesson, they worked on completing Parts 1 and 2 of the class weather journal.
  • Today they will continue using the journal. Tell students that they can use the information they gathered from their observations earlier in the lesson to help them decide what to put in today’s weather journal.
  • Read aloud the first sentence on the class weather journal template and model filling it in. (Example: Today’s date is November 5, 2016.)
  • Read aloud the next sentence on the template:
    •  “Today the weather is ______________.”
  • Direct students’ attention to the six picture icons and read the accompanying word descriptors. Ask:

“Which picture best describes today’s weather?” (Answers will vary.)

  • Invite a student volunteer to circle the picture icon that the class chose.
  • Tell students that now they will help complete Part 3 of the class weather journal. Model the interactive writing instructional practice:
  1. Point to the third sentence and read it aloud:

 “It is _________ outside.”

  1. Read the six word choices aloud: “cold, chilly, warm, hot, wet, windy”
  2. Using a total participation technique, ask students to select the word that best describes that day’s weather. (Example: hot)
  3. Segment the word into its three phonemes: /h/ /o/ /t/
  4. Ask and then answer as a model:

 “What is the first sound you hear in /h/ /o/ /t/? /h/”

  1. Write the letter for the first phoneme in the blank: “h”
  2. Explain that now students will help with the writing and say: “Now I will share my pen with one of you at a time. You will come up to the board and write the letter that represents the next sound in the word. Everyone else will write the same letter in the sky with their finger pens at the same time.”
  3. Ask and answer as a model:

 “What is the next sound you hear in /h/ /o/ /t/?” (/o/)

 “What letter makes the sound /o/?” (“o”)

  1. Invite a student volunteer to write “o.”
  2. Ask and then answer as a model:

 “What is the last sound you hear in /h/ /o/ /t/?” (/t/)

 “What letter makes the sound /t/?” (“t”)

  1. Invite a student volunteer to write “t.”
  2. Invite students to join you as you read the word they have written together: “hot.”
  3. Read the completed sentence aloud and track the print with a pointer as you read.
  4. Invite students to join you as you read the completed sentence.
  • Direct students’ attention to the top of the class weather journal template and explain that now they will read the completed weather report, as a meteorologist would do.
  • Read aloud the completed class weather journal template slowly, tracking the print as you do, and invite students to join you as you read.
  • After students select the picture icon that best describes today’s weather, activate background knowledge by asking them to explain how they know based on their observations. (Example: “How do you know that it is cloudy? What did you observe outside that helped you decide on this answer?”) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: While guiding students to complete the third sentence in the class weather journal, clarify vocabulary with examples and images. (Example: Using two images to depict cold versus chilly, say, “Karmyn, I can see you are not sure whether to pick cold or chilly. They are similar but have slightly different meanings. When it’s cold outside, I see my breath in the air and want to wear a hat. When it’s chilly outside, I don’t need a hat, but if I am not wearing a sweatshirt or jacket I might shiver.”) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Be aware that some students may not have corresponding vowel sounds in their home languages. It may be more difficult for them to recognize and produce certain vowels in English. Draw contrasts when possible between minimal pairs. Invite students to practice using the vowel sounds. Commend their progress and reassure them that they will continue to practice throughout the year. (Example: “Are hot and hat the same thing? Let’s hear you say hot one more time.”)

B. Structured Discussion: What Is Responsibility? (5 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group and offer specific, positive feedback on completing the class weather journal template. (Example: “I noticed everyone participated while we read the weather report we recorded in our class weather journal.”)
  • Remind students that reporting on the weather is one way they are working toward becoming weather experts as they help Sofia learn how to be prepared for different types of weather.
  • Tell students that helping Sofia learn about the weather and how to be prepared for different types of weather is a big responsibility.
  • Show students the Word Wall card for responsibility and follow the same process established in Lesson 1: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the card and picture on the Weather Word Wall.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Responsibility anchor chart and read it aloud while tracking the print:
    •  “I take ownership for my work, my actions, and my materials and space.”
  • Pointing to each corresponding icon on the Responsibility anchor chart, explain that your work is the learning you do in the classroom, your actions are the things you say and do, your materials are what you use, and your space is where you go in the classroom.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What are some hand motions or actions we can do to help us remember what the Responsibility anchor chart says?” (mimicking writing or reading a book for work, pretending to walk for actions, and using our hands/arms to point to parts of the classroom for materials and space)

  • Reread the Responsibility anchor chart, tracking the print as you do, and invite students to engage in the hand motions as you read and point to each corresponding line.
  • Explain that throughout the next several lessons, students will think about and reflect on how they and their classmates can and do show responsibility, whether it is taking care of materials, learning about different types of weather to help Sofia, or doing the best work possible.
  • Tell students that they will reflect on their own responsibility in the next lesson.
  • For ELLs: After defining responsibility, tell a story about something in class that illustrates responsibility. Then personalize instruction by generating examples of responsibility from out-of-school contexts. Examples:
    •  “I saw Reena accidentally skip Melanie in line yesterday. She noticed what she did and said she was sorry. She really showed responsibility.”
    •  “Lucas told me that one of his jobs is to help dry dishes at home. That is one way Lucas shows responsibility for materials.”
    •  “Give a thumbs-up if you have a job like that. What are some other examples of kindergartners taking responsibility outside of school?” (MME)

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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