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ELA GK:M2:U2:L6

Reading, Writing, and Speaking: Close Read-aloud, Session 1 and Launching Weather Journals

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.K.3: With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
  • 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.
  • 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.4: Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
  • SL.K.6: Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • L.K.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can name the characters and setting in the text Come On, Rain! (RL.K.3)
  • I can use words and pictures to describe what I observe about the weather. (W.K.2, L.K.6)
  • I can share a report of the weather with others. (SL.K.1a, SL.K.4, L.K.6, SL.K.1a, SL.K.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Close Read-aloud, Session 1 in Work Time A, use the Reading Literature Checklist to track students’ progress toward RL.K.3 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • During Work Time B, circulate and observe students as they complete page 1 of their weather journal. Watch for them to observe and accurately name the day’s weather conditions. (W.K.2)
  • During Closing B, circulate and observe students as they share page 1 of their weather journal. Watch for them to use a clear voice, look at their partner, and point to the weather icons when sharing. As needed, refer students to the Ways We Share Our Work and Things Meteorologists Do anchor charts. (SL.K.1a, SL.K.4, SL.K.6)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Making a Rain Shower Activity (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Come on, Rain!, Pages 1–28 (20 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Weather Journals (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Structured Discussion: Revisiting Things Meteorologists Do Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

B. Pair-Share: Weather Journals (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson introduces the first of a series of close read-aloud sessions of the anchor text for the unit, Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse. Come On, Rain! is a narrative text about a little girl, Tess, who is waiting for rain to come on a hot summer day. In Lessons 1–5, students studied weather around the world, considering how different kinds of weather affect people everywhere. In this text, students encounter local weather and its effects on a particular family. Students strengthen their ability to understand and converse with their peers about the text as they hear it read aloud multiple times and engage actively through the use of the Before the Rain anchor chart, After the Rain anchor chart, and text-dependent questions. At the end of Unit 2, students will participate in a culminating task that measures their ability to answer a question about the central message of the anchor text using the illustrations as a guide (RL.K.1, RL.K.2, RL.K.3, RL.K.4, RL.K.7, W.K.2, SL.K.1).
  • Recall from Unit 1 that 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. In the first session, students hear the entire text 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.
  • For each close read-aloud session, 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 multiple lessons.
  • The pages of Come On, Rain! are not numbered. For instructional purposes, the page that begins with “Come on, rain! I say” should be considered page 1 and all pages thereafter numbered accordingly.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Unit 1, students helped co-create a class weather journal. In this lesson, students return to the weather journal routine with more independence: They complete an individual weather journal page based on their own observations of the weather.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students were introduced to the Things Meteorologists Do anchor chart. In this lesson, students revisit this anchor chart before sharing a page of their own weather journals to consider how a meteorologist shares a weather report.
  • Continue to use Goal 1–3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • The independent writing for page 1 in the weather journal during Work Time B requires a shift toward a more independent version of a familiar task. Some students may need additional support. Consider remodeling the writing process and/or pairing struggling students with a partner to complete the task if needed.

Down the road:

  • In Session 2 of the close read-aloud, students will be introduced to two new anchor charts, Before the Rain anchor chart and After the Rain anchor chart. These anchor charts support students in tracking the language in the text that describes what the weather is like and how characters are affected by the weather. The anchor charts are not intended to present a cause-and-effect relationship between the description of the weather and how characters are affected; rather, they are intended to chart both descriptive language and characters’ actions before the rain and after the rain.
  • Throughout Lessons 6–14, students will complete and share a page in their weather journal. Across this arc of lessons, students should become increasingly independent in their ability to complete these tasks. Each day, the page in the weather journal will expand to include more steps, until students are completing steps 1–4 daily. Also, in Lesson 7 students will begin to consider criteria for high-quality work using the High-Quality Work anchor chart as they complete a page in their weather journal. The daily weather journal routine provides a task in which students can apply the criteria for high-quality work. 

In Advance

  • Preview:
    • Making a Rain Shower activity in the Opening. The effect of students completing the motions to mimic the sound of rain should begin softly, lead to a crescendo of a rain shower, and then taper off again.
    • Close Read-aloud Guide for Come On, Rain! (Session 1; for teacher reference) 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 subsequent lessons.
  • Since many kindergarteners do not yet decode words independently, visuals are a helpful addition to anchor charts. Consider disassembling and cutting images from an extra copy of Come On, Rain! to use during the close read-aloud sessions.
  • Prepare a Weather Word Wall card for shower. Write or type the word in large print on a card and create or find a visual to accompany it.
  • Distribute materials for Work Time B at student workspaces to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Post: Learning targets, page 1 of weather journal, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Record the whole group participating in the Making a Rain Shower activity and post it on a teacher web page or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to listen to at home with their families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • If students were recorded completing the class weather journal in Unit 1, consider playing the recordings to remind them of the process.
  • Students complete their weather journals using word-processing software, such as Google Docs.
  • Students use speech-to-text facilities activated on devices or use an app or software like Dragon Dictation.
  • Video-record students during the Pair-Share to watch with students and evaluate strengths and areas for improvement and to use as models for the group. Post it on a teacher web page or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to watch at home with their families. Most devices (cellphones, 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.I.A.1, K.I.B.6, K.I.C.10, and K.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself:

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to read and interpret Come On, Rain! Its vivid illustrations support the meaning of the text with detailed depictions of how the weather affects the lives of the main characters.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to listen to Come On, Rain! without stopping, especially if they do not understand some of the language used. 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 all right. Remind students that they will read everything again during the unit.

Levels of support:

For lighter support:

  • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow them to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after students have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they struggle to target appropriate support.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time B, for students who have trouble writing, scribe the words for them with a highlighter. Invite them to trace the highlighter with pencil or pen.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): During Work Time B, students Pair-Share about their weather journal pages. Students may benefit from seeing explicit examples of how to respond to a peer’s work. Before they share, guide information processing by interactively modeling how to ask a question or make a comment on a peer’s work.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): After the close read-aloud, you will invite students to discuss the characters and setting. Some students may benefit from additional scaffolding, such as explicit prompting or a sentence frame, to share with their partner.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): The rain shower activity in the Opening provides a great opportunity to foster collaboration and community. After the class has completed the rain shower activity, reinforce the collaborative efforts of the class.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • shower, report (L)

Review:

  • character, setting, observe, meteorologist (L)

Materials

  • Weather Word Wall card (new; teacher-created; one)
  • Weather Word Wall (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1; added to in the Opening; see Teaching Notes)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Module 1; one to display)
  • Close Read-aloud Guide: Come On, Rain! (Session 1; for teacher reference)
    • Come On, Rain! (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
    • Reading Literature Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
    • Weather (from Unit 1, one to display)
    • Weather Words and What They Mean (from Unit 1; one to display)
  • Weather journal (page 1; one for teacher modeling and one per student)
  • Crayons (class set; variety of colors per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Conversation Partners chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Things Meteorologists Do anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart (begun in Module 1)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Making a Rain Shower Activity (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to stand in a spot around the edge of the whole group gathering area. As needed, remind them to move safely and make space for everyone.
  • Define shower (a period of rain that lasts a short time).
  • Invite students to show a thumbs-up or touch their forehead if they have ever taken a shower at home.
  • With excitement, share that the class will now use their hands and feet to make a rain shower!
  • Direct students to watch what you do carefully and do the same thing with their hands/feet.
  • Before beginning, make sure the class is quiet.
  • Initiate the process, taking 10–15 seconds for each step:
  1. Rub your fingers together softly.
  2. Rub your hands together, continuing to make a soft sound.
  3. Clap your hands softly.
  4. Snap your fingers (if students struggle to snap, hitting their thumb and forefingers together also works well).
  5. Clap your hands again, a bit more loudly.
  6. Slap your thighs with both hands.
  7. Slap your thighs and stomp your feet.
  8. Reverse this process until the class is quiet and still again.
  • Show students the Weather Word Wall card for shower and follow the same process established in Unit 1: provide its definition (a period of rain that lasts a short time), clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture on the Weather Word Wall.
  • If productive, cue students with a challenge:

“Can you figure out why we did that activity? I’ll give you time to think and discuss with a partner.” (Responses will vary.)

  • After the class has completed the rain shower activity, foster community by explicitly stating the importance of shared participation: “That was an amazing rain shower we just made together! We worked hard to make the rain shower together, and each of you helped. Great teamwork.” (MME)
  • For ELLs: To ensure that the purpose of the rain shower activity is clear, prompt students with a Conversation Cue: “Can you figure out why we did a rain shower together?” (Responses will vary, but may include: to learn about the word shower; to learn more about weather.)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Come on, Rain!, Pages 1–28 (20 minutes)

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

“I can name the characters and setting in the text Come On, Rain!”

  • Review the definition of characters (the people in a story) and setting (place in which something happens). Share that today students will hear a story read aloud about a little girl, Tess, who is waiting for a rain shower to come in her city.
  • Remind students that in previous lessons, they have studied weather around the world and how people everywhere are affected by different kinds of weather. Today students will begin learning about weather in one place and how it affects the people in that place.
  • Invite students to take out their magic bows and take aim at the target while you recite the “Learning Target” poem aloud.
  • Guide students through Session 1 of the close read-aloud for Come On, Rain! using the Close Read-aloud Guide: Come On, Rain! (for teacher reference). Consider using the Reading Literature Checklist during the close read-aloud (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Invite students to stand quietly in their spaces, making space for everyone.
  • Lead students through one round of the Making a Rain Shower activity from the Opening.
  • Refocus students whole group.
  • For ELLs: As you circulate and listen in during the Think-Pair-Share, scaffold partner conversations as needed. Some students may benefit from explicit prompting or a sentence frame. (Example: “The main characters are _____ and ______.”) (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Pair students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The partner with greater language proficiency in the pair can serve as a model during the read-aloud, initiating discussions and providing implicit sentence frames.
  • For ELLs: 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.

B. Independent Writing: Weather Journals (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that now that they know about Tess and how the weather affects her day, they will track their own daily weather.
  • Remind students that every day, the class has been recording the weather together using the class weather journal template.
  • With excitement, share that today students have a new job: to record the daily weather on their own!
  • 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.”

  • Reread the target, emphasizing these words:

“I can use words and pictures to describe what I observe about the weather.”

  • Review the definition of observe (to watch with care).
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What does this learning target mean?” (draw and write a picture to show the weather; look at the weather and then draw and write to show the weather)

  • Gather students back together and invite a few students to share whole group. Clarify the meaning of the target as needed.
  • Invite students to take aim at the target.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How can we observe what the weather is like today?” (look outside; go outside; check a thermometer)

  • Prompt students to look out a classroom window and observe the sky.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner, using the Weather Word Wall as a tool to describe the weather:

“What does the weather look like today?” (Responses will vary, but may include: stormy, sunny, rainy, snowy, sunny with clouds, cloudy, windy.)

  • Refocus students whole group and select a few students to share out.
  • Display page 1 of the weather journal.
  • Point to Step 1 and read the sentence: “Today the weather is ______.” Explain that students will choose one weather picture to color that matches today’s weather.
  • Still referring to Step 1, point to each weather picture and read the name below it.
  • Model completing Step 1:
  1. Read the sentence aloud: “Today the weather is ______.”
  2. Read several weather picture names aloud before choosing one, looking out the window to confirm your choice. Think aloud about your choice. (Example: “Sunny, rainy … hmm, the sky looks pretty gray, but I don’t see rain yet. It’s cloudy!”)
  3. Color the selected weather picture using a crayon.
  4. Read the completed sentence aloud. (Example: “Today the weather is cloudy.”)
  • Invite students to show a thumbs-up or touch their head if they are ready to begin coloring the picture that shows today’s weather.
  • Invite students to take their crayons and weather journals at their table area, turn to page 1, and begin working on Step 1.
  • Give students 2–3 minutes to observe the weather outside and color the matching weather picture. As they work, circulate and engage with them about their work. Consider prompting students by asking:

“Why did you choose this picture to describe today’s weather?”

“What do you notice about the sky today?”

  • Signal students to stop working through the use of a designated sound, such as a chime or whistle. Model placing crayons and weather journals on the table so that students can listen to the next step.
  • Model completing Step 2:
  1. Read the sentence aloud: “It is _____ outside.”
  2. Think aloud about a word that describes the weather. (Example: “I remember on the way to school, I felt cold and I had to button up my coat. It is cold outside.”)
  3. Write the word, saying the sounds aloud as you record them. (Example: “c-o-l-d”)
  4. Read the completed sentence aloud. (Example: “It is cold outside.”)
  • Invite students to show a thumbs-up or touch their head if they are ready to begin writing a word to describe the weather.
  • Invite students to use the pencils and begin working on Step 2.
  • Give students 2–3 minutes to write the word that describes the weather. As they work, circulate and engage with them about their work. Reread the sentence frame in Step 2 if needed. Also, consider referring students to the Weather Word Wall. Prompt them by asking:

“Why did you choose this word to describe today’s weather?”

“Could you read your sentence aloud to me?”

  • Signal students to stop working through the use of a designated sound, such as a chime or whistle. Model cleanup, keeping directions clear and brief. Invite students to walk safely to the whole group gathering area, bringing their weather journals with them for use during Closing B.
  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and reread the second one.
  • Give students specific, positive feedback on their ability to use pictures and words to describe what they observed about the weather. (Example: “Carlos, I saw that you colored in the cloud picture to show that the weather is cloudy today. You also wrote the word cloudy to describe the weather.”)
  • To help students express their ideas in the weather journal, 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, extended time). (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: While discussing Part 2 of the weather journal entry, explicitly discuss the differences between the meanings of the words. (Example: “What is the difference between cold and chilly? Who can act like they are cold? Who can act like they are chilly? If it is snowing, do you think it is just chilly, or is it cold?”)
  • For ELLs: Unpack the learning target further. Examples:

“What does it mean to observe?” (noticing something by looking very closely)

“What does it mean to describe the weather?” (to tell about it; to say whether it is sunny or rainy)

  • For ELLs: After modeling the activity, consider completing it once more as an interactive writing experience to bolster confidence before independent work.
  • For ELLs: Some students may have trouble reading their work aloud. Help them identify key elements of their journal and allow them to repeat words and phrases. (Example: “It looks like you wrote, ‘It is warm outside.’ Watch me point to the words. It. is. warm. outside. Now you try.”)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Structured Discussion: Revisiting Things Meteorologists Do Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

  • Referring to the Conversation Partners chart, invite students to pair up with their predetermined talking partner and sit facing each other. Ensure that students know which partner is A and which is B and that their weather journals are in their laps.
  • Review the definition of meteorologist (scientist who studies the earth’s weather and climate).
  • Share that as students study the weather, they are learning to do many things that meteorologists do.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Things Meteorologists Do anchor chart and briefly review it.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner:

“What do meteorologists do?” (use weather words, talk about the weather, point at maps, show pictures of weather, use a computer/TV)

  • Refocus students whole group and call on a few students to share out. Review the things listed on the chart if not suggested by a student.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the third one aloud:

“I can share a report of the weather with others.”

  • Define report (a statement or story about something that has happened).
  • Explain that some meteorologists have the job of sharing the weather report daily.
  • Invite students to take out their imaginary bow and to take aim at the target.
  • Add to the Things Meteorologists Do anchor chart:
    • “share the weather report”
  • For ELLs: To reinforce using the present simple tense for habitual actions, prompt students to use a sentence frame as they share what meteorologists do: “Meteorologists ______.” (use weather words; talk about the weather; predict the weather)

B. Pair-Share: Weather Journals (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they will share their own report of the weather with a classmate by reading aloud their weather journal page.
  • Instruct students to take their weather journals and open to page 1.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart and briefly review it.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“While your partner is sharing, what should you do?” (keep voices off, listen carefully, look at the speaker)

“While you are sharing, what should you do?” (use a loud and proud voice, speak clearly)

  • Instruct students that when they share, they will share the weather like a meteorologist (use weather words, point at the weather picture).
    • Briefly model sharing Steps 1 and 2 of the sample page 1 of a weather journal, pointing at the weather picture in Step 1.
    • Invite partner A to begin sharing. Remind students to make a bridge with their arms after partner A has shared.
    • As students share, circulate and offer guidance and support as necessary. Re-model reading Steps 1–2 aloud if necessary.
    • Refocus students whole group.
    • Repeat the sharing process with partner B.
  • Gather students back together and give them specific, positive feedback regarding their sharing. (Example: “Camille, I heard you sharing your weather journal page by using weather words just like a meteorologist does. Jason, you pointed at the picture of the clouds when you were sharing the weather report.”)
  • Share that in the next lesson, students will complete another page in their weather journal and learn ways to make their work look beautiful.
  • Before students share the weather journal pages, guide information processing by interactively modeling how to ask a question or make a comment on a peer’s work. (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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