Reading and Writing: The Snowy Day Focused Read-aloud and Creating Character Puppets | EL Education CurriculumTEST2

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ELA GK:M2:U3:L2

Reading and Writing: The Snowy Day Focused Read-aloud and Creating Character Puppets

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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.3: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
  • SL.K.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • L.K.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can identify the characters in the text The Snowy Day. (RL.K.3)
  • I can create a character for my weather story. (W.K.3)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, observe if students are able to correctly identify the characters in The Snowy Day. Use the Reading Literature checklist to track students’ progress toward RL.K.3.
  • During Work Time B, circulate as students draw a character for their narrative. Notice if students are able to draw their character using details and label their character with a name. (L.K.6, W.K.3)
  • During Work Time C, circulate as students create a character puppet. Notice if students are able to create a puppet that matches the character in their My Weather Story booklet. (W.K.3)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: “Sofia Says” Game (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Focused Read-aloud: The Snowy Day, Pages 1–4, 20 (10 minutes)

B. Launching the Writing Task: My Weather Story Booklet (15 minutes)

C. Play and Exploration: Creating a Character Puppet (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In the Opening, students participate in a game called “Sofia Says.” This game invites students to practice various weather activity movements, supporting their understanding of weather activities through kinesthetic experience.
  • Throughout this lesson, students focus on the story element of character as they begin their own weather stories. They identify the main characters in The Snowy Day during Work Time A, draw a character during Work Time B, and create a character puppet during Work Time C.
  • During Work Time A, students hear excerpts of The Snowy Day as a focused read-aloud. The purpose of this series of focused read-alouds is to identify major story elements and to record them onto the The Snowy Day anchor chart. This text serves as a mentor text as students begin to create their own weather stories; the chart serves as a resource students can refer to as they write.
  • Across Lesson 2–5, students draw the illustrations for their weather stories. In Lesson 6–9, students will add writing to their illustrations. Focusing first on high-quality drawings full of details that help to tell the story will support students in adding high-quality writing in subsequent lessons.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Unit 2, students heard several narrative texts read aloud and co-created anchor charts to record the story elements of each text. In Lessons 2–5, students co-create a similar The Snowy Day anchor chart to record the story elements of this text.
  • In Unit 2, students focused on the habit of character of perseverance. During Work Time B, students revisit this habit of character and consider how it applies to their work of creating a weather story.
  • In Unit 2, students considered elements of high-quality work as they created their weather journals. During Work Time B, students again consider how elements of high-quality work can guide their drawing and writing of their own weather stories.
  • Continue to use Goal 1–3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • During Work Time B, students draw a character in page 1 of their My Weather Story booklet. For some students, drawing a lifelike character may challenge their developing fine motor skills. If needed, guide students explicitly in how to draw a person. (Example: “Draw a circle here. This will be your character’s face. Give your character two small circles for eyes here.”) Consider providing extra paper to cut and paste onto page 1 of the My Weather Story booklet if students feel they have “messed up” and would like a second try at drawing their own character.

Down the road:

  • During Work Time C, students create a character puppet to represent the main character in their weather story. In Lesson 3–5, students will use these character puppets to role-play various parts of their stories.
  • Preview the Opening to familiarize yourself with the “Sofia Says” game (a new version of the game “Simon Says”).

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • The Snowy Day anchor chart by writing the title and section headings on blank chart paper.
    • Illustrations for The Snowy Day anchor chart by cutting up the extra copy of the text. See supporting materials for recommended images to use.
    • An enlarged version of the My Weather Story booklet to use for teacher modeling during Work Time B.
  • If not already done, write a label beside each card in the Activities to Do section of the expert meteorologist charts that students created in Lesson 1. Students will use these labels as they write their stories throughout Lessons 2–9.
  • Pre-distribute materials for Work Times B and C at student workspaces to ensure a smooth transition to Work Time.
  • Post: Learning targets, Snowy Day chart, Hot Day chart, Windy Day chart, Rainy Day chart, My Weather Story booklet, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Create the The Snowy Day anchor chart in an online format—for example, a Google Doc—to display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.
  • Create the teacher model of the My Weather Story booklet in an online format—for example, a Google Doc—to display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.
  • Students complete their My Weather Story booklet using word-processing software—for example, a Google Doc.
  • Students use Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software such as Dragon Dictation.
  • Students use drawing apps or software to draw their character or create their character puppet—for example, the Kids Doodle plug-in for Google or app for Apple products.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.I.B.6 and K.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs through the use of the expert meteorologist charts, created in Lesson 1; the use of drawing to plan writing; and the use of a teacher model to demonstrate the task of creating a character for students’ weather stories.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to transition throughout the lesson and to comprehend each cumulative step toward creating a character for their story. Throughout the lesson, remind students to be thinking about the characters they want to create for their own stories. (Example: “Remember, in this lesson you will be creating a character for your story. Be thinking about what kind of character you would like to create as we read the story.”)

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • When reviewing the information about the two characters recorded on The Snowy Day anchor chart, have a more proficient student read the information on the chart out loud to the class.

For heavier support:

  • For ELLs: When talking about characters in The Snowy Day, consider pointing to the learning target and the word character with the picture of a person above it.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Some students may need additional support with thinking about the steps an author takes to introduce a character. You can provide options for comprehension by highlighting critical pieces of information that Ezra Jack Keats included in The Snowy Day as he introduced the character Peter.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): In this lesson, students are invited to develop their own story character. Some students may become overwhelmed by decisions they need to make about a character’s name, physical appearance, or attire. You can support students’ planning and decision-making by thinking aloud a process for making a decision when you get stuck.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): When introducing any new activity, increase engagement by explicitly stating the activity’s relevance and providing options for student input. In this lesson, optimize relevance by discussing the purpose of making character puppets and inviting students to share ideas for how to use them.

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • movement (L)

Review:

  • character, mentor text, create (L)

Materials

  • Sofia paper doll (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one to display)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Module 1; one to display)
  • The Snowy Day (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • The Snowy Day anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • The Snowy Day anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • The Snowy Day images (for teacher reference)
  • Expert meteorologist charts (from Lesson 1):
    • Rainy Day chart
    • Snowy Day chart
    • Hot Day chart
    • Windy Day chart
  • My Weather Story booklet (one for teacher modeling and one per student)
  • Pencils (one for teacher modeling and one per student)
  • High-Quality Work anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 7)
  • Crayons (one set for teacher modeling and one set per group of four to five students)
  • Character puppet template (one for teacher modeling and one per student)
  • Perseverance anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 7)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: “Sofia Says” Game (5 minutes)

  • Gather students in the whole group meeting area.
  • Display the Sofia paper doll.
  • Share that today, Sofia will teach the students a new weather game.
  • Invite students to show a thumbs-up or to touch their forehead if they know how to play the game “Simon Says.”
  • Share that Sofia knows how to play “Simon Says,” too, but she calls it “Sofia Says” because Sofia loves the weather so much, her version of the game is all about the weather! Today, students will learn some of the weather movements that are part of the “Sofia Says” game. Tomorrow, they will be ready to play “Sofia Says.”
  • Define movement (a motion or way of moving).
  • Model acting out several different weather movements (e.g., carrying an umbrella, making a snowball).
  • Instruct students to stand up safely and quietly, leaving space for others around them. As needed, assist students in spreading out in the whole group area so that everyone has room to safely participate.
  • Invite students to act out a weather movement as you call it out. Remind students that they are not playing the game, so no one will get “out.”
  • Call out various weather movements:
    • Splashing your boots in a puddle
    • Catching a snowflake on your tongue
    • Putting on sunglasses
    • Flying a kite
  • Instruct students to sit in their whole group spot again. Share that in the next lesson, students will have a chance to play “Sofia Says” again.
  • As you call out different weather movements, activate background knowledge by displaying a picture portraying each action. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: It may be challenging for students to understand the different weather movements used while playing the game “Sofia Says.” Display visual aids where students can see them throughout the game (e.g., carrying an umbrella, splashing in a puddle, flying a kite, etc.).

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Focused Read-aloud: The Snowy Day, Pages 1–4, 20 (10 minutes)

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

“I can identify the characters in the text The Snowy Day.”

  • Draw a simple picture of a person above the word characters, and a simple picture of a book above the words The Snowy Day.
  • Review the definition of character (a person in a story).
  • Ask:

“What do you think this learning target means?” (It means we will name the characters, or people, in the book The Snowy Day.)

  • Invite a few students to share out.
  • Invite students to take out their magic bows and take aim at the target while you recite the “Learning Target” poem aloud.
  • Share that today, students will begin to write their own weather stories. But first, they need to think about the characters in The Snowy Day to learn what the writer did in this text that they also can do in their own stories. Ezra Jack Keats thought about his character Peter before he started to write the story.
  • Display a copy of The Snowy Day as well as The Snowy Day anchor chart. Share that this anchor chart is a place to record information about the text The Snowy Day.
  • While still displaying the text, read aloud pages 1–2 slowly, fluently, with expression, and without stopping.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Who is the character on these pages?” (Peter)

  • While still displaying the text, read pages 3–4 aloud.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“How could we describe Peter?” (Peter is a little boy. He is excited about the snow.)

“What is he wearing?” (He is wearing a red snowsuit.)

  • As students share, use pictures and words to clarify and capture their ideas on the character section of the The Snowy Day anchor chart. Refer to The Snowy Day anchor chart (for teacher reference) and The Snowy Day images (for teacher reference) as necessary. (Example: Post a picture of Peter in his red snowsuit and label with the name “Peter.”)
  • Briefly explain that Peter is the main character in the story, but sometimes stories have other characters, too.
  • While still displaying the text, turn to page 20 and read it aloud.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“Who is the character on this page?” (Peter’s mother)

“What is she wearing?” (a dress)

  • As students share, use pictures and words to clarify and capture their ideas on the character section of the The Snowy Day anchor chart. (Example: Post a picture of Peter’s mother in her dress and label with the name “Peter’s mother.”)
  • Briefly review the information about the two characters recorded on the The Snowy Day anchor chart thus far.
  • Remind students that they are going to use The Snowy Day as a mentor text to help them learn how to write their own weather story.
  • After students share that Peter is the main character in The Snowy Day, support comprehension by highlighting critical aspects of the text that help the reader know Peter is the character. Example: “What did the author, Ezra Jack Keats, do to help us know that Peter was the character?” (He wrote a sentence using Peter’s name; he drew a picture of Peter.) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: During the read-aloud, display the text on a document camera or an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page.
  • For ELLs: When mentioning to students that they will be thinking about the characters in The Snowy Day, add that they will be thinking about a character for their own stories, just as Ezra Jack Keats thought about Peter before writing his story.
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of the sentence “It / covered everything, /as far as he could see”. Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples:
    • “What does this sentence mean?” (Everything that Peter could see was covered with snow.)
    • “What covered everything?” (the snow)
    • “What do you think as far as he could see means?” (Everywhere he looked he could only see snow; he looked so far way and he still saw snow.)
    • “What did he see covered in show?” (From his window, Peter could see all the rooftops and chimneys covered in snow.)
    • “How does this sentence help you understand how the weather affects characters?” (Peter couldn’t see anything because the snow was covering everything.)
  • For ELLs: When reminding students that they can use The Snowy Day to learn how to write a weather story, also remind them that this is a mentor text. Review the meaning of mentor text discussed in the previous lesson.

B. Launching the Writing Task: My Weather Story Booklet (15 minutes)

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

“I can create a character for my weather story.”

  • Reread the learning target, emphasizing the word create.
  • Review the definition of create (to bring into being; to imagine).
  • Share that the first step to writing a weather story is creating a new character for the weather story.
  • Invite students to take out their imaginary bows and to take aim at the target.
  • Remind students that yesterday, they thought about the kind of weather story they would like to write. Briefly review the four types of weather stories students get to choose from by referring to the Rainy Day chart, Snowy Day chart, Hot Day chart, and Windy Day chart.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What kind of weather story would you like to write?” (rainy day story, snowy day story, hot day story, or windy day story)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted My Weather Story booklet.
  • Display the cover page and model completing this page:
  1. Think aloud about the type of weather story you would like to write. (Example: “I really love hot summer days, so I think I will write a Hot Day story.”)
  2. Write the word hot in the title, using the Hot Day chart as a spelling resource. (Example: “I know how to spell the word hot. I see it on the chart.”)
  3. Write your name on the second line: “By: ________.”
  • Invite students to move to their workspace. When they have transitioned, instruct students to begin writing their title and name on the cover of their My Weather Story booklet using pencils.
  • After 2–3 minutes, refocus students whole group.
  • Pause and briefly review your work thus far. (Example: “So I know I’m going to write a Hot Day story.”)
  • Display page 1 of the teacher model of the My Weather Story booklet and read the sentence frame aloud:
    • “One morning ______ woke up and looked out the window. It was going to be a _______ day.”
  • Ask:

“What does this page remind you of?” (pages 1–2 of The Snowy Day)

  • Share that on this page, you will draw a picture of the character in your hot day story. Today, the work is to draw only the character’s body and clothes.
  • Referring to the cover of The Snowy Day, invite students to notice that Peter’s body is not a stick figure.  Share that he has a torso, a head, and limbs (pointing to each part of Peter’s body as you name it).
  • Model how to use drawing and labeling to create a character:
  1. Think aloud about a character you would like to create. (Example: “Hmm, I would like to make a little boy with brown hair and brown eyes. I think I will name him Fernando.”)
  2. Draw a picture of the character using crayons. Think aloud as you draw your character, including details about how he or she looks. (Example: “I am drawing Fernando’s head. It is a circle. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Now I will draw his body. He is wearing pajamas.”)
  3. Label your illustration with the character’s name, using resources around the room to help with spelling. (Example: “Hmm, I’m not sure how to spell Fernando, but I can look at the High-Frequency Word Wall to find the beginning sound.”)
  • Refer to the posted High-Quality Work anchor chart and reflect on your work:
    • “Did I color carefully?”
    • “Did I write neatly?”
    • “Did I use details in my drawings?”
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What will your character’s name be? What will your character look like?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Refocus students whole group and select students to share out.
  • Invite students to open their My Weather Story booklet to page 1 and begin drawing their character using crayons.
  • Give students 5–7 minutes to draw and label their character. As they work, circulate and engage with them. Consider prompting students by asking questions such as the following:

“What is your character’s name?”

“How would you describe your character?”

“Are you coloring carefully?”

“Are you writing neatly?”

“Are you using detail in your drawing?”

  • After 7 minutes, signal all students to stop working through the use of a designated sound. Model cleanup procedures, keeping directions clear and brief.
  • When cleanup is complete, refocus students whole group.
  • With excitement, share that they now will create a puppet of their weather story character!
  • As you model how to create a character, support students’ planning and decision-making by thinking aloud a process for making a decision when you get stuck. (Example: “I know I want to make my character a boy, but I’m not sure what to name my character. I can use a name that I like, or the name of someone I know. Hmm. To make a decision, I will think of names I know and pick the one I like best.”) (MMAE)
  • ELLs might find it difficult to answer the question “What does this page remind you of?” when looking at the their My Weather Story booklet (pages 1–2 of The Snowy Day). Help them make this connection by rephrasing the question to “What does this page remind you of in the book The Snowy Day?” and showing pages 1–2 of The Snowy Day.
  • For ELLs: Students might not know what a stick figure is. Consider drawing a stick figure on the board before moving on to describe Peter on the cover of The Snowy Day.
  • ELLs might not understand that the questions used to model reflection using the High-Quality Work anchor chart are not questions to be answered by them but questions to ask themselves as they are reflecting on their work. Name this before starting. (Example: “You can ask yourself these questions as you are reflecting on your work.”)
  • For ELLs: To further clarify how to reflect on our work, ask: “Who is going to answer these questions?” (We are going to answer the questions ourselves.) “Why do you think we ask ourselves these questions? (to help us think about the quality of our work and use the High-Quality anchor chart to make our work better)

C. Play and Exploration: Creating a Character Puppet (25 minutes)

  • Invite students to transition to the whole group meeting area, bringing their My Weather Story booklet with them. Instruct students to place their booklet in their lap when seated.
  • Display a character puppet template. Share that you will create a puppet of the character in your weather story.
  • Turn to page 1 of the displayed Weather Story booklet and review the character. (Example: “My character is named Fernando. He has brown eyes and brown hair.”)
  • Model drawing your character on the character puppet template:
  1. Beginning with the face, sketch your character. (Example: “I will use a brown crayon to draw Fernando’s eyes and hair. I’ll draw his nose, mouth, and ears, too.”)
  2. Draw your character’s clothing, thinking aloud about appropriate clothes for the weather. (Example: “I know my weather story is called ‘The Hot Day,’ so I will draw Fernando wearing shorts and a tank top to match the hot weather in my story.”)
  3. Review your work, adding any details as needed. (Example: “I know I colored carefully because I filled the space with color. I think I can add a detail: I will draw Fernando holding some sunglasses in his hand.”)
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What will your character look like? What clothing will your character be wearing?” (Responses will vary, but should include descriptions of physical appearance and clothing items). As needed, encourage students to refer to their My Weather Story booklet to support their conversation.

  • Refocus students whole group, inviting a few students to share their descriptions of their character puppet.
  • Invite students to move safely to their workspace and begin working to create their own character puppet using the character puppet templates, crayons, and pencils.
  • Give students 10–15 minutes to complete their character puppet. As they work, circulate and engage with them about their progress. As needed, prompt students to use their My Weather Story booklet as a guide for creating their character puppet. Consider posing questions to help students reflect on the quality of their work:

“Did you fill the space with color?”

“Where could you add a detail to your character puppet?”

  • Signal all students to stop working through the use of a designated sound. Model cleanup procedures, keeping directions clear and brief.
  • Invite students to walk safely to the whole group meeting area.
  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

“How does making character puppets help us write our stories? I’ll give you time to think and discuss with a partner.” (Responses will vary.)

  • As you introduce the puppet-making activity, optimize relevance by discussing the purpose of making character puppets and soliciting students’ ideas for how to use them. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Give students time to think before inviting them to turn and talk to a partner about what their character will look like and what clothing their character will be wearing. (Example: “In a moment we will share our ideas with our partners, but first close your eyes and imagine your character. What does he or she look like? What is he or she wearing?”)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • When students are gathered in the whole group meeting area, focus their attention on the posted Perseverance anchor chart.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What does it mean to show perseverance?” (challenge yourself to do something new or hard; keep trying even when it’s hard; ask for help when needed)

  • Invite a few students to share out. If needed, briefly review the icons and words on the chart to clarify understanding:
    • “I challenge myself.”
    • “When something is hard, I keep trying.”
    • “I ask for help if I need it.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“How did you show perseverance while you were working on your My Weather Story booklet today?”

“How did you show perseverance when you created your character puppet today?”

  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully and seek to understand:

“Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?” (Responses will vary.)

  • As students share, circulate and prompt students to use the Perseverance anchor chart to aid their discussion as needed.
  • Refocus students whole group and give specific, positive feedback. (Example: “Raoul, I heard you explain to your partner that you persevered when you were drawing your character’s face because it was difficult for you.”)
  • Tell students that in the next lesson, they will draw and write all the exciting things that happen to the characters in their weather stories.
  • For ELLs: Consider pointing to the Perseverance anchor chart and chorally reading it before inviting students to turn and talk to a partner.

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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